The story of Azraq is one of both destruction and regeneration. The signs of destruction are clearly visible: The two main marshes and pools have been drastically reduced over the past years, due to massive extraction of groundwater.
At the Ramsar Convention of 1977 the Azraq Oasis was declared to be an internationally important wetland and a small wetland reserve was established in the southern areas of the oasis. At that time the wetland contained large areas of permanent marshland and several deep spring-fed pools. Unfortunately, many of these have dried up because of massive extraction of groundwater from the oasis. The cities of Amman and Zarqa are now trying to locate alternative water sources and farmers are being encouraged to adopt more efficient irrigation practices. The main pools have been dredged and water is being pumped back into them through irrigation pipes. Water buffaloes have also been reintroduced to control the invasive reeds and keep areas of open water for birds. Birds are now returning to the oasis, but not in the vast numbers it once attracted. The endemic killifish has also been rediscovered and a rescue programme is underway to save it from extinction.
The best time to visit Azraq is late Autumn, Winter or Spring. Winter rains often create pools and marshes over the reserve, which continue to attract many seasonal species of birds. The success of bird-watching visits depends largely on the amount of water that has accumulated in the reserve.