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Location Syria, Hims
Central coordinates 36o 32.00' East  34o 37.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 5,300 ha
Altitude 480 - 510m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (Affiliate)

Site description A semi-artificial, eutrophic reservoir lying 15 km south-west of Homs and just west of Qattiné, formed by impoundment of the Nahr al-Asi (Orontes river). The banks of the north-eastern half are steep, while the very flat south-western shores, together with the influx of water from snow-melt in spring and subsequent evaporation during the summer, lead to the extent of open water varying from 3,000 ha in summer to 5,300 ha in winter; water depth is 4–8 m. There are some islands, but not suitable for breeding birds. The shores are generally bare mud, and the lake's marginal and aquatic vegetation is very limited; bankside vegetation includes Tamarix, Salix, Nerium, Phragmites and Typha. The surroundings are very open, with no trees of any size but still generally green and verdant. To the south the land is fertile and cultivated, but to the north is a large area of lava flow. Villages are scattered around the lakeside; the main human activity is farming, though there is considerable fishing, plus large factories near Qattiné.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. More than 20,000 waterfowl occur in winter (e.g. 22,420 of 14 species in January 1993), including (counts mainly from the 1970s) Pelecanus onocrotalus (200), Egretta garzetta (100), Casmerodius albus (70), Anser albifrons (c.600), Anas crecca (4,000, October), A. strepera (c.700), Anas sp. (c.10,000), Netta rufina (250), Aythya ferina (7,000), Fulica atra (9,000) and unidentified waders (c.4,000). Counts of passage birds have included several hundred Chlidonias terns. Pelecanus onocrotalus, Egretta garzetta, Casmerodius albus and Porphyrio porphyrio have been recorded in the breeding season, but they are not likely to breed.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V; possibly occurs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1992  20 individuals  medium  A4i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1982  250-300 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1992  6,000 individuals  poor  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1992  8,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  1992  30 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1992  250 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1992  20,000-47,500 individuals  medium  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2014 very high not assessed negligible

Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities likely in short term (within 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded likely in short term (within 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Permanent freshwater lakes; Permanent freshwater marshes & pools; Permanent rivers, streams & creeks; Seasonal & intermittent freshwater lakes; Seasonal & intermittent freshwater marshes & pools  major
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Pasture land; Urban areas  minor
Grassland Temperate  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
rangeland/pastureland major
fisheries/aquaculture major
urban/industrial/transport minor
tourism/recreation major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Ibrahim Hanna.

References Kumerloeve (1967–1969), Luther and Rzóska (1971), Macfarlane (1978).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bahrat Homs. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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