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Location Jordan, Zarqa
Central coordinates 36o 41.38' East  31o 45.42' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 32,200 ha
Altitude 510 - 540m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature



Site description Low-relief, chert 'hammada' desert at 500-600 m intersected by broad, sandy wadi spreads draining into Qa al Azraq and only flowing after occasional winter or spring floods. Shaumari Wildlife Reserve (31°48'N 36°49'E, 2,200 ha) is strongly fenced to exclude domestic livestock and trespassers, and the vegetation is in markedly better condition than in the adjacent Azraq Desert Grazing Reserve (32,000 ha) and other surrounding, grazed areas. The Grazing Reserve was also fenced but this is now in disrepair. Wadis are dominated by sparse scrub of Tamarix, Retama, Amygdalus, Artemisia, Achillea and Atriplex, which however forms relatively luxuriant bushland within the Wildlife Reserve; there are flat gravel and silt areas in between wadis. Wadi al Butm (31°50'N 36°35'E, 1,000 ha; also called Wadi Usaymir), in the Grazing Reserve, is notable for the mature Pistacia atlantica trees which line it, and has occasional flood-pools in winter. The HQ of the Wildlife Reserve has many eucalyptus and casuarina trees. Main human activities are nomadic pastoralism, tourism (frescos at Qasr Amra) and picnicing.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  1993  1-5 individuals  medium  B2  Vulnerable 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  1993  1,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor breeding  1975-1977  10 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis resident  1975-1977  max 1 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes resident  1975-1977  90 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Lark Rhamphocoris clotbey resident  1975-1977  1 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura resident  1975-1977  uncommon breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti resident  1975-1977  20 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla passage  1975-1977  100-125 individuals  poor    Least Concern 
Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens breeding  1975-1977  200 breeding pairs  poor    Least Concern 
Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha resident  1975-1977  280 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  1975-1977  55 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis resident  1999-2001  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii winter  1975-1977  50 individuals  poor    Least Concern 
Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta resident  1975-1977  1 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti resident  1975-1977  125 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus resident  1975-1977  25 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Azraq Desert Forest and Rangeland Reserve 30,000 protected area contained by site 30,000  
Shaumari Wildlife Reserve 2,200 protected area contained by site 2,200  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   100%
Forest   minor
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 6%
rangeland/pastureland 94%
tourism/recreation 10%

Other biodiversity Mammals: Caracal caracal (rare); reintroduction of extinct fauna such as Oryx leucoryx (currently c.130 individuals), Gazella subgutturosa and Equus hemionus onager is ongoing. Reptiles: Varanus griseus (rare) probably occurs.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Ian J. Andrews.

References Clarke (1980, 1982).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shaumari. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/04/2014

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