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Location Jordan, Ma'an
Central coordinates 35o 25.36' East  30o 19.21' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, B1iv, B2, B3
Area 26,700 ha
Altitude 900 - 1,250m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature



Site description High-relief, rocky, sandstone mountains (700-1,450 m) overlooking Wadi Araba, on the western edge of the Sharrah Mountains, with high cliffs, caves and numerous gorges and dry wadis which flow down to Wadi Araba during storms. Rain falls mainly in winter (100-300 mm; average 180 mm p.a.), when there can be snow; there are two springs. Vegetation-types include Artemisia steppe on rocky plateaus, typical Saharo-Arabian desert wadi-spread with Acacia and Calotropis, lush growth at springs and remnants of formerly more extensive Mediterranean Quercus-Juniperus woodland on mountain slopes; more than 200 plant species have been recorded. Petra is a world-famous antiquities site, and tourism is the major land-use in the National Park; however nomadic pastoralists also graze livestock in the wider area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor breeding  1983  1-5 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1983  1-5 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  1983  1-5 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Endangered 
Hume's Owl Strix butleri resident  1983  1-5 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Tristram's Starling Onychognathus tristramii resident  1983  50 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus non-breeding  1993  frequent  A1, A2, B2  Vulnerable 
Pale Rosefinch Carpodacus synoicus resident  1983  70 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1993  3,000 individuals  poor  B1iv   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Petra National Park 12,200 protected area contained by site 12,200  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation 40%
Notes: Tourism
agriculture minor
rangeland/pastureland major
hunting minor

Other biodiversity Flora: Iris petrana (endemic), Verbascum transjordanicum (endemic), Cupressus sempervirens (experiencing cutting pressure).

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Ian J. Andrews.

References Wittenberg (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Petra. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2014

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