|Location||Egypt, Red Sea|
|Central coordinates||34o 48.00' East 23o 25.00' North|
|Altitude||300 - 400m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Abraq area encompasses a complex network of steep sandstone hills and winding sandy wadis, the best known of which are Wadi Naam, Wadi Abraq and Wadi Abu Saafa, which drain eastwards into Wadi Hodein, and thence into the Red Sea. There are a number of perennial springs in the region, of which Bir Abraq and Bir Abu Saafa are the most famous. The area is part of the extremely arid Nubian (southern) section of the Eastern Desert, and is unique in that it represents an enclave of sandstone located east of the Red Sea–Nile valley hydrological divide of the Eastern Desert Mountains. At least 107 plant species are known. The area has moderate vegetation cover, which is largely confined to wadi beds and dominated by Acacia, Zilla and Aerva.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The Abraq area supports a breeding avifauna that includes a large proportion of Egypt’s Sahara–Sindian biome-restricted species. The area also probably still holds breeding populations of several declining or rare birds of prey in Egypt, including Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus and Hieraaetus fasciatus. The springs in the area are important watering stations for large populations of sandgrouse Pterocles. Both Pterocles lichtensteinii and Pterocles coronatus use the water resources of the area extensively.
Non-bird biodiversity: Reptiles: No fewer than 20 reptile species occur, including good populations of the declining Uromastyx ocellata. Mammals: Gazella dorcas (VU) and Capra nubiana (EN) are known from the area.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sooty Falcon Falco concolor||breeding||1998||present||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pharaoh Eagle-owl Bubo ascalaphus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Hume's Owl Strix butleri||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale Crag-martin Hirundo obsoleta||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Elba||National Park||3,035,076||protected area contains site||100,000|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Firewood collection; charcoal production.|
References Kassas (1993).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: The Abraq area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014
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