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Location Syria, Al Hasakah
Central coordinates 40o 5.00' East  36o 50.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 100,000 ha
Altitude 400 - 450m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus resident  1993  common  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris passage  1993  present  B2  Least Concern 
Great Bustard Otis tarda winter  1993  common  A1  Vulnerable 
Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus breeding  1968  10-12 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Pale Rock Sparrow Petronia brachydactyla breeding  1993  unknown  B3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Grassland   minor
Shrubland   minor
Wetlands (inland)   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
rangeland/pastureland minor
hunting major

Other biodiversity Mammals: Gazella subgutturosa (rare) may still occur. Reptiles: Varanus griseus (rare) may still occur.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by M. I. Evans.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ras al-Ayn. Downloaded from on 31/10/2014

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