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Location Saudi Arabia, Ash Sharqiyah
Central coordinates 50o 0.00' East  25o 31.80' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 7,500 ha
Altitude 120 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   major
Artificial - aquatic   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
tourism/recreation major
water management major

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Symens.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Al-Hasa lagoons. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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