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Location Djibouti, Obock,Tadjoura
Central coordinates 43o 0.00' East  11o 58.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 4,300 ha
Altitude 371 - 1,247m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Djibouti Nature (Affiliate)

Site description The site comprises a wooded area on the Mabla mountain massif, c.25 km west of Obock. The site is little-known biologically, partly because security problems have restricted visits since c.1990. The area consists of mountains and plateaus, intersected by numerous narrow wadis. Some remnants of Juniperus woodland reportedly exist, but most of the woodland is degraded, with signs of significant human disturbance. The secondary woodland is dominated by Acacia seyal (characteristic of disturbed areas) and Buxus hildebranti, with Acacia etbaica locally dominant and B. hildebranti the main species in the densely vegetated wadis. Several villages occur within the IBA or just outside, and the area is used for grazing livestock and firewood-collection.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site is one of only two known for Francolinus ochropectus (Critically Endangered); in 1985 the population was estimated at c.200 birds, but current figures and trends are unknown. The site is little-known ornithologically but, in addition to six species of the Somali–Masai biome, two Sahel and one Sahara–Sindian biome species are also found here (see Table 2). In 1985, the site held one pair of resident Aquila verreauxii and the only known breeding colony of Gyps rueppellii in the country (Welch et al. 1986); the distinctive yellow-tailed form of Pytilia melba, of uncertain taxonomic status, has been seen here (Welch and Welch 1998).

Non-bird biodiversity: A few remnant trees of Juniperus procera (LR/nt) occur. The mammal Papio hamadryas (LR/nt) is reasonably common and Oreotragus oreotragus (LR/cd) has been recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Djibouti Francolin Pternistis ochropectus resident  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hemprich's Hornbill Lophoceros hemprichii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   48%
Grassland   52%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
other -
Notes: Firewood collection.

References Blot (1985), Welch and Welch (1985).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mabla. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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