SA030
Raydah escarpment


Country/territory: Saudi Arabia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, B2, B3 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 2,600 ha

Protection status:

Saudi Wildlife Authority
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 low not assessed medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
Lying c.15 km west of Abha, the site is a very steep west-facing slope with crags, falling from 2,700 to 1,600 m in less than 3 km. The soil is very thin. There are permanent streams and the climate is generally cool and wet, the area being frequently cloud-covered. The escarpment supports a more-or-less intact forest, predominantly Juniperus excelsa, with Olea europea on upper and north-facing slopes and more deciduous trees (Nuxia, Ficus, Acacia) lower down and in valleys and gullies. The bottom third and south-facing slopes are often dominated by Buddleja and by tree aloes Aloe sabaea and other succulents. Bee-keeping is a common human activity and there is moderate to heavy use of the area for recreation.

Key biodiversity
Possibly the most important compact site in Saudi Arabia for south-west Arabian endemic, and other, woodland species. See box for key species. Other breeding species include Accipiter badius (1-2 pairs), Aquila verreauxii, Columba arquatrix (probable), Streptopelia lugens, Treron waalia, Otus scops pamelae, Monticola rufocinereus, Phylloscopus umbrovirens, Terpsiphone viridis, Zosterops abyssinicus and Pica pica asirensis. There may be a considerable raptor passage through the area, and many Sylvia (especially S. atricapilla) stop off on migration. Many warblers winter, especially Phylloscopus collybita.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Papio hamadryas (endemic), Caracal caracal (rare) and Canis lupus (V).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Raydah escarpment. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/02/2019.