Survey for cave animals of Iraqi Kurdistan

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/05/2017
Views (329) Download (15)

Survey for cave animals of Iraqi Kurdistan

Mohammad K. Mohammad, Saman R. Afrasiab, Aqeel Abbas Al-Zubaidi, M.S. Abdul-Rassoul
J. Bio. Env. Sci.10( 5), 217-232, May 2017.
Certificate: JBES 2017 [Generate Certificate]


Many caves were developed in Iraqi Kurdistan such as Shera Swar Cave within carbonate rocks (Upper Campanian- Maastrichtian) on the south west flank of Safeen Anticline; Shanider Cave within carbonate rocks (Late Early Cretaceous) on the south west flank of Bradost Anticline; Beeston Cave within carbonate rocks (Late Early Cretaceous) on the north east flank of Bradost Anticline; Sarkerdayate Caves within carbonate rocks (Upper Paleocene) near Chimy Razan Valley; Hawraman Caves: within carbonate rocks (Upper Triassic); Hamashowana Cave; Ashcawte (Cave) Gawaran and Hazar Merd Cave: within carbonate rock bed units (Upper Paleocene). A survey was conducted to animals live in these caves reveals presence of 46 species belonging to 8 classes, 15 orders, 26 families, and 39 genera. The following a systematic list of animals of caves recorded in this study in Iraqi Kurdistan. Results show no true troglofauna, except for one bat species; or stygofauna were recorded in the studied caves. Present animal collection of cave animals encounters a beetle, two soft ticks, a woodlouse, two scorpions, a centipede, a land snail, 9 reptiles including 5 lizards and 4 snakes, 21 birds and 8 mammals. Cave animals were divided into 3 categories: animals of cave entrance, animals of inside cave and animals of deep inside cave most of animals fall in the first category followed by second one while the third category represented by one species only. A tentative conservation status assessment for each species was provided.


Afrasiab SR, Mohamad SI. 2009. A study on cave-dwelling geckos of Iraq, with the description of a new species from Saffine mountain (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Zoology in the Middle East, 47, 49-56.

Afrasiab SR, Mohamad SI. 2011. First record of the Rat Snake, Zamenishohenackeri(Strauch, 1873), from north-eastern Iraq with notes on other colubrid snakes. – Zoology in the Middle East 54, 19 – 22.

Afrasiab SR, Mohamad SI, Hossain RH. 2013. A review of the Lacertini of Iraq in Iraqi collections (squamata: sauria: Lacertidae). Herpetozoa, 25 (3/4), 93 – 100.

Afrasiab Lahony SR Mohammad MK, Ali HH, Al- Moussawi AA.  Abd Al-Rasul. 2013. Fauna and Flora of Hawraman Mountain, (part one). Bull.Iraq nat. Hist. Mus., 12(4), 7-4.

Alaadin AM. 2008. Halabcha District, Regional Geographical Study.Kurdology Center, Sulaimaniya.

Al-Robaae K. 1976. On a collection of mammals from Mousel, north Iraq. Bulletin of Basrah Natural History Museum 3, 67–76.

Al-Zubaidi AA, Jane SK, Hadi AM. 2014. Geological Diversity and its Importance on Biodiversity SW Safeen Mountain- Erbil, Kurdistan, North Iraq. Adv. Biores. 5(2), 53-60.

Amr ZS. Disi AM. 2011. Systematics, distribution and ecology of the snakes of Jordan. Vertebrate Zoology, 61(2), 179 – 266.

Anastos G. 1957. The ticks, or Ixodoides, of the U.S.S.R.- A review of the literature. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health. 397 p.

Bellen RC Van Dunnington HV, Wetzel R, Morton DM. 1959 Lexique Stratigraphique Internotional Asie, 3, Fasc. 10a , Iraq , Paris , 333 p.

Braidwood RJ,Hawe B. 1972. Prehistoric Investigation in Iraqi Kurdistan .Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization. No. 13. The University of Chicago Press, 184 p.

Buday T. 1980. The Regional Geology of Iraq. Vol. 1, Stratigraphy and Paleogeography.SOM Baghdad.

Cividanes FJ, Santos-Cividanes TM. 2008. Distribuição de Carabidae e Staphylinidaeemagroecossistemas. Pesq.agropec. bras., Brasília, 43(2), 157-162 P.

Davis WE Morgan IM. 2014. Geology of Caves. In USGS, Science for changing world, geology in the Parks.

Evenari M, Shanan L, Tadmor N. 1971.The Negev.The challenge of a desert. Hervard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 345 p.

Harrison DL. 1956. Mammals from Kurdistan, Iraq, with Description of a New Bat. J. Mammal., 37, 257-63.

Harrison DL. 1964. The Mammals of Arabia.Insectivora, Chiroptera, Primates. Vol.1. Ernest Benn Ltd. 1–192.

Hatt RT. 1959. The Mammals of Iraq. Miscellanous Publicatios, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 1, 113 p.

Ilgaz C, Arıkan H, Kumlutaş Y, Avci A. 2010. Electrophoretic comparison of blood-serum proteins of Apathyacappadocica (Sauria, Lacertidae) subspecies from Anatolia. Acta Herpetologica 5(2), 207-215.

Jassim, SZ, Goff, JC. 2006.Geology of Iraq.Published by Dolin, Prague and Moravian Museum Brno.

Kadhim AHH. 1997. Distribution and reproduction of the Indian Crested Porcupine Hystrixindica (Hystricidae: Rodentia) in Iraq. Zoology in the Middle East, 15(1), 9-12.

Khalaf KI. 1963. Scorpions reported from Iraq. Bulletin of Endemic Diseases (Baghdad), 5(1–2), 59–70.

Khalaf L. 1962. A small collection of scorpions from Iraq. Bulletin of the Iraq Natural History Institute, 2(4), 1–3.

Lahony SRA. 2011. Cave dwelling animals in Iraq Part 2: Systematic notes on the Nuthatch of the family Sittidae (Aves: Passeriformes) in Iraq with adding some important knowledge to the nest building of Sitta tephronata Sharpe from Besan Valley Hawraman slope, Iraqi Kurdistan. Bull. Iraq Nat. Hist. Mus., 11(3),  17 -24.

Lewis JGE. 2001. Scolopendromorph centipedes (Chilopoda: Scolopendromorpha) collected in northern Iraq by Dr. Hywel Roberts with a review of previous records. Arthropoda Selecta, 10(2), 151-154.

Lewis JGE. 2010. A key and annotated list of the Scolopendra species of the Old World with a reappraisal of Arthrorhabdus (Chilopoda: Scolopendromorpha: Scolopendridae). International Journal of Myriapodology, 3, 83-122.

Mahlow K,Tillack F, Schmidtler JF.  Müller J. 2013. An annotated checklist, description and key to the dwarf snakes of the genus EirenisJan, 1863 (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae), with special emphasis on the dentition. Vertebrate Zoology, 63(1), 41 – 85.

Mohammad MK. 1999. Species of the soft tick genus Argas (Acarina, Ixodoidea) in Iraq. Bull. Iraq nat. Hist. Mus., 9(1), 131-135.

Nader IA, Kock D. 1983. Note on some bats from the Near East (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Zeitschrift Saugetierk 48, 19

Niazi AD. 1976. On the Mediterranean Horseshoe bat from Iraq. Bull. Iraq nat. Hist. Mus., 7(1), 167-176.

Parash H, Oraie A, Khosravani N, Rastegar-Pouyani N. 2009. Systematics and Distribution of the Iranian Plateau Leaf-toed Geckos of the Genus Asaccus (Sauria: Gekkonidae). Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics (IJAB), 5(2), 43-55.

Pringle G. 1960. Notes on the scorpions of Iraq. Bull. End. Dis. Baghdad, 3(3&4), 73-87.

Schleich HH, Kästle W, Kabisch K. 1996.  Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. – Koeltz. Koenigstein, 627 p.

Schmalfuss H, Wolf-Schwenninger K. 2002. A bibliography of terrestrial isopods (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea). Stuttgarter Beitragezur Naturkunde, Serie A, Nr. 639, 120 p.

Sissakian, VK. 1997. Geological map of Arbeel and Mahabad Quadrangles sheets NJ-38-14 and NJ-38-15.

Solecki R. 1952. A Paleolithic Site in the Zagros Mountain of Northern Iraq. Report on a Sounding at Shanidar Cave, 1(8),  127-161.

Stevanovic Z, Iurkiewicz A, Maran A. 2009. New Insights into karst and caves of northwestern Zagros (Northern Iraq). ACTA Carsologica, 38(1), p 83-96.

Talabani MJA. 2013. Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Avroman Formation (Triassic) North Eastern Iraq.Unpub. Ph. D. Thesis. 100 p. Wollongong University, Australia.