Terrain shapes and bedrock
A centrally located region of Iraq is the lowlands around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. It is a lowering field with a fill area in the far south and separates a plateau-like desert area in the west from a narrow highland in the northeast. The land between the rivers, Mesopotamia, is widest in the north, narrows down to Baghdad and then broadens again to the south. This part is rich in lakes and marshland. At the bottom, the rivers below 160 km have a common race, Shatt al-Arab, which flows into the Persian Gulf. In the upper course the rivers flow through a high plain and are cut down into deep valleys. Tigris, who hails from the mountainous region of Turkey, has a violent race with falls down to Mosul. Downstream, the river receives several tributaries from the east. Big Zab, Little Zab and Diyala. In the vicinity of Baghdad, the rivers have a distinct meander course to lower down and become flatter with large levies.
The western desert area occupies about two-fifths of Iraq. It lowers from the border with Syria and Jordan, where the Syrian desert is spreading, down to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. In the hillside down towards the Euphrates, the bedrock goes into the day and gives rise to the stone desert (hammada). Part of the border with Kuwait is a rift. Further north is Wadiyah, an area with a network of wadis.
The north-eastern region is a highland that rises in large steps from Tigris towards Iran’s mountain ranges. The first is Jabal Hamrin and after it there are ridges with an average height of around 2 500 m above sea level. in Iraqi Kurdistan. At the Iranian border lies Iraq’s highest point, Rawanduz, 3,658 meters above sea level.
Soil moons in Iraq are heavy, fertile alluvial soils that become hard during the dry season and light light soils. Due to the evaporation, salts in the soil migrate to the surface (salinization) and constitute a difficult obstacle to cultivation.
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According to COUNTRYAAH, Iraq belongs to the desert climate belt in southwestern Asia. Summer (May – October) is generally hot and dry, while winter (December – March) is mild in the south and cold in the north. In central Iraq (Baghdad region), July has an average temperature of 35 ° C and January 10 ° C, as well as a rainfall of 150 mm per year. In January, the temperature can drop below freezing, even in southern Iraq. In the north-eastern region, 1,000 mm per year falls during the winter in the form of snow.
Desert and peninsula occupy most of Iraq. There is a sparse and poor vegetation of shrubs, such as the amaranth plant saxaul (Haloylonxylon peʹrsicum), low wooded perennials and a lot of annuals after the winter rains. Where access to drinking water has made it possible to keep grazing animals for longer periods, vegetation has been greatly depleted. In overgrown areas, perennials can be almost completely missing and replaced by the annual grass Stiʹpa capeʹnsis.
The northeastern part of Iraq has higher annual rainfall, 300 mm or more, and is covered by steppe or mountainous forest of several oak species, including Queʹrcus infectoʹria, and of the sumac plant Pistaʹcia atlaʹntica, with a rich undergrowth. Where the trees have disappeared, the poisonous and smelly pea plant often stinks (Anaʹgyris foetida [fe: ʹ-]), which is a shrub. Forests have in the past certainly had much greater distribution in the now treeless steppe areas.
The upper forest boundary is low, below 2,000 m above sea level. The higher mountain slopes are covered by heavily grazed irano-Turanic vegetation, rich in spiny cushion plants, including many wood species.
The lowlands around Euphrates and Tigris, that is, Mesopotamia, are intensively cultivated and largely irrigated. There are only small remnants of natural vegetation such as ash, poplar and tamarisk forest along the river banks. At Shatt al-Arab and Lower Euphrates there are large swamp areas with belts of leaf reed and rolling pin.
Among larger mammals in the desert and semi-desert areas are gold shawls, streaky hyena, caracal, dorkas gas, demand gas (Gazeʹlla subgutturoʹsa) and mungo. Lions existed before but disappeared around 1910. Arabian oryx disappeared in the early 1900s, and the half-asses are very rare. In the lush areas around the Euphrates and Tigris are among others. jungle cat (Feʹlis chaus [-a u s]) and in the mountains in the north, the mufflon sheep and now very rare brown bear, wolf, lo and possibly even leopard.
In desert and mountain areas are sandgrouse, whistling hen, Desert Lark (Ammo’manes dese’rti), desert runners and the cultivated areas in the south black francolin, white-eared bulbul (Pycnono’tus leuco’genys) and Iraq screams thrush (Turdoi’des altiro’stris) and common babbler (T. cauda’tus).
Molluscs include Moorish land tortoise, Caspian brook tortoise, many species of lizards (including agams), snakes and several species of viper.
In the rivers Euphrates and Tigris there is a large number of freshwater fish, especially carp fish. Gangeshaj has been observed in Tigris up to Baghdad.
Iraq has no legislation on nature conservation and no formal nature protection areas, nor has it signed the most important international nature protection conventions. There are a number of so-called national parks intended for recreation, but they have no statutes for protection of nature.