Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve
Lebanon, Beqaa,Mount Lebanon
35o 41.70' East 33o 41.22' North
A1, A2, A3
Year of IBA assessment
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)