email a friend
printable version
Location Oman, Al Wusta
Central coordinates 56o 30.00' East  19o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B2
Area 2,750,000 ha
Altitude 20 - 300m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description A limestone plateau with sandy depressions, sand/gravel plains, karst, sand-dunes, hills and escarpments, ranging from 20 to 200 m elevation. There are occasional trees and bushes of Acacia ehrenbergiana, Acacia tortilis and Prosopis cineraria, but the vegetation consists mainly of sparse, low shrubs and ephemeral grasses. The area is relatively well-vegetated, given the low average annual rainfall, due to regular condensation of fog moisture blowing in off the sea. Al Huqf is a low, discontinuous escarpment marking the boundary between the Jiddat al Harasis and the depression of sabkha and low hills which continues eastward to the coast; water seepages occur along it. Al Huqf is an important refuge for animals, permitting the penetration far northward of some species otherwise limited to Dhofar. The main land-use is nomadic pastoralism. There are major oilfields south-west of the area.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. A diverse assemblage of desert breeding birds, including Aquila chrysaetos, Chlamydotis undulata, Burhinus capensis, Pterocles coronatus, P. exustus, Tyto alba, Athene noctua, Eremopterix nigriceps, Eremalauda dunni, Ammomanes cincturus and Alaemon alaudipes.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Caracal caracal (rare), Capra nubiana (I), Gazella gazella (V), G. subgutturosa (rare) and Oryx leucoryx (re-introduced). Reptiles: the endemic lizard Uromastyx thomasi occurs. Flora: several plants endemic to Oman are virtually restricted to this site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chlamydotis undulata resident  1993  frequent  A1, A3, B2  Not Recognised 
Cursorius cursor resident  1993  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dunn's Lark Eremalauda dunni resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix nigriceps resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

1994 low near favourable low
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Energy production and mining oil and gas drilling likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Desert Hot  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert Hot  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland 100%
nature conservation and research 100%

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: Jiddat al Harasis. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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