Jabal Qaha - Lajib gorge

Country/territory: Saudi Arabia

IBA Criteria met: B3 (1994)
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Area: 21,000 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 low not assessed negligible
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Site description
A rugged mountain with an extensive summit plateau of sedimentary rock at c.1,800-2,000 m, c.80 km south-south-east of Abha. Just to the south is the very deep, steep-sided Lajb gorge. There was apparently thriving Juniperus woodland on the plateau until a series of drought years in the 1960s killed off most of the trees, which have been left standing however. The main human activities are livestock grazing and small-scale terraced agriculture.

Key biodiversity
The site has been little investigated, but there is known to be an important population of the isolated endemic race Pica pica asirensis (at least 30 pairs), and many of the other high-altitude south-west Arabian endemics presumably also occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Panthera pardus (rare; possibly extinct).

Data-sheet compiled by A. Stagg and P. Symens.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jabal Qaha - Lajib gorge. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.