|Location||Yemen, Al Hudaydah|
|Central coordinates||42o 47.50' East 13o 51.60' North|
|IBA criteria||B1ii, B2, B3|
|Altitude||0 - 645m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See table for key species. Confirmed breeding species include Sula dactylatra (a few nesting, November 1961; a few present, December 1975) and S. leucogaster (nesting in large numbers, November 1961; 200 birds, June 1963, possibly nesting; many, October and December 1975). Probable breeding species include Phaethon aethereus (present offshore, November 1961) and Sterna anaethetus (large flocks, June).
Site description A group of bare, steep, volcanic islands lying to the east of the central Red Sea rift. There are two major islands, Jabal al-Zuqar (14°00'N 42°45'E, 9,600 ha, rising to over 500 m) and Hanish al-Kabir (13°45'N 42°45'E, 11,640 ha, rising to 645 m), two much smaller islands (Hanish al-Saghir and Al-Mamalih or Suyul Hanish), and numerous associated islets (including Abu Ali).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri||winter||1975-1976||common [units unknown]||-||B1ii, B2||Least Concern|
|Brown Booby Sula leucogaster||breeding||1993||200 breeding pairs||poor||B1ii||Least Concern|
|White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus||winter||1961||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Near Threatened|
|Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii||non-breeding||1945||common [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa||non-breeding||1945||common [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The marine ecosystem offshore is unusual and highly productive. Reptiles: sea-turtles (E) nest. Fish: whale shark Rhincodon typus (I).
Management considerations Whether fishermen visit (it seems likely), and how regularly, are unknown. Sula dactylatra and S. leucogaster are particularly vulnerable to human exploitation and disturbance when nesting; the subspecies S. d. melanops is endemic to the western Indian Ocean, and its Yemeni breeding colonies urgently need a baseline-census, protection and monitoring to avoid the fate of similar colonies elsewhere in the Indian Ocean; the breeding status of Larus leucophthalmus also deserves urgent investigation. The rich marine resources in the surrounding waters appear intact and unaffected by over-fishing, pollution or mass tourism.
Conservation response No formal conservation measures are known to have been taken. Public access is restricted, thereby providing some unintentional protection from disturbance. Education of navy personnel and fishermen, and the erection of signs at key landing points, are both highly desirable measures.
References Morris (1962), Phillips (1947).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jaza'ir al-Hanish. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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