|Location||United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi|
|Central coordinates||52o 43.00' East 24o 23.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, B1i, B2, B3|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Site description These three islands in the south-eastern Arabian Gulf are north and east of the large inshore island of Sir Bani Yas. Umm al Kirkum is low and rocky, c.2 km long in a U-shape. The mouth of the U is partly closed off by a sandbar, forming a lagoon where a few mangrove Avicennia trees grow; the remainder of the island is covered in sparse salt-tolerant shrubs and grass. Ghasha is low, flat and sandy, with slab sandstone rocks on its eastern and northern aspect. Most of this island is fairly thickly covered in salt-tolerant bushes, with some sparse grass; the centre of the island is more thinly vegetated. Umm Qaser is 2 km east of Umm al Kirkum and is more or less circular, surrounded by a 3-4 m high rocky cliff and a few narrow, steep sand beaches. All the islands are ringed by coral reefs.
Key Biodiversity See box for key species. These islands are an important seabird breeding site, although only once surveyed in any detail (July 1991). Pandion haliaetus also breeds (min. 2 pairs).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis||breeding||1992||200 breeding pairs||poor||A1, B2||Vulnerable|
|Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi||breeding||1992||24 breeding pairs||good||B3||Least Concern|
|White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa||breeding||1992||2,250 breeding pairs||good||A4i, B1i, B3||Least Concern|
|Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus||breeding||1992||2,800 breeding pairs||medium||B1i||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Colin Richardson (per Adrian Chapman).
References Chapman (1991).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Islands off Sir Bani Yas island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/03/2015
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