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Location Saudi Arabia, Makkah
Central coordinates 40o 42.00' East  21o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Area 3,000 ha
Altitude 1,400 - 1,450m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description Fairly flat, sandy/gravelly desert fringe at 1,450 m on the edge of the north-east Asir foothills, c.40 km south-east of Taif. There are a few gneiss inselbergs and dry wadis. The site is a fenced captive breeding centre, and the previously overgrazed vegetation is rapidly recovering to grassland and scrub bushland. Wadis just outside the boundary fence have many Acacia iraqensis trees and one has been dammed with some water usually present. Large semi-natural enclosures contain ungulates or are ungrazed.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Large numbers of Chlidonias leucopterus have occurred at the dam on migration (seasonal total 26,000; see box).

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
Philby's Partridge Alectoris philbyi resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita passage  1992  2-24 individuals  good  A1, B1i, B2  Critically Endangered 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus passage  1993  26,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus winter  1993  850 individuals  good  B3  Least Concern 
Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea winter  1993  common  B3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis passage  1993  7 individuals  good  B3  Least Concern 
Oenanthe xanthoprymna winter  1993  common  B3  Not Recognised 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed low

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

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
NWRC Natural Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 650  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland minor

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Stephen F. Newton.

References Newton and Newton (1993), Schulz and Schulz (1992), Symens (1989). Also monthly, quarterly and annual reports are available at the National Wildlife Research Center (Taif) and the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (Riyadh).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: National Wildlife Research Center and environs, Taif. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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