Bahrat Homs

A large artificial lake in Syria dotted with small islands 15 km south-west of Homs and west of Qattiné dating from Roman times. It is surrounded by an open green area. To the south of the lake the land is fertile and cultivated, but to the north is a large area of basalt rock. Villages are scattered around the lakeside. The lake is an important wintering area for ducks and coots.

In 2004, one specimen of the rarest globally threatened bird, the Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarious, was seen at Bahrat Homs.

In January 2005, the Middle East Office of BirdLife International organized a training course for Iraqi wetland biologists at Bahrat Homs as part of an Environmental Training Programme for
Iraq. Their survey recorded 67,900 birds of 29 species.

Problems facing the lake are pollution from factories near Qattiné, disturbance from recreational use, fishing, shooting of wildfowl, high human population density. The lake was proposed as a Project Aqua conservation site by Syria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in the late 1960s.

References:http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/; http://www.cimiwetlands.net/doclib/CIMI_TechReport_3.PDF