Krupp, F., Abuzinada, A.H. & Nader, I.A. (eds.), A Marine Wildlife Sanctuary for the Arabian Gulf. Environmental research and conservation following the 1991 Gulf War Oil Spill. NCWCD, Riyadh and Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt a.M.

The ornithological importance of the Jubail Marine Wildlife Sanctuary

A b s t r a c t: An overview is given of the status and abundance of all birds recorded within the coastal areas of the Jubail Marine Wildlife Sanctuary between May 1992 and May 1995. In total 275 bird species were recorded, representing more than 75 % of all bird species ever recorded in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The global and regional ornithological significance of the Sanctuary's avifauna is evaluated using the criteria for Wetlands of International Importance as outlined by the Ramsar Convention and for Important Bird Areas in the Middle East. The Sanctuary harbours considerable numbers of migratory and wintering waders and other waterfowl, including internationally important populations of at least 22 species. Core areas include the embayment of Dauhat ad-Dafi, the shallow waters surrounding Abu Ali Island and the man-made wetland at Sabkhat al-Fasl. The Sanctuary is also of importance for large numbers of migrating passerines and non-passerines, which concentrate in the terrestrial habitats along the coastal embayments, particularly during the spring migration season. These include five globally endangered species, five species which are threatened or declining throughout all or large parts of their range in the Middle East, and 15 species with a restricted world range with important populations in the Middle East. The rich and diverse avifauna of the Sanctuary underlines its high conservation interest.


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