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Location Saudi Arabia, 'Asir
Central coordinates 42o 24.66' East  18o 10.26' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, B2, B3
Area 2,600 ha
Altitude 1,700 - 2,850m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)



Site description Lying c.15 km west of Abha, the site is a very steep west-facing slope with crags, falling from 2,700 to 1,600 m in less than 3 km. The soil is very thin. There are permanent streams and the climate is generally cool and wet, the area being frequently cloud-covered. The escarpment supports a more-or-less intact forest, predominantly Juniperus excelsa, with Olea europea on upper and north-facing slopes and more deciduous trees (Nuxia, Ficus, Acacia) lower down and in valleys and gullies. The bottom third and south-facing slopes are often dominated by Buddleja and by tree aloes Aloe sabaea and other succulents. Bee-keeping is a common human activity and there is moderate to heavy use of the area for recreation.

Key Biodiversity Possibly the most important compact site in Saudi Arabia for south-west Arabian endemic, and other, woodland species. See box for key species. Other breeding species include Accipiter badius (1-2 pairs), Aquila verreauxii, Columba arquatrix (probable), Streptopelia lugens, Treron waalia, Otus scops pamelae, Monticola rufocinereus, Phylloscopus umbrovirens, Terpsiphone viridis, Zosterops abyssinicus and Pica pica asirensis. There may be a considerable raptor passage through the area, and many Sylvia (especially S. atricapilla) stop off on migration. Many warblers winter, especially Phylloscopus collybita.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Papio hamadryas (endemic), Caracal caracal (rare) and Canis lupus (V).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Philby's Partridge Alectoris philbyi resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A2, A3, B3  Least Concern 
Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala resident  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens breeding  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A3, B2  Not Recognised 
Arabian Woodpecker Dendropicos dorae resident  1992-1995  1-5 breeding pairs  good  A1, A3, B2  Vulnerable 
Black-billed Magpie Pica pica resident  1992-1995  1-5 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  1992-1995  500 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Yemen Warbler Sylvia buryi resident  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A1, A2, A3, B2  Vulnerable 
Tristram's Starling Onychognathus tristramii resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Yemen Thrush Turdus menachensis resident  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A1, A2, A3, B2  Vulnerable 
Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Little Rock-thrush Monticola rufocinereus resident  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Arabian Waxbill Estrilda rufibarba resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A2, A3, B3  Least Concern 
Olive-rumped Serin Serinus rothschildi resident  1992-1995  51-500 breeding pairs  good  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Yemen Serin Serinus menachensis resident  1992-1995  6-50 breeding pairs  good  A2, A3, B3  Least Concern 
Yemen Linnet Carduelis yemenensis resident  1992-1995  500 breeding pairs  good  A2, A3, B3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed medium
unset
Unknown

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

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)  
Raydah Protected Area 900 protected area contained by site 900  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   50%
Shrubland   50%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater springs & oases; Seasonal/intermittent/irregular river/stream/creek  minor
Rocky areas   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other major
Notes: bee-keeping
tourism/recreation major
nature conservation and research 100%
rangeland/pastureland minor

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

References Jennings et al. (1988), Symens (1990).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Raydah escarpment. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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