Al-Wajh Bank

Country/territory: Saudi Arabia

IBA criteria met: A1, B2, B3 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 486,600 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2013 not assessed low negligible
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Site description (1994 baseline)
A group of northern Red Sea islands lying off the coast between al-Wajh and Umm Lajj, with a mixture of rocky or sandy, and vegetated (mangrove Avicennia and salt-tolerant bushes Salicornia) or barren habitats. There are some low cliffs of less than 5 m, and seagrass beds offshore.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The islands are important for their breeding population of Falco concolor (see box) and probably for their breeding seabirds (which are very little-known, however) including Sula leucogaster (100+ pairs, August/September 1982), Sterna caspia (3+ pairs, February) and S. bengalensis; Pandion haliaetus (106 birds) and Sterna anaethetus have been seen in October and may breed. The site is of low value for wintering waterbirds.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Dugong dugon (V). Reptiles: sea-turtles (globally threatened) nest.

Data-sheet compiled by P. Gaucher and X. Eichaker, with comments by P. Symens.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Al-Wajh Bank. Downloaded from on 02/10/2023.