|Central coordinates||43o 38.00' East 13o 22.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, B1iv, B2, B3|
|Altitude||200 - 500m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information An important raptor migration 'bottleneck' in autumn, also with a representative breeding assemblage of species characteristic of Acacia-Commiphora bushland. See table for key species. Volume of raptor passage is sure to exceed 3,000 birds per season. Most pass over at high altitude, unless driven low by strong southerly headwinds, but large numbers descend to roost in the area at night, and raptors are attracted to drink at the wadis as well. Species include Milvus migrans (273, November), Buteo buteo (55, November), Aquila clanga (6, November), A. nipalensis (168, November), Accipiter nisus (50, October) and A. brevipes (100, October). Small numbers of Ciconia ciconia (11, November) and Ciconia nigra (11, November) migrate through, and small numbers of Ciconia ciconia winter (60). Large numbers of passerine migrants occur in 'falls' in the area in autumn, including Cercotrichas galactotes, Oenanthe isabellina, O. oenanthe and shrikes Lanius. Other breeding species include Scopus umbretta, Falco pelegrinoides, Pterocles lichtensteinii, Tockus nasutus, Nectarinia habessinica and Amandava subflava (possibly).
Site description The area in a 20 km radius of the small town of Mafraq, at the crossroads between Ta'izz, Al-Mukha and Al-Hudaydah. A gently sloping stony plain with numerous rocky outcrops, small foothills and shallow, gravelly wadis, at the eastern edge of the Tihamah (200-500 m).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||passage||1985||80 individuals||poor||A1, B2||Least Concern|
|Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus||passage||1985||60 individuals||poor||B2||Endangered|
|Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus||non-breeding||1985||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B2||Near Threatened|
|Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena||resident||1985||present [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea||winter||1985||present [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1985||3,000 individuals||poor||B1iv|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Genetta felina (rare).
Management considerations The low population density and the lack of a bird-hunting tradition mean that roosting raptors are relatively safe. Clearance of Acacia–Commiphora bushland for irrigated cultivation may occur locally in future.
Conservation response No formal conservation measures are known to have been taken.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mafraq al-Mukha. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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