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Location Egypt, North Sinai
Central coordinates 34o 22.00' East  30o 39.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 100 - 509m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Conservation Eqypt (Affiliate)



Site description A region of rolling limestone hills dissected by numerous wadis. The most important of the latter is Wadi El Gedeirat, a narrow, winding wadi bounded by steep hills. To the north is Gebel El Ain (509 m). A small, perennial creek flows from the spring of Ain El Gedeirat, creating an elongate oasis with dense swamp vegetation dominated by Phragmites and Tamarix. Old olive-groves and cultivated fields cover most of the wadi bed. Some water from Ain El Gedeirat is piped further downstream to irrigated fields and orchards near the village of Quseima. The surrounding desert is formed of hills interspersed with medium-sized gravel-plains with good vegetation cover. The flora of the region has a strong Irano–Turanian influence. Thymelaea is a prominent plant in this landscape. The ruins of the ancient fortress of Qadesh Barnea are found in the centre of the wadi. Ain Qadis is a further, smaller spring located c.7 km south-east of Ain El Gedeirat. This spring flows only a short distance into the desert and lacks the vegetation cover that Ain El Gedeirat supports.

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  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 
Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pharaoh Eagle-owl Bubo ascalaphus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hume's Owl Strix butleri resident  1998  unknown  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 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackstart Cercomela melanura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

Other biodiversity Flora: Many Irano–Turanian floral elements, of limited distribution in Egypt, are found here. Crustacea: the perennial creek in Wadi El Gedeirat is the only known locality in which the freshwater crab Potamon potamios palaestinensis is found in Egypt. Reptiles: The rare Walterinnesia aegyptia is known from the area. Mammals: A small population of Capra nubiana (EN) still remains in adjacent hills.

References Baha el Din and Salama (1991).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Quseima. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014

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