SY024
Golan Heights


Country/territory: Syria

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iv, B1iv (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 60,000 ha

Protection status:

The Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 medium not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
An upland region east of the Hula Valley and Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), ascending to 1,500 m and roughly bounded by Hamat-Gader, Ramat Magshimim, Alonei Habashan, Kuneitra, El Rom and Kazrin. The area is typified by rolling grassland with scattered trees and bushes of Quercus, Styrax, Pistacia, Rubus and Ziziphus, and there are some small pools and reservoirs. Much of the area is cultivated or grazed by cattle, and there is considerable military activity.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The region holds good numbers of breeding raptors, with the plateau area around Nahal Gamla, Zavitan and Yehudiya being especially important. Ducks often winter in good numbers, mainly Anas penelope, Aythya ferina and A. fuligula. Stream valleys flowing from the southern Golan into Lake Kinneret were the last refuge of Ketupa zeylonensis in this area, now apparently extinct.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Spalax ehrenbergi (2n=54), Canis lupus (V), Gazella gazella (V). Reptiles: Elaphe quatuorlineata (endemic). Flora: Phlomis syriaca, Colchicum brachyllum.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Golan Heights. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/12/2019.