|Location||Syria, Aleppo,Ar Raqqah,Dayr az Zawr|
|Central coordinates||39o 30.00' East 35o 48.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, B2, B3|
|Altitude||200 - 460m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Site description The entire valley of the River Euphrates (Al-Furat), from its entry from Turkey at 36°49'N 38°02'E to its exit into Iraq at 34°29'N 40°56'E, apart from Buhayrat al-Assad (see site 007) and Baath Lake (see site 008). The valley lies 80–250 m below the surrounding plains, varying in width from 2 to 12 km. The river still flows in its original bed and is rich in islands, meanders, pools, oxbow lakes, alluvial cliffs, gravel pits and silted old water courses where the river has shifted, many of these being covered in Phragmites reedbeds. The water level used to flood 3–4 m higher in spring than in autumn, due to snow-melt in the Turkish uplands, but the completion during the last decade of several large dams in Turkey has now greatly reduced this annual flood. Natural vegetation includes riverine thickets of Populus euphratica, Tamarix, Salix and Typha. Intensive agriculture is carried out along its banks in 'mazara', vast areas of irrigated cotton and cereals with orchards and plantations of Populus and Pinus halepensis. The heavily cultivated steppe of the Jazirah region lies to the east and the Syrian Desert to the south-west. Gravel extraction occurs locally.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1976||1 males only||poor||B2||Least Concern|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||breeding||1975||1 females only||poor||A1||Vulnerable|
|Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus||non-breeding||1985||frequent||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||winter||1976||2 individuals||poor||B2||Near Threatened|
|Pallid Scops-owl Otus brucei||resident||1993||present||-||B3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: gravel extraction|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V) and Gazella subgutturosa (rare).
Acknowledgements Data-sheets compiled by: Dr Ibrahim Hanna and Dr Amer Majid Agha (Shumaytiyah; Halabiyat Zulbiyat; Huwaijat al-Mayadhin) (translated by S. Zaiane); Dr Marco Masseti (Raqqa; Deir ez Zor).
References Carp (1980), Dijksen and Koning (1972), Koning and Dijksen (1973), Macfarlane (1978).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Euphrates valley. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/10/2014
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