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Republic of Iraq

Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis ©A F A Hawkins/BirdLife

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.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 406


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

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Useful Reading

Birds of the Middle East

R.F. Porter, S. Christensen, P. Schiermacker-Hansen Hardcover - 350 pages (September 1996) T & AD Poyser (UK)

ISBN: 0856610763

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.


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…

Other Links

Bird Teams Flock to Iraq to Survey War's Impact


Five survey teams will soon be sent to the country by BirdLife International, an alliance of bird conservation organizations from around the world. They will assess the conservation status of key habitats, sites, and species…

Birding Babylon


A birding BLOG…

Marshes of Southern Iraq


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

Mesopotamian Marshes


The wetland is located in southern Iraq and partially in southwestern Iran and Kuwait...