|Central coordinates||55o 58.00' East 17o 30.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3|
|Altitude||0 - 500m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See box for key species. A very important breeding site for seabirds, and the surrounding seas also provide very important feeding grounds for pelagic species visiting from the southern oceans. Other breeding species include Pandion haliaetus (8+ pairs), and Bulweria fallax may breed (see below). Non-breeding seabirds attracted to the upwelling include Puffinus carneipes (common), P. pacificus (infrequent), Oceanites oceanicus (abundant) and Sula leucogaster (rare). The site is not visited very often due to its isolation, remoteness and the difficulty of access during the hazardous south-west monsoon, and knowledge is thus incomplete.
Site description A group of four main islands of mostly very rugged topography off the Dhofar coast, up to 500 m high, although there are some flat areas. There is a massive limestone cliff on the north-east point of Al Hallaniyah island. Most of the land is bare or supports only a very sparse, low shrub layer; the islands of Jazirat al Qibliyah and Jazirat al Hasikiyah are lightly covered in bird guano. The islands are in the centre of a zone of strong upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water during the south-west monsoon of May–September (especially June–August), when seas are very rough and very strong winds, driving spray and mist prevail. The only habitation is a village at the western end of Al Hallaniyah (c.150 people), with an airstrip. Local people have boats and visit all the islands, weather permitting.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri||breeding||1993||abundant individuals||poor||A4ii, B1ii, B2||Least Concern|
|Jouanin's Petrel Bulweria fallax||non-breeding||1993||200 individuals||poor||A1, A4ii, B1ii, B2||Near Threatened|
|Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus||breeding||1993||300 breeding pairs||poor||A4ii, B1ii||Least Concern|
|Masked Booby Sula dactylatra||breeding||1993||8,250-13,250 breeding pairs||poor||A4ii, B1ii||Least Concern|
|Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis||breeding||1993||3,000-5,000 breeding pairs||poor||A1, A4i, B1i, B2||Vulnerable|
|Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii||resident||1993||5,000-10,000 breeding pairs||poor||A4i, B1i, B3||Least Concern|
|Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii||breeding||1993||3,100 breeding pairs||poor||B1i||Least Concern|
|Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus||breeding||1993||2,000 breeding pairs||poor||B1i||Least Concern|
|Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides||resident||1993||present [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - seabirds||breeding||1993||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Islanders and visiting fishermen take eggs and adults of Sula dactylatra and Sterna bergii and eggs of Phalacrocorax nigrogularis and Larus hemprichii for food.|
Other biodiversity Mammals: large numbers of cetaceans occur offshore, including a probable breeding population of Megaptera novaeangliae (V). Reptiles: a few sea-turtles Chelonia mydas (E) nest on the beaches. Flora: three plant species with very restricted ranges (apparently endemic to Oman) occur, as does a rare lichen Simonyiella.
Management considerations Islanders and visiting fishermen take eggs and adults of Sula dactylatra and Sterna bergii and eggs of Phalacrocorax nigrogularis and Larus hemprichii for food: this over-exploitation may have reached critical levels, with attendant disturbance and persecution of nesting birds. Introduced mammals are a major problem and include feral goats (on Al Hallaniyah: supported by brackish seepages inland), feral cats (on Al Hallaniyah and Jazirat as Sawda) and rats (Rattus norvegicus on Jazirat al Hasikiyah and Rattus rattus on Al Hallaniyah). At present there are no control or removal measures in place. The area comprises four proposed National Nature Reserves (defined areas include surrounding seas to 500 m beyond the low water mark): Jazirat al Qibliyah (800 ha), Al Hallaniyah (7,000 ha), Jazirat as Sawda (2,000 ha) and Jazirat al Hasikiyah (400 ha). The proposed reserves cover all the important seabird nesting sites.
References Bailey (1966), Gallagher (1985).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Halaaniyaat Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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