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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.

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 
Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor resident  1993  present  A3  Least Concern 
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 

Habitats

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%

Other 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.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jiddat al Harasis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014

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