Identification of Fish-eating Birds of Northern Wetlands of Iran
Abstract There are 61 species in 14 families of fish-eating birds in Iran. The fish-eating birds of the north of Iran belong to 41 species in 10 families which include 67.2 percent of total fish eating bird species and 71% of fish-eating bird's family of Iran. Resident birds constitute 13% of the fish-eating birds of the Caspian Sea coasts and the rest are migratory in autumn and winter. There exist 3 globally threatened species of fish-eating birds of the world at the north of Iran, which are Oxyura leucocephala, Phalacrocorax pygmeus, and Pelecanus crispus wintering in the south coast wetlands of the region. Seventeen percent of the fish-eating birds of the north of Iran are aquatic, 5% terrestrial and 78 % wadding. The Phalacrocorax carbo and Phalacrocorax pygmeus are wintering and breeding migratory in the wetlands of the region, which feed in the fish ponds and wetlands. The main habitats of fish-eating birds are Miankaleh and Amirkelayeh wildlife refuge, Anzaly marsh and Gomishan Ramsar Sites. Oxyura lecucephala, Phalacrocorax pygmeus and Pelecanus crispus are protected species in Iran and the rest are not allowed to be eaten by Islamic rule, for the same reason they are not being threatened by Muslim men.