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Location Lebanon, Beqaa,Mount Lebanon
Central coordinates 35o 41.70' East  33o 41.22' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 1,750 m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Society for the Protection of Nature and Natural Resources in Lebanon

Summary Situated in the Shouf Mountains, this IBA expands over a total area of 20,000 ha. It is the largest nature reserve in Lebanon (approx. 5% of the Territory) encompassing the best remaining strand of cedar forests where over 160 bird species have been recorded. It is also a very diverse holding forest, grassland, and shrubland.

Site description The best remaining stand of cedar Cedrus libani forest in Lebanon, in a mountainous, rocky area at 1,750 m, covered in snow between December and March. The forest is relatively open, with much scrub, and about 10% of the area is under cultivation. Currently the area is primarily used for hunting, tourism and recreation, secondarily for forestry, rangeland and wildlife conservation.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other breeding species include Alectoris chukar (if not extinct), Lullula arborea, Eremophila alpestris, Anthus similis, Oenanthe oenanthe, O. hispanica, Sylvia hortensis, Parus lugubris, Pyrrhocorax graculus (possible), Emberiza cia (possible) and E. caesia. Migrants include Ciconia ciconia.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Sciurus anomalus (relict), Mongoose (present at site, highly endangered in other parts of the country. Flora: there are many endemic plants, and Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris resident  1974  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  2005  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea breeding  2005  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Rock-nuthatch Sitta neumayer resident  2005  present  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  1976-1977  3 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus breeding  2005-2007  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia breeding  2005-2007  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 low not assessed high

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Shouf UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 52,260 protected area contains site 20,000  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Society for Arz El-Chouf 1994


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate  major
Grassland Temperate  major
Shrubland Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation major
hunting major
rangeland/pastureland minor
forestry minor
nature conservation and research major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Assad Serhal.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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