|Central coordinates||37o 29.00' East 36o 3.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3|
|Altitude||300 - 350m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Site description A large, shallow salt-lake in a closed basin of c.37,500 ha, lying just south of Jabbul village, 35 km east-south-east of Halab (Aleppo). In the 1970s the lake was filled entirely by local run-off of winter/spring rainfall and its extent was highly variable from year to year, reaching a maximum of c.3,000 ha and with at least a little standing water at most times of the year. A levée built on the east side by the 1970s prevented flooding of the majority of the salt-flat in the east of the basin. However, in 1988 large, new irrigation projects on the nearby steppe started discharging surplus water into the lake on a substantial scale; it is not known how saline the inflow is nor whether it is seasonal or perennial. This appears to have led to a higher and more stable water level than in the past, since the lake currently measures up to 20 km long and 5 km wide (c.10,000 ha), and although in the 1970s the flat and sandy banks had little or no marginal vegetation, they are now locally lined by extensive Phragmites reedbeds, on the southern and south-eastern shores at least. At least two large islands are created at times of high flooding. Around the lake shore there is turf, close-cropped by sheep. The surrounding steppe has a sparse shrubland of Haloxylon and Artemisia. Primary uses of the area are salt extraction, wildfowl hunting, and livestock grazing on the surrounding steppe by nomadic pastoralists; in the 1970s the sabkhah to the east was an artillery firing range.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea||passage||1993||400 individuals||poor||B1i||Least Concern|
|Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea||winter||1993||300 individuals||poor||B1i||Least Concern|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||1975-1977||6,000-8,000 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Vulnerable|
|Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni||breeding||1975||unknown [units unknown]||-||B2||Near Threatened|
|Pallid Scops-owl Otus brucei||breeding||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1970-1993||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sabkhat al-Jabbul Nature Reserve||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||10,000||protected area contained by site||10,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Permanent inland deltas; Permanent rivers, streams & creeks; Permanent saline, brackish & alkaline lakes; Permanent saline/brackish/alkaline marshes & pools; Seasonal/intermitt salt/brackish/alkali lake/flats; Seasonal/intermitt salt/brackish/alkali marsh/pool||20%|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Arable land; Pasture land; Urban areas||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Gazella subgutturosa (rare).
Acknowledgements Data-sheets compiled by: Dr Ibrahim Hanna and Dr Amer Majid Agha (translated by S. Zaiane); Dr Riad Sabbagh and Dr M. A. Kabbani; Mohamed Taha Abassi (translated by S. Zaiane).
References Bodenham (1944), Carp (1980), Clarke (1924), Hollom (1959).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sabkhat al-Jabbul. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/04/2014
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