|Location||Lebanon, North Lebanon|
|Central coordinates||35o 46.25' East 34o 29.40' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, B2|
|Altitude||0 - 6m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Site description A group of three flat, rocky islands of eroded limestone pavement (rising to 6 m), c.13 km offshore and north-west of Tripoli, together with their surrounding seas. Palm Island (Jazirat al-Nakhl or Ile du Palmier) is the largest (20 ha), and has a sand beach on its north and east sides, and a central depression where rainwater accumulates in winter. Parts of the islands are flooded with seawater during storms. There is some very stunted maquis-type vegetation in clefts in the limestone but the islands are otherwise relatively bare, except in spring when carpeted in wildflowers. On Palm Island there are also some small ponds, boggy areas and stands of reed Phragmites. The islands are commonly visited by picnicers, tourists, hunters, school parties and fishermen. There is a freshwater well on Palm Island, as well as some half-built concrete buildings and some ruins from antiquity. There is a lighthouse on Ramkin Island. The third island is called Sanani.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii||non-breeding||1973||18 adults only||good||A1, B2||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Palm Island||Nature Reserve||500||is identical to site||500|
|Palm Islands Nature Reserve||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||415||protected area contained by site||415|
|Palmier, Ramkin, Sanani (Iles de Lapins)||Barcelona Convention||500||is identical to site||500|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Rocky shores; Shallow marine waters||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Mammals: old records of Monachus monachus (E), perhaps up until the 1960s. Reptiles: old records of sea-turtles Chelonia mydas (E) and Caretta caretta (E) nesting on the sand beaches. Flora: some wildflower species are nationally endangered or extinct along the mainland coast, or otherwise unusual, e.g. Euphorbia pithyusa, Cressa cretica.
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Assad Serhal.
References Carp (1980), Haber et al. (no date), Tohmé (1973), Tohmé and Neuschwander (1974).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Palm Islands Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/07/2014
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