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Location Saudi Arabia, Makkah
Central coordinates 39o 39.00' East  21o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2
Area 300 ha
Altitude 80 - 180m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description A stream of treated sewage effluent, flowing 20-30 km south-west from Makkah into the largely flat sandy desert of the Tihamah. The flow is rather erratic, being strongest for the first 12-15 km, after which satellite pools tend to be ephemeral. The water is often densely lined with Calotropis, Phragmites and grasses.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. A wide range of ducks and waders uses the site in winter. Other migrants include small numbers of Grus grus and G. virgo. Pterocles lichtensteinii and P. exustus can be very common in the area.

Non-bird biodiversity: See Gasperetti (1989).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus passage  1993  600 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs resident  1993  uncommon  B2  Near Threatened 
Himantopus himantopus winter  1993  980 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola passage  1993  540 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed negligible

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic   major
Shrubland   minor
Savanna   minor
Desert   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting minor
water management major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Stephen F. Newton, with comments by P. Symens.

References Felemban and Al-Banna (1993), Gasperetti (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Makkah waste-water stream. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife