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Location Egypt, Red Sea
Central coordinates 34o 48.00' East  23o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 100,000 ha
Altitude 300 - 400m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Conservation Eqypt (Affiliate)



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 areas

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
other -
Notes: Firewood collection; charcoal production.

Other 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.

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 20/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife