Republic of Iraq

Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha ©Steve Arlow Website
Birding Iraq

Iraq, is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert. It shares borders with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, and Iran to the east. It has a very narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (35 miles) at Umm Qasr on the Persian Gulf. There are two major flowing rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.

Iraq is located at 33°00′N 44°00′E. Spanning 437,072 km² (168,743 sq mi), it is the 58th-largest country in the world. It is comparable in size to the US state of California, and somewhat larger than Paraguay. Iraq mainly consists of desert, but between the two major rivers (Euphrates and Tigris) the area is fertile, the rivers carrying about 60 million cubic metres (78 million cu. yd) of silt annually to the delta. The north of the country is mostly composed of mountains; the highest point being at 3,611 metres (11,847 ft) point, unnamed on the map opposite, but known locally as Cheekah Dar (black tent). Iraq has a small coastline measuring 58 km (35 miles) along the Persian Gulf. Close to the coast and along the Shatt al-Arab (known as arvandrūd: اروندرود among Iranians) there used to be marshlands, but many were drained in the 1990s.The local climate is mostly desert, with mild to cool winters and dry, hot, cloudless summers. The northern mountainous regions (Kurdistan region) have cold winters with occasional heavy snows, sometimes causing extensive flooding.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 415

    As at July 2018
  • iGoTerra Checklist

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Useful Reading

  • Birding Babylon: A Soldier's Journal from Iraq

    By Jonathan Trouern-Trend | Sierra Club Books | 2006 | Hardback | 79 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 1578051312 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Middle East

    By Richard Porter, Simon Aspinall, A Birch, John Gale, Mike Langman, Brian E Small | Christopher Helm | 2010 | 384 pages, 176 colour plates, 636 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780713676020 Buy this book from
  • Nature Iraq

    Nature Iraq is an Iraqi non-governmental organization registered in Iraq, accredited to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Iraq’s first and only Affiliate to Birdlife International . We work to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage it nourishes…

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Halgurd Sakran

    InformationSatellite View
    HSNP will be the largest protected mountain area in Kurdistan; it is expected to cover more than 1100 km2 with a height of 900 m up to 3,609 m at Halgurd Peak, known as the Sakran Mountain Range as a part of the Zagros Mountains, which is famous for the spectacular and impressive rock formation, beautiful valleys and mountain meadows with multitude of wild flora and fauna.
  • NR Mosul Lake

    PDF ArticleSatellite View
    This site consists of a large freshwater lake reservoir created by the Mosul Dam southwest of Dohuk city.
Other Links
  • Birding Babylon

    A birding BLOG
  • Marshes of Southern Iraq

    The Mesopotamian Marshes or Iraqi Marshes are a wetland area located in southern Iraq…

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