email a friend
printable version
Location Syria, Rif Dimashq
Central coordinates 36o 4.00' East  33o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, B2, B3
Area 4,500 ha
Altitude 1,175 - 1,500m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (Affiliate)

Site description The main Damascus–Beirut road runs through Wadi al-Qarn (Karn) which runs south-east from the frontier post at Jdeideh (1,275 m). The area of interest in this wadi is the steep hillside above the road on the northern side of the wadi, along the last 1–2 km at the north-west end just before the valley opens out to the area of the frontier post, and includes the small Zarzer reservoir at the lower end (1,175 m) of the wadi 6 km from Jdeideh. The upper reaches are vertical cliffs, below which are rocky slopes with grass, scrub and stunted trees. The area is used for recreation in summer, and people fish at the reservoir. Burqush is an upland site on the slopes of Jabal al-Shaykh (Mount Hermon), 10 km north-west of Qatana, with similar habitat. The area is very close to the steep mountains of Maloula, where there are Christian monasteries.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other proven or probable breeding species include Circaetus gallicus, Buteo rufinus, Bubo bubo, Lullula arborea, Eremophila alpestris, Phoenicurus ochruros, Monticola solitarius, Sylvia conspicillata, S. hortensis, Parus lugubris, Sitta neumayer and Emberiza caesia. In winter the reservoir often holds small numbers of waders and occasionally ducks.

Non-bird biodiversity: No information.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus non-breeding  1993  9-10 individuals  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  1993  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea breeding  1993  unknown  B3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  1993  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  1993  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Pale Rock Sparrow Petronia brachydactyla breeding  1993  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus breeding  1993  frequent  A1, A2  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2014 very high not assessed low

Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   major
Shrubland   major
Rocky areas   minor
Wetlands (inland)   minor

Land use

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

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

References Macfarlane (1978).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

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

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife