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Location Saudi Arabia, Makkah
Central coordinates 40o 2.30' East  20o 15.60' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3
Area 400,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description A shallow bay of 15 × 35 km, almost closed by a long narrow island, and containing eight other islets. It is situated at a point where the Asir mountains run close to the Red Sea. Most of the islets are surrounded by mangrove Avicennia trees and clothed with dense Salicornia, and there are seagrass beds in the bay.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The site holds the densest population of Falco concolor in Saudi Arabia and probably in the world, and at least 50 pairs of Sterna anaethetus breed. The coastal topography concentrates migrants moving down the coast.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Dugong dugon (V). Reptiles: the sea-turtles Eretmochelys imbricata (E) and Chelonia mydas (E) breed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Goliath Heron Ardea goliath non-breeding  1993  rare  B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor breeding  1993  40 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Crab-plover Dromas ardeola non-breeding  1993  unknown  B3  Least Concern 
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris non-breeding  1993  1 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed negligible

Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea   major
Coastline   minor
Desert   major
Forest   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other major
Notes: Traditional trapping of falcons and other birds (September-November).

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Gaucher, with comments by P. Symens.

References Gaucher et al. (in press).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Qishran Bay. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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