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Location Jordan, Balqa,Karak
Central coordinates 35o 48.00' East  31o 27.65' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B1iv, B2, B3
Area 20,500 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature



Site description Mountainous, rocky, sparsely vegetated desert (up to 800 m), with cliffs, gorges and deep wadis cutting through plateaus. Perennial, spring-fed streams flow down wadis to the shores of the hypersaline Dead Sea at 400 m below sea-level, and are lined with a narrow strip of Nerium scrub. Otherwise the slopes are very sparsely vegetated, with a steppe-type vegetation on plateaus. Groundwater seepage occurs rarely on rocky ground near the Dead Sea shore, especially at the hot springs of Zara, which support a luxuriant thicket of Acacia, Tamarix, Phoenix and Nerium, and a small marsh. The less-steep slopes of the higher elevations are mainly used as rangeland by pastoralists (for sheep/goats). The hot springs at Zarqa Ma'in (outside the site) are heavily used for tourism/recreation. The military have a temporary camp in the south of the reserve. Wadi Wala, upstream of Wadi Hidan and outside the reserve, is now a major water-extraction source for Amman.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi resident  1993  common  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor breeding  1990  rare  A3, B2  Near Threatened 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1993  10 breeding pairs  medium  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes passage  1992  8,000 individuals  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus winter  1985  1 individuals  poor  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus breeding  1993  1-5 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus passage  1990-1991  3 individuals  poor  B2  Endangered 
Hume's Owl Strix butleri resident  1993  present  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps resident  1993  present  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Tristram's Starling Onychognathus tristramii resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha resident  1993  present  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Blackstart Cercomela melanura resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus passage  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
House Bunting Emberiza striolata resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1993  8,200 individuals  poor  B1iv   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mujib Nature Reserve 21,200 is identical to site 20,500  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   minor
Desert   major
Grassland   major
Wetlands (inland)   minor
Shrubland   minor
Rocky areas   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
Notes: Agric/cultiv/Rangeland: Primarily rangeland
military minor
Notes: Other: Army
nature conservation and research 100%
Notes: Wildlife conservation/research
tourism/recreation minor
Notes: Tourism/Recreation
hunting minor
rangeland/pastureland major
Notes: Agric/cultiv/Rangeland: Primarily rangeland
fisheries/aquaculture minor

Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Capra nubiana (I) and Gazella gazella (V); Caracal caracal (rare) and Panthera pardus (rare) are reputed to occur. Flora: Himantoglossum affine (rare).

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Ian J. Andrews.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadi Mujib. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2014

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