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Location Egypt, Aswan,Luxor,Qena
Central coordinates 32o 43.00' East  25o 9.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 15,000 ha
Altitude 100 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Conservation Eqypt (Affiliate)



Site description The site comprises a portion of the Nile river extending some 190 km between Luxor and Kom Ombo. The river forms an elongate wetland that meanders through the densely populated agricultural landscape of the Nile valley. Since the closure of the High Dam in 1964, the Nile down stream from Aswan experiences water-level changes of only small amplitude. This has allowed dense swamp vegetation, mainly Phragmites and Typha, to become established in many places along the riverbanks, which were previously largely devoid of vegetation. Bare sandy or muddy banks come into existence seasonally, depending on the water-level, which is lowest in winter. A number of islands are found along this stretch of the river, many of which hold good reed-swamp vegetation. About 40% of the arable land in this section of the Nile valley is cultivated with sugar-cane. Other crops are date-palms, maize, wheat and alfalfa. Fishing probably provides important income to many families inhabiting the region. In 1990, 589 boats and 1,178 fishermen were active on the Nile in Aswan Governorate.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. This is the stretch of the Nile river with the highest concentrations of wintering waterbirds in Egypt. In the winter of 1989/90, 21,100 waterbirds were counted in this region. The river immediately above the Isna Barrage appears to hold the largest numbers of waterbirds within the site. The islands are particularly attractive to resting waterbirds. Aythya nyroca winters in internationally important numbers. Netta rufina winters regularly in small numbers, while Marmaronetta angustirostris is an irregular and rare winter visitor, last recorded from the area in 1983. This section of the Nile valley is likely to be of importance for staging waterbirds and other migrants, such as Ciconia ciconia, during the migration seasons.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  730 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1989-1990  21,100 individuals  good  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nile River Islands Protected Area 0 unknown 0  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References Aswan Governorate (1993), Goodman and Meininger (1989), Meininger and Atta (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Upper Nile. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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