Hour al-Azim wetland hosting flocks of migratory birds

December 3, 2019

TEHRAN – Hour al-Azim wetland is hosting flocks of migratory birds this year again after years of water scarcity and no bird migration.

Hour al-Azim wetland, located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, is an important wetland on the border of Iran and Iraq, which was dried up and turned to a major sand and dust storm hotspot due to oil sector projects and not being granted its water right.

While above-normal rainfall led to water flow in the wetland and caused many migratory birds flying over the area again to stay during the cold season.

Some special bird species exclusively migrate to the wetland, including, lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck and darters or snakebirds.

The situation of water reserve has improved in Hour al-Azim wetland since mid-November due to filled Karkheh Dam and end of water harvesting for summer cultivation, Seyed Adel Mola, Khuzestan’s department of environment deputy chief, has said.

He went on to say that many bird species have migrated to the wetland, and the presence of prominent species such as pelicans, African sacred ibis, crested duck, ferruginous duck, and marble ducks have been recorded so far.

A good population of flamingos is also observed in the wetland, he further highlighted.

He added that 80 to 85 percent of the wetland is filled with water, but the eastern part of it is still dry.

“Although roads are still a limiting factor for water flow in the wetland, we hope rainfall brings more water into the wetland,” he said.

There are three fractures on the boundary to the Iraqi part of the wetland which have not yet been repaired, which cause a total of 18 to 20 cubic meters of water to enter the Iraqi part of the wetland, he concluded.

FB/MG

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