|Central coordinates||37o 50.59' East 32o 38.45' North|
|IBA criteria||A3, B2, B3|
|Altitude||500 - 1,200m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See box for key species. A relatively rich and intact desert bird community. Other proven or probable breeding species include Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaetos, Alectoris chukar, Cursorius cursor, Charadrius leschenaultii, Ramphocoris clotbey, Eremophila bilopha and Oenanthe lugens (a dark morph, endemic to the basalt desert of northern Arabia). Ghadir Burqu is an important water source for large numbers of raptors during autumn migration, e.g. Circus pygargus (daily max. 85, September), and a wide variety of waders and passerines are also attracted on migration and in winter. Up to 100 Grus grus overwinter around Ghadir Burqu.
Site description Desert landscape of flint/chert plains (hammada) in the east, flattish to gently rolling country covered in black basalt boulders (harrat) in the west, interspersed with siltflats and many shallow wadis. Plant cover is generally sparse, mainly limited to the shallow wadis and dominated by woody perennial herbs such as Artemisia, Anabasis and Achillea. There are no trees or large bushes. Within the reserve there is a near-permanent, spring-fed freshwater pool (200 ha) at Ghadir Burqu which is a major source of water for the livestock of bedouin living in a wide surrounding area. The main land-use is nomadic pastoralism and cultivation is very limited. An ancient Nabataean/Roman castle, Qasr Burqu, lies at the edge of the harrat.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus||winter||1993||rare [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Saker Falcon Falco cherrug||winter||1993||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B2||Endangered|
|Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca||winter||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Vulnerable|
|Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata||winter||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Vulnerable|
|Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii||breeding||1993||frequent [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor||breeding||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Thick-billed Lark Rhamphocoris clotbey||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti||breeding||1993||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale Rock Sparrow Petronia brachydactyla||breeding||1993||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Water supply|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), and possibly Caracal caracal (rare) and Gazella subgutturosa (rare).
Management considerations Burqu Wildlife Reserve is currently under establishment; its designation in the future as a (possibly trans-border) Biosphere Reserve is being investigated. Large fauna proposed for re-introduction include Struthio camelus, Acinonyx jubatus, Gazella spp., Oryx leucoryx and Equus hemionus. Vast areas of the harrat are inaccessible even to four-wheel-drive vehicles due to the bouldery terrain, and are a true refuge for wildlife from hunting and human disturbance. Very intense grazing by camels, sheep and goats is the main environmental problem, this being especially obvious on the hammada. In addition, vehicle access to the hammada plains is virtually unlimited, and the desert crust here has been considerably scarred by tracks. The ease of access facilitates hunting of large animals, which was a major problem at least formerly. Local problems are disturbance of wildlife by military activity, creation of new vehicle-tracks within the harrat (providing increased access to isolated areas locally) and quarrying. At Ghadir Burqu, the trapping of birds of prey is a major problem and bird shooting is often excessive; water extraction by pastoralists for their flocks could have a serious impact on the lake in the near future if current trends continue.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Burqu'. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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