Artemia franciscana
artificial pond
, migrating birds

How to Cite

Ali, M. H., Mohammed, H. H., Abdulla, D. S., & Ahmed, H. K. (2023). BRINE SHRIMP PROVIDES A RICH-HIGH ENERGY FOOD FOR MIGRATING BIRDS: A CASE STUDY OF AN ARTIFICIAL POND IN BASRAH, IRAQ. Pakistan Journal of Marine Sciences, 32(1), 63–72. Retrieved from


A case study focusing on the attraction of migrating birds by brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) into an artificial pond in Basrah, Iraq. A dump area had constructed at the intertidal mudflat’s zone of Khor Al-Zubair Channel, Basrah, Iraq. Basra Gas Company implemented a dredging operation to increase the channel depth in 2019 to use the dump area as a disposal place for the company’s benthic sediments, which are usually mixed with seawater, converting the dump area to a large hypersaline artificial pond. Unexpectedly, the pond became a habitat for many shorebird species a few months later. The pond has been surveyed five times between March 2019 and January 2020. For each survey, frequent environmental and biological events were observed. Due to high temperature during most summer months (30-50°C), the water level decreased dramatically to (< 0.5 m), which ultimately led to increase levels of salinity in the pond (80 psu). Moreover, growth of blue-green algae was observed and appearance of brine shrimp A. franciscana. During autumn and winter surveys, an abundance of live A. franciscana and their cysts was observed. Birds appeared to forage primarily on A. franciscana in the pond. The abundance of brine shrimp attracts migrating birds to exploit this prey. 11 species of migrating birds were detected in the pond. These species were flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, flocks of avocet Ricurvirosta avosetta and Shelduck Tadorna tadorna. Therefore, this site with abundant food resources could provide a rich-high energy food for migrating birds and staging area for a long flight.



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Copyright (c) 2023 Malik Hassan Ali, Hanaa Hussein Mohammed, Dawood Salman Abdulla, Huda Kadhim Ahmed