|Central coordinates||39o 5.88' East 14o 52.14' North|
|Altitude||1,500 - 1,800m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site lies at the southern end of the Central Plateau on the edge of the escarpment, where it falls down steeply to the valley of the Mareb river. In places there are sheer cliffs, dropping as much as 600 m to the river. The site is about 40 km north-west of Senafe (ER013). Bird records from the general area of ‘Mareb escarpment’ and Mai Aini, show that the area merits definition as an IBA. Further survey work will be needed to define the boundaries of a site in this general area. The cliffs and hills are covered in dry upland scrub and grassland (Olea, Euphorbia, Dodonaea, Opuntia, Barleria and sparse Acacia spp., together with Rumex nervosus, Rosa abyssinica, Ocimum menthaefolium and Aloe abyssinica). On flatter ground adjoining the Mareb, at c.1,500 m and above, are doum palm, Hyphaene thebaica, other trees, rank undergrowth and some areas of cultivation and grassland.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. There are old records (from the 1950s) of Emberiza cineracea occurring ‘on the Mareb’, but no information is given about altitude or location. This is one of only two IBAs in which the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome species Myrmecocichla albifrons occurs. It is the only IBA in Eritrea within which the Somali–Masai biome species Cercomela scotocerca is recorded and the area was said to be the ‘main haunt, with flocks of 20 and more’ for another Somali–Masai species, Tockus hemprichii, in the 1950s. In addition, there are records for three Sahel biome species and four Afrotropical Highlands biome species; see Table 2.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Fox Kestrel Falco alopex||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Hemprich's Hornbill Lophoceros hemprichii||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown-tailed Chat Cercomela scotocerca||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bush Petronia Petronia dentata||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||83%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Smith (1960), Zinner (in press).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mareb escarpment. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/05/2015
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