Shallal ad-Dahna lies 90 km north of Abha on the road to Taif and comprises broken granite hill country at 2,400-2,700 m covered with Juniperus and Acacia scrub. The site contains one of the very few permanent waterfalls of the country, and a pool.
See box for key species. The main interest is the presence of the isolated and distinctive endemic race Pica pica asirensis (3 pairs). Other breeding species include Phylloscopus umbrovirens, Ploceus galbula and Corvus rhipidurus. Further surveys would be advantageous.
Non-bird biodiversity: The fauna is unusually rich in Palearctic relict species; vertebrate species include the shrew Crocidura russula, the snake Eirenis coronella fennelli, the toad Bufo viridis, and the frogs Rana ridibunda and Hyla savignyi.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is included in the NCWCD System Plan for Protected Areas. The hills are severely grazed, and other threats are drainage, the planting of exotic trees, refuse dumping and visitor pressure. New roads and car parks (for a picnic area) are being developed near the waterfall.
Data-sheet compiled by A. Stagg and P. Symens.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shallal ad-Dahna. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 02/12/2022.