BioRisk 3: 39-53, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.3.12
The Key Biodiversity Areas Project in Iraq: Objectives and scope 2004–-2008
Clayton Rubec, Azzam Alwash, Anna Bachmann
Abstract Nature Iraq conducted biological surveys throughout Iraq during the 2004 to 2008 period under the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Project. This continuing initiative comprises the largest and most comprehensive biological surveys to take place in Iraq in well over 25 years. Under the KBA Project in Iraq, Nature Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Environment, has visited over one hundred sites in southern Iraq and in Kurdistan in northern Iraq to survey plants, fish, reptile, bird and mammal species. In addition, water quality physical parameters, sediment, plankton and benthic invertebrates were examined at these sites to determine the overall health of key habitat areas. Birds have been a primary focus of the surveys. This has involved the collection of data on these potential sites of key biological diversity including the identification of species, population counts and information on how species are using a site (e.g. breeding, feeding, migration, etc.). This paper provides an overview of this continuing project that will, over time, permit the refinement of data and the survey of more of Iraq as security improves within the country. The paper also summarizes current recommendations for the management of some of the KBA sites in Iraq.