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Location Egypt, Red Sea
Central coordinates 33o 30.00' East  27o 51.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iv
Area 100,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 457m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Conservation Eqypt (Affiliate)

Site description This site consists of a narrow, 100-km-long strip extending along the Gulf of Suez/Red Sea coast, from Ras Gharib in the north to the bay of Ghubbet El Gemsa in the south. Gebel El Zeit itself is an isolated, elongate mountain that reaches up to 457 m and overlooks the southern end of the Gulf of Suez. The eastern flank of the mountain falls steeply to the sea, while the western flank slopes more gently and merges with a 20-km-wide plain that separates Gebel El Zeit from the rest of the Red Sea hills further west. To the north there is a wide coastal plain fringed near the shore by several areas of sabkha, the largest of which is Sabkhet Ras Shukheir. This contains several pools of hyper-saline water and large patches of saltmarsh. To the south are Ghubbet El Zeit and Ghubbet El Gemsa, two large shallow bays with extensive intertidal mud and sandflats. Numerous small wadis drain the mountains of the area and dissect adjacent plains. These are lined with scattered Acacia trees.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  1998  uncommon  A1  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca passage  1992-1994  19 individuals  medium  A1  Vulnerable 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus passage  1992-1994  4 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus non-breeding  1998  common  A1  Near Threatened 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1989-1998  250,000 individuals  medium  A4iv   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Falcon-catching.

Other biodiversity Marine: There are seven species of sea grass in the bay of Ghubbet El Zeit forming one of the most diverse and extensive sea-grass beds in the northern Red Sea. These beds are potential feeding grounds for Dugong dugon (VU) and endangered marine turtles.

References Celmins (1998), Goodman and Meininger (1989), Grieve (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gebel El Zeit. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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