Al-Habrow al-Arabi

Country/territory: Saudi Arabia

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

Area: 250,000 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2013 very high not assessed negligible
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Site description (baseline)
A diverse section of the hot, humid coastal Tihamah centred on Kiyad and including the Makhshush sabkhah/outwash fan and Wadi Hali and Wadi Qarnayn with their permanent pools, as well as adjacent lava fields, wooded savanna and rocky foothills. Sandy coastal areas support Salvadora bushes but more inland vegetation is dominated by Acacia tortilis, A. ehrenbergiana and A. asak trees. Sparse shrubs and herbs include Dipterygium, Heliotropium, Indigofera, Malva and Euphorbia. The whole area is very heavily grazed by domestic stock, but rains can produce a good cover of grasses Pennisetum and Panicum. There is considerable cultivation, mainly of sorghum and millet, and charcoal production is practised in the foothills.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The area has not been well studied in summer, but other known or presumed breeding species include Scopus umbretta, Melierax metabates, Aquila verreauxii, Pterocles exustus, Coracias abyssinica and Tockus nasutus, and other species regularly present all year or in winter and which may breed include Pelecanus rufescens, Terathopius ecaudatus and Circaetus gallicus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Caracal caracal (rare), Canis lupus (V) and Gazella gazella cora (V; at Makhshush).

Data-sheet compiled by M. Shobrak.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Al-Habrow al-Arabi. Downloaded from on 02/06/2023.