Jabal al-Lawz

Country/territory: Saudi Arabia

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

Area: 30,000 ha

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

Site description
A group of granitic mountains with at least 20 peaks over 2,000 m, rising from 700 m to a maximum of 2,549 m (Jabal Fayhan, the tallest mountain in northern Arabia and high enough to have snow in winter). There is some permanent running water and the rocky high mountain habitats are densely vegetated in places, with clear zoning. Retama raetam scrub dominates the wadis; trees include Pistacia, Ficus, Salix and (on the summit) some stunted Juniperus. Acacia trees/bushes are only found below 1,200 m. The area is remote and very sparsely populated.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. Other residents include Aquila verreauxii (min. one pair), Alectoris chukar (numerous; the only site in Saudi Arabia), Cercomela melanura, Nectarinia osea, Lanius excubitor, Corvus rhipidurus and Rhodopechys githaginea.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Capra nubiana (I) and possibly Gazella gazella (V). Flora: the site is of high botanical interest; species include wild date palm Phoenix dactylifera, wild almond Prunus dulcis (only site in Arabia), wild tulip Tulipa biflora (one of two sites in Arabia).

Data-sheets compiled by P. Symens and M. C. Jennings.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jabal al-Lawz. Downloaded from on 31/01/2023.