email a friend
printable version
Location Oman, Musandam
Central coordinates 56o 29.00' East  26o 13.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, B1i, B1ii, B2
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description At least 16 rugged, rather barren islands offshore of the Musandam region (mainly to the north and east), together with their surrounding seas. See 'Conservation issues' for names and areas.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Jazirat Umm al Fayyarin is the most important seabird breeding island in the Musandam region, but six of the other islands add significantly to the diversity of breeding seabirds covered by the proposed system of Nature Conservation Areas. Notable concentrations of feeding seabirds also occur in the rich seas offshore during migration seasons and in winter. Sterna anaethetus nests in important numbers on Jazirat Umm al Fayyarin, and other breeding species include Phaethon aethereus (confirmed or suspected on all of the islands; daily max. 100 birds, outside breeding season in January), Egretta gularis (20 pairs, on Jazirat Lima), Pandion haliaetus (c.30 pairs on all Musandam islands; 8–9 pairs on the seven most important breeding seabird islands), Falco concolor (2 pairs) and abundant Apus pallidus. Notable passage migrants include Larus ridibundus (abundant in winter) and Larus genei (min. 450, November).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Puffinus lherminieri passage  1993  325 individuals  poor  B1ii, B2  Not Recognised 
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus breeding  1993  20 breeding pairs  poor  B1ii  Least Concern 
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus non-breeding  1993  100 individuals  poor  A4ii, B1ii  Least Concern 
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis non-breeding  1993  2,000 individuals  poor  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus breeding  1993  4,000-5,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea   major
Coastline   minor
Desert   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
urban/industrial/transport minor

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Musandam islands. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife