Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Syria, Al Hasakah
40o 5.00' East 36o 50.00' North
A1, B2, B3
400 - 450m
Year of IBA assessment
Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (Affiliate)
Site description A vast area of steppe around the border settlement of Ras al-Ayn, through which the seasonal Khabur river flows in winter and spring, north-west of Al-Hasakah. Much of the steppe along the Khabur valley is now under irrigated cultivation of wheat and cotton. Trees and scrub occur along the Khabur river, especially at Ras al-Ayn where there is a patch of c.100 ha of dense Salix bushes, fed by a very powerful, sulphurous hot spring.
Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Streptopelia turtur is a passage migrant in large numbers at Ras al-Ayn. Anser albifrons occurs in winter. There is almost no information on the site since the mid-1970s. Likely species are indicated by extrapolating from the adjacent Ceylanpinar area in Turkey (see Grimmett and Jones 1989). Other likely breeding species include Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaetos, Burhinus oedicnemus, Pterocles alchata and Merops superciliosus, as well as a variety of waterfowl along the Khabur river.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Gazella subgutturosa (rare) may still occur. Reptiles: Varanus griseus (rare) may still occur.