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Location Saudi Arabia, Jizan
Central coordinates 43o 1.80' East  16o 56.75' North
IBA criteria A1, B1iv, B2, B3
Area 5,500 ha
Altitude 180 - 450m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description Wadi Jawwah lies at 100-300 m in the foothills east of Abu Arish and south of al-Arida, inland from Jizan. It consists of a sandy and clay bed surrounded by often steep volcanic rocky slopes, and there is a small artificial dam, behind which lies a small lake for most of the year. Scattered Dobera and Ficus trees dominate the landscape and there are many remnant patches of Acacia and Salvadora scrub. The rocky outcrops and bordering slopes are only sparsely vegetated with Acacia and succulents but can have a surprising cover of grasses after heavy rain. The wadi is densely populated and most of it is cultivated with sorghum and millet.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The wadi has one of the highest diversities of breeding species known in Arabia, some in the highest densities known in the country, including Terathopius ecaudatus, Coturnix delegorguei, Numida meleagris (the single most important site in Saudi Arabia: c.350 birds in 1988 and over 1,000 in 1990), Burhinus capensis, Streptopelia roseogrisea, Treron waalia, Centropus superciliosus, Bubo africanus, Caprimulgus inornatus, Halcyon leucocephala, Merops albicollis, Coracias abyssinica, Tockus nasutus, Anthreptes metallicus, Tchagra senegala, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster and Emberiza tahapisi. The lake has breeding Tachybaptus ruficollis, and wintering waterbirds have included Plegadis falcinellus (72). There is a colony of 1,200-1,500 pairs of Bubulcus ibis 50 km to the south at Tuwal, nearby but outside the site. There is a strong autumn migration of raptors, including Circaetus gallicus (18), Buteo buteo vulpinus (975), Aquila nipalensis (650) and Hieraaetus pennatus (12).

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
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca passage  1993  36 individuals  good  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar resident  1993  present  B2  Least Concern 
Hume's Owl Strix butleri resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Arabian Woodpecker Dendropicos dorae resident  1993  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Arabian Golden Sparrow Passer euchlorus resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
Arabian Waxbill Estrilda rufibarba resident  1993  present  B3  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1993  3,000 individuals  poor  B1iv   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed negligible

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities 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)
Artificial - terrestrial   minor
Savanna   major
Artificial - aquatic   minor
Shrubland   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
rangeland/pastureland major
water management minor

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Symens.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Wadi Jawwah. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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