|Location||Saudi Arabia, Ash Sharqiyah|
|Central coordinates||50o 0.00' East 25o 31.80' North|
|IBA criteria||A4iii, B1i, B2|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See box for key species. There is little information on the site at present. Other breeding species include Ixobrychus minutus (possible, in low numbers), Tadorna ferruginea (possible), Cursorius cursor, Acrocephalus melanopogon (only Saudi Arabian breeding site) and Locustella luscinioides (probable). Large numbers of wintering and migrating waterbirds have been observed during several aerial surveys: Ardea cinerea (50-60), Egretta garzetta (100), 10,000-15,000 ducks including Tadorna ferruginea (50), Grus grus (22), and small flocks of Philomachus pugnax and Limosa limosa.
Site description A long, narrow, man-made river, the only large-scale freshwater habitat in the Eastern Province, running east-south-east from Hofuf and Abqaiq towards al-'Uqair. It is formed by run-off from al-Hasa oasis and sewage effluent from Hofuf, Abqaiq and numerous small towns, and frequently disappears under sand-dunes, to surface again a few kilometres further on. There are numerous pools of up to c.250 ha, often surrounded by large reedbeds. The rest of the area consists of sandy gravel plain and sand-dunes interspersed with sabkhahs and aeolian sand-fields.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1993||unknown [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||breeding||1983||10 breeding pairs||poor||B2||Near Threatened|
|Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris||winter||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus||winter||1983||1,900 individuals||poor||B1i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||1993||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (aquatic)||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations Some of the pools are reasonably well protected through their inaccessibility, being surrounded by sabkhah and sand-dunes, but many are regularly disturbed by hunters and sport-shooters and the area is widely used for recreation by people from the al-Hasa region at weekends. An increasing demand for waste-water is reducing the amount of run-off and the watercourse is often diverted for agriculture or for development projects. The site is proposed as a Special Nature Reserve, Biological Reserve and Resource Use Reserve in the NCWCD System Plan for Protected Areas.
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Al-Hasa lagoons. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife