A natural lake near Haggag in Wadi Rabigh (c.35 km inland), fringed with reeds Phragmites and fed by several permanent freshwater springs. Such natural wetland habitat is unique on the Tihamah north of Jiddah. Fish are abundant. Surrounding land is primarily used for grazing, less so for agriculture. There is some recreational use by picnicers.
Breeding species include Ixobrychus minutus (1 pair), Glareola pratincola (1 pair), Sterna albifrons (possibly 1 pair) and Alcedo atthis (possibly 1 pair). Fourteen Ciconia nigra were present in mid-winter 1991-1992. The site is situated along the autumn raptor flyway to the Bab al-Mandab; Buteo buteo is especially common, and raptors roost on the cliffs adjacent to the springs.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is included in the NCWCD System Plan for Protected Areas. Hunting, damming and water diversion are currently problems on a minor scale. Recreational use, and consequent disturbance, by people from Jiddah, Rabigh and Yanbu is likely to increase, and the area has potential for agricultural development.
Data-sheet compiled by B. Meadows.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadi Rabigh springs. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 27/03/2023.