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Location Oman, Al Wusta
Central coordinates 56o 38.00' East  18o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description A 6-km-long tidal inlet parallel to the coast, open to the sea at the northern end and protected by a long, sandy barrier beach, with extensive intertidal mudflats and minimal build-up of fresh water. The site is sheltered by dunes with much shrubby salt-tolerant vegetation, otherwise the surroundings are very flat and sandy. Human population density is generally low in the region, although the small, new township of Al Kahil is nearby. People fish offshore for local markets, and there may be some recreational use by expatriates from southern oil-fields.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The site supports far greater numbers of wintering and passage waterbirds than any khawr further south in Oman. Other notable wintering species include Platalea leucorodia (max. 110), Phoenicopterus ruber (1,500, November), Pandion haliaetus (21, February), Recurvirostra avosetta (104), Calidris ferruginea (3,000, December) and Arenaria interpres (234). The site is rather underwatched due to its remoteness.

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
Egretta gularis winter  1993  1,121 individuals  good  B1i  Not Recognised 
Sanderling Calidris alba winter  1993  1,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1993  4,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1993  2,100 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  1993  191 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture minor
tourism/recreation minor

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Khawr Ghawi. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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