The Middle East steppe ecoregion
(WWF ID:PA0812) stretches in an arc from southern Jordan across Syria and Iraq to the western border of Iran. The upper plains of the Tigris
Rivers dominate most of the ecoregion. The terrain is mostly open shrub steppe. The climate is arid (less than 250 mm of precipitation per year). Evidence is that this region was once more of a forest-steppe, but centuries of overgrazing and gathering firewood have reduced tree and grass cover to small areas and along the riverine corridors. Despite the degraded condition of the steppe environment, the ecoregion is important for water birds as the rivers and reservoirs provide habitat in the arid region.
Location and description
Flora and fauna
For migratory water birds, the Euphrates River valley serves as a major migration route between the wetlands of Turkey and the wetlands of Iraq. Many of these species depend on a combination of wetlands and arid desert habitat. Birds in the ecoregion of conservation interest include vulnerable Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata)
, the vulnerable Great bustard (Otis tarda)
, and the near-threatened Little bustard (Tetrax tetrax)
Less than 1% of the ecoregion is officially protected.
These protected areas include:
- ^ a b c d "Middle East steppe". World Wildlife Federation. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
- ^ "Map of Ecoregions 2017". Resolve, using WWF data. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
- ^ a b c "Middle East steppe". Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
- ^ "Middle East steppe". The Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
- ^ Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel, 2006. "World Map of Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification Updated" (PDF). Gebrüder Borntraeger 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
- ^ "Dataset - Koppen climate classifications". World Bank. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
Last edited on 15 December 2020, at 10:17
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.