|Location||United Arab Emirates, Sharjah|
|Central coordinates||56o 20.00' East 25o 0.00' North|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See box for key species. Other breeding species include Himantopus himantopus (up to 10 pairs, 1988-1989), Merops superciliosus (summer visitor, probably less than 100 pairs), and Hippolais rama (c.10 pairs; the only proven breeding site on the Arabian peninsula). Winter visitors include Ardeola grayii (max. 10; the only regular site in the UAE), and Merops superciliosus is also common on autumn passage (max. 500 at roost, September).
Site description A tidal inlet stretching inland then parallel to the coast for 5 km southward, with three main channels lined with the oldest and most extensive Avicennia marina mangrove woodland in the UAE, and with extensive mudflats. The southern end of the inlet extends across the border into Oman at Khatmat Malahah. Gravel plains with Acacia tortilis savannah (part of the extensive Batinah coastal plain) stretch 5 km inland of the khor, rising towards the Hajar mountains. The primary human activity is recreation/leisure; some fishing and grazing of livestock occur to a lesser extent. Crabs are harvested in large numbers in the mangrove.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris||breeding||1992||15-20 breeding pairs||good||B2||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: crab harvesting|
Other biodiversity Mammals: the dolphins Tursiops truncatus and Sousa chinensis (K) feed in the khor. Reptiles: sea-turtles feed in the creek, including Chelonia mydas (E) and Eretmochelys imbricata (E), and possibly Caretta caretta (V).
Management considerations Kalba Municipality has been instructed by the ruler of Sharjah to take 'necessary measures' to protect wildlife. The main problems are excessive disturbance (e.g. vehicles drive all over the mudflats at low tide, also damaging valuable invertebrate habitat) and deliberate persecution of birds. Encroachment by nearby agricultural projects and by development of leisure facilities are locally problems, potentially major in the future; other local threats include tree-cutting, overgrazing and oil pollution. Careful proposals for conservation should be drawn up as soon as possible.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khor Kalba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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