|Location||Egypt, Red Sea|
|Central coordinates||36o 12.00' East 23o 37.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 235m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Eight bird species have been found breeding: Sula leucogaster, Platalea leucorodia, Falco concolor, Larus leucophthalmus, Sterna caspia, Sterna bengalensis, Sterna anaethetus and Sterna repressa. In October 1994, about 150 pairs of Falco concolor were found breeding on the island, representing a significant proportion of the world population.
Site description Zabargad (or St John) is small triangular island rising abruptly from deep water in the Red Sea to about 235 m, some 60 km south-east of Ras Banas. It is geologically unique, amongst the Red Sea islands, in being composed of uplifted mantle and lower crustal metamorphic rocks. Vegetation is scant and mainly limited to halophytic flora.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Sooty Falcon Falco concolor||breeding||-||150 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Near Threatened|
|White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus||breeding||-||50 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Elba||National Park||3,035,076||protected area contains site||450|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Marine life: The island is surrounded by some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the Egyptian Red Sea. Reptiles: Remains of ‘hundreds’ of marine turtles were found in December 1997, which probably come to the island to nest, most likely involving Chelonia mydas (EN).
Management considerations Zabargad is part of the Elba National Park, which was declared by Prime Ministerial Decree 450/1986, adjusted by Prime Ministerial Decree 1186/1986 and Prime Ministerial Decree 642/1995. The number of tourists visiting this island and its surrounding reefs increased dramatically in the past few years and started to degrade the coral reefs in the area and increase disturbance to nesting birds on the island. This led the EEAA, in collaboration with the coast guard, to close the area to visitors for about a year until better controls on human activities were in place.
References Coleman (1993), Frazier and Salas (1984).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Zabargad island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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