BioRisk 3: 205-219, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.3.14
A summary of birds recorded in the marshes of southern Iraq, 2005–-2008
Mudhafar Salim, Richard Porter, Clayton Rubec
Abstract The marshlands of Lower Mesopotamia witnessed severe draining programs during late 1980s and early 2000s, which turned vast areas of the former water body into desert areas. New field surveys of birds and their habitats in the marshes of southern Iraq were launched in 2005 through a national and international partnership of non-government organizations, ministries and donor agencies. This has resulted in the collection and collation of new data on the status, distribution and habitat requirements of birds and other biota in Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Iraq from 2005 to 2008. This paper summarizes the bird data obtained in these surveys in the southern marshes, during which 159 species of birds were recorded; of these 34 are considered to be of conservation concern, including eight that are globally threatened.