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Location United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
Central coordinates 51o 35.00' East  24o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 800 ha
Altitude 0 - 50m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description Flat, arid islands in the Arabian Gulf close to the Saudi Arabia and Qatar borders. The islands were formerly inhabited and cultivated.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. A major breeding and wintering (roosting) site for Phalacrocorax nigrogularis. Seven pairs of Pandion haliaetus breed and c.30 birds are present 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
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis breeding  1992  1,900-2,500 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis non-breeding  1992  44,000 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military major
Notes: Other: Territorial security (border guards)

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Aspinall.

References Aspinall (in press).

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

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