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Location Oman, Ad Dakhliyah,Al Batinah
Central coordinates 57o 40.00' East  23o 7.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 187,000 ha
Altitude 600 - 2,980m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description A huge tabular mass of uplifted and greatly hardened limestone which dominates the Hajar mountains of northern Oman, ranging from 600 m up to the twin peaks of Jabal Shams at 2,980 m, the highest in eastern Arabia. The sloping strata of this anticline form pavements which end abruptly in the precipitous northern face. The southern slopes are dissected by deep gorges and there are several springs. The Acacia tortilis parkland of the lowest altitudes gives way to Euphorbia larica shrub slopes, then on broken ground above 1,350 m to MonothecaOlea woodland, and above 2,300 m to the summit zone of large Juniperus trees and perennial tussock grasses. Many small villages and other settlements occur in the mountains where there are adequate sources of perennial water; formerly remote, they are now being increasingly linked by graded roads. The larger settlements cultivate extensive date-palm plantations, sometimes on terraces, except at Sayq, where there are other crops, e.g. rose gardens. Pastoralism is practised wherever possible.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala resident  1993  frequent [units unknown]  B3  Least Concern 
Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi resident  1993  common [units unknown]  B3  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus non-breeding  1993  50 individuals  good  B2  Endangered 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus resident  1993  uncommon [units unknown]  B2  Endangered 
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos non-breeding  1993  15 individuals  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos resident  1993  3 breeding pairs  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Pallid Scops-owl Otus brucei resident  1993  2 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha resident  1993  uncommon [units unknown]  B3  Least Concern 
Hume's Wheatear Oenanthe albonigra resident  1993  common [units unknown]  B3  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport minor
agriculture minor
rangeland/pastureland major

Other biodiversity The mountain provides an important refuge for endemic and relict species: at least 14 plant species, eight reptile and three fish species or subspecies endemic, near-endemic or apparently endemic to Oman are known. Mammals: the rare ungulate Hemitragus jayakari (V), endemic to the northern mountains of northern Oman, still occurs as do Gazella gazella (V) and Canis lupus (V), though all are threatened.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht.

References Gallagher (1977).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jabal al Akhdar. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014

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