An isolated mountain (up to 1,105 m) lying c.70 km north-west of Tadmur (Palmyra). The landscape is eroded and the scant vegetation includes scattered trees/bushes of Pistacia, Prunus and Rhamnus, and shrubs of Artemisia, Atriplex, Salsola and Anabasis. There is some unspecified waterfowl habitat, presumably caused by winter flooding of depressions.
See box for key species. Other breeding species include Buteo rufinus and Pterocles alchata, and wintering waterfowl include c.500 Anser albifrons and c.400 ducks.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V) and Gazella subgutturosa (rare). Flora: many endemics are confined to the isolated mountains in the Syrian Desert.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Known threats comprise hunting, fuelwood gathering, grazing and excessive erosion by wind and water. An Enclosed Rangeland Reserve of 40,000 ha has been proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, and c.20,000 ha may already be a State Forest Protection Zone.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jabal al-Bilas. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2020.