|Location||Saudi Arabia, Ash Sharqiyah|
|Central coordinates||50o 0.00' East 25o 31.80' North|
|IBA criteria||A4iii, B1i, B2|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
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.
Key Biodiversity 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.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1993||rare||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||breeding||1983||10 breeding pairs||poor||B2||Near Threatened|
|Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris||winter||1993||present||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Himantopus himantopus||winter||1983||1,900 individuals||poor||B1i||Not Recognised|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1993||20,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management planning has taken place||Not assessed||negligible|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - aquatic||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Symens.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Al-Hasa lagoons. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2015
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