Wildlife of Iraq

Uncovering Iraq’s unique wildlife

Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq) has completed their fifth winter survey of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) across the country. “From Kurdistan in the north, to the Mesopotamian Marshlands in the south, our surveys have highlighted the global importance of Iraq for birds, biodiversity and people”, said Dr Azzam Alwash – CEO of Nature Iraq.

Nature Iraq Official site. “Nature Iraq was created to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage that it nourishes. Our mission includes fulfillment of the following goals”

iraqfauna – Iraq Wildlife Gallery

Restoring Iraq’s wetland marshes to the original Eden

A place so beautiful, teeming with water and life until the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein drained these great wetlands of southern Iraq, destroying them, turning them to desert.

However, since his overthrow, a remarkable effort has begun to restore these Mesopotamian Marshes, among the most important wetland habitat in the world.

One man is leading the way, attempting to rejuvenate the marshes and bring back the diversity of animals and plants that once lived there.

A BBC film crew has followed his progress, revealing how he and his colleagues are succeeding in attracting rare birds back to a land ravaged by persecution and war.

Iraq’s Marshes recovering, but new threat looms

Now large sections of the marshes have been restored, and in places the reed beds once again stretch as far as the eye can see. Among the highlights of Miracle in the marshes of Iraq is a sighting of a large flock of globally Vulnerable Marbled Teal in an area where they have not been seen for 20 years. In winter 2010, Nature Iraq counted 46,000 Marbled Teal in the marshes, around twice the previous estimate of the entire global population.

Wildlife of Iraq – Wikipedia Iraq lost all of its Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Cheetah and the now extinct Caspian Tigers by the earlier years of the twentieth century.

Iraq: War-torn nation or wildlife hotspot? (July 2010.)

Mesopotamian Marshes thriving once more If your impression of Iraq is a landscape of sandy deserts without a shade of green in sight, then a UK photographic exhibition will reveal an increasingly different view.

Rare species recorded in Iraq – But marshes endangered again by drought and dams

Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq) has completed their fifth winter survey of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) across the country. “From Kurdistan in the north, to the Mesopotamian Marshlands in the south, our surveys have highlighted the global importance of Iraq for birds, biodiversity and people”, said Dr Azzam Alwash – CEO of Nature Iraq.

Ohio Guardsman Partners with Nature Iraq for Wildlife Survey

This is the image most people at Al Asad have of western Iraq, said Ohio Army National Guardsman and amateur naturalist Maj. Randel L. Rogers, support operations plans officer for the 371st Sustainment Brigade, from Columbus, Ohio.

“One of the big surprises for me and for a lot of people is just the diversity [of animals and birds] here,” he said.

According to Rogers, who studied wildlife management in college, that diversity of wildlife – porcupines, coyotes, frogs, wild dogs, mallard ducks, hooded crows – is drawn to Al Asad for one unique feature: permanent wetland

Books about the Wildlife of Iraq

Middle East Wildlife: An Introduction to Familiar & Dangerous Species in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan & the Middle East (Duraguide)

Only £5.01

Birds of the Middle East (Helm Field Guides) The standard field guide

This is the first comprehensive field guide dealing exclusively with the birds of this region. It covers all the species, including vagrants, found in the Arabian peninsula (including Socotra), Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Cyprus. Over 700 species are described in concise text with full details of pulmage and voice. Distribution maps appear opposite the plates and are annotated with each species’ status and preferred habitat. This authoritative book will not only be an indispensable guide to the visiting birder, but also a vital tool for those engaged in work to conserve and study the avifauna of this region, which is of such importance to both the indigenous species and those which pass through on migration.

Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

Covering over 400 species, this work presents all of the terrestrial mammal species of the Western Palearctic, serving as an excellent guide to the great wealth of fauna in this region. Species accounts are concise and authoritative, giving information on size, distribution, habitat, behaviour, reproduction and feeding. Each account is supported by distribution maps and superb illustrations. The book features over 100 plates, comprising of over 600 colour species artworks. Variation between the sexes is illustrated and anatomical diagrams are provided to assist identification.