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Location Syria, Al Hasakah
Central coordinates 41o 13.00' East  36o 23.00' North
IBA criteria B2
Area 80,000 ha
Altitude 430 - 550m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (Affiliate)

Site description A mesotrophic, spring-fed, natural lake (its area is variously quoted as being from 50 ha to c.800 ha) together with the surrounding 'clay' desert, c.50 km east of Al-Hasakah and between the small settlements of Khatuniyah and Al-Hul (6 km from the international border). The mean depth of the lake is or was 8 m, and the vegetation includes Tamarix. The lake is used for fishing, hunting and recreation, and the surrounding area for grazing.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other breeding species include Alectoris chukar and Pterocles alchata, and small numbers of Anser albifrons and ducks are present in winter. Passage migrants include Tachybaptus ruficollis, and large numbers of Streptopelia turtur.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Gazella subgutturosa (rare).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug non-breeding  1993  unknown  B2  Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2014 medium not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in long term (beyond 4 years) 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)
Desert   major
Wetlands (inland)   1%
Grassland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 1%
hunting 1%
tourism/recreation 1%
rangeland/pastureland major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Ibrahim Hanna and Dr Amer Majid Agha (translated by S. Zaiane).

References Luther and Rzóska (1971).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Buhayrat al-Khatuniyah. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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