Country/territory: Saudi Arabia
IBA criteria met: A1, B2, B3 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here
Area: 486,600 ha
|IBA conservation status|
|Year of assessment (most recent)||Threat (pressure)||Condition (state)||Action (response)|
|For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here|
Site description (baseline)
A group of northern Red Sea islands lying off the coast between al-Wajh and Umm Lajj, with a mixture of rocky or sandy, and vegetated (mangrove Avicennia and salt-tolerant bushes Salicornia) or barren habitats. There are some low cliffs of less than 5 m, and seagrass beds offshore.
See box for key species. The islands are important for their breeding population of Falco concolor (see box) and probably for their breeding seabirds (which are very little-known, however) including Sula leucogaster (100+ pairs, August/September 1982), Sterna caspia (3+ pairs, February) and S. bengalensis; Pandion haliaetus (106 birds) and Sterna anaethetus have been seen in October and may breed. The site is of low value for wintering waterbirds.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Dugong dugon (V). Reptiles: sea-turtles (globally threatened) nest.
Data-sheet compiled by P. Gaucher and X. Eichaker, with comments by P. Symens.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Al-Wajh Bank. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/8263 on 02/06/2023.