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Location Saudi Arabia, Makkah
Central coordinates 41o 6.00' East  18o 59.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B3
Area 15 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description Two small, flat, fossil-coral islands in the Red Sea (12 ha and 2.7 ha), south-west of Qunfudah town. Rainfall is light and erratic, but there is often a heavy dew and the islands are exceedingly well vegetated, with thickets up to 3 m tall of Salvadora and Suaeda; on more open ground there is Cyperus, Atriplex and Zygophyllum.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other breeding birds include Butorides striatus (2 pairs), Egretta gularis (7 pairs), Pandion haliaetus (2 pairs) and Streptopelia roseogrisea (c.500 pairs). Small numbers of Pelecanus rufescens roost on the beaches in winter.

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
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  1993  10-15 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis resident  1993  65 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii resident  1993  50-100 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium not assessed medium

Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Not assessed  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Umm al-Qamari Islands Protected Area 200 protected area contains site 15  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Umm al-Qamari. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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