Jabal Ma'alah / Ma'alah Plateau (Socotra)

IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2014 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
Socotra Scops-owl Otus socotranus LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus EN resident 2000-2006 1-2 breeding pairs A1
Socotra Buzzard Buteo socotraensis VU resident 2000-2007 1-2 breeding pairs A1, A2
Socotra Warbler Incana incana LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Socotra Cisticola Cisticola haesitatus LC resident 2000-2006 min 1,000 individuals A2
Socotra Starling Onychognathus frater LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Socotra Sunbird Chalcomitra balfouri LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Socotra Sparrow Passer insularis LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Socotra Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus LC resident 2000-2006 present A2
Socotra Bunting Emberiza socotrana NT resident 2000-2006 1-19 breeding pairs A1, A2

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2014).

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2016 favourable medium negligible
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes population medium

State (condition of the trigger species' populations)
Scientific name Common name Reference population Actual population Units % of population remaining Result
Neophron percnopterus Egyptian Vulture 1 1 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Buteo socotraensis Socotra Buzzard 1 1 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Cisticola haesitatus Socotra Cisticola 1000 1000 individuals 100 favourable
Emberiza socotrana Socotra Bunting 10 10 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Little/none of site covered (<10%) No management planning has taken place Very little or no conservation action taking place negligible
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Socotra Archipelago World Heritage Site (natural or mixed) 410,460 protected area overlaps with site 10,000


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland -
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
Marine Neritic -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland -
other -

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Jabal Ma'alah / Ma'alah Plateau (Socotra). Downloaded from on 28/11/2023.