|Location||Saudi Arabia, Ash Sharqiyah|
|Central coordinates||49o 34.80' East 27o 18.80' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B1i, B3|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Site description Two long, elevated inshore Gulf islands (Abu Ali and Batinah) north-east of Jubail, linked to each other and to the mainland by causeways. They consist largely of sabkhah and sandsheets, the latter becoming very well-vegetated with grasses and herbs after winter rains. The exposed northern shores are mainly sand beach with fringing reefs in places, while on the sheltered south side there are intertidal flats of sand and sand-mud, bordered by large saltmarshes. A shallow, brackish pond is present near the eastern tip and there are several smaller islands in the enclosed southern bay. There are oil installations and small traditional fishing camps, and the site is used for weekend recreation.
Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Vast numbers of Sterna saundersi/S. albifrons congregate to moult after the breeding season, as do large numbers of other tern species (see box). Breeding birds include Charadrius alexandrinus, Alaemon alaudipes, Calandrella rufescens and possibly Pandion haliaetus. Other wintering species include Larus genei (1,267). Numerous migrating passerines use the site as a stop-over in spring, and good numbers are present in winter.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo||winter||1991||2,603-8,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Crab-plover Dromas ardeola||passage||1993||135 individuals||good||B3||Least Concern|
|Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis||passage||1993||4,800 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis||passage||1993||2,000-3,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi||breeding||1993||8-12 breeding pairs||good||B3||Least Concern|
|Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi||passage||1993||14,000 individuals||medium||A4i, B1i, B3||Least Concern|
|White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa||breeding||1993||120-250 breeding pairs||good||B3||Least Concern|
|White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa||passage||1993||8,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i, B3||Least Concern|
|Residential and commercial development||commercial and industrial development||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||medium|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive||Not assessed||low|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Symens and A. Suhaibani.
References Evans and Keijl (1993a,b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Abu Ali. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/08/2015
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