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Location Saudi Arabia, Tabuk
Central coordinates 35o 17.10' East  28o 42.40' North
IBA criteria B2, B3
Area 30,000 ha
Altitude 700 - 2,549m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description A group of granitic mountains with at least 20 peaks over 2,000 m, rising from 700 m to a maximum of 2,549 m (Jabal Fayhan, the tallest mountain in northern Arabia and high enough to have snow in winter). There is some permanent running water and the rocky high mountain habitats are densely vegetated in places, with clear zoning. Retama raetam scrub dominates the wadis; trees include Pistacia, Ficus, Salix and (on the summit) some stunted Juniperus. Acacia trees/bushes are only found below 1,200 m. The area is remote and very sparsely populated.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other residents include Aquila verreauxii (min. one pair), Alectoris chukar (numerous; the only site in Saudi Arabia), Cercomela melanura, Nectarinia osea, Lanius excubitor, Corvus rhipidurus and Rhodopechys githaginea.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Capra nubiana (I) and possibly Gazella gazella (V). Flora: the site is of high botanical interest; species include wild date palm Phoenix dactylifera, wild almond Prunus dulcis (only site in Arabia), wild tulip Tulipa biflora (one of two sites in Arabia).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus resident  1993  present  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1993  present  B2  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus resident  1993  present  B2  Endangered 
Hume's Owl Strix butleri resident  1985  present  B3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii winter  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Pale Rosefinch Carpodacus synoicus resident  1993  common  B2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed negligible

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Not assessed  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   major
Shrubland   major
Rocky areas   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland minor

Acknowledgements Data-sheets compiled by P. Symens and M. C. Jennings.

References Jennings (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Jabal al-Lawz. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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