Jabal Sis

Country/territory: Syria

IBA criteria met: A4i, B2, B3 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 40,000 ha

The Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2014 not assessed medium negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (1994 baseline)
A huge, extinct volcanic crater, the largest of many within a huge basalt lava field which covers much of southern Syria and northern Jordan. Jabal Sis (Sies) lies near the eastern edge of the basalt, 100 km east-south-east of Damascus and 55 km south of the main road running east from Damascus to Iraq. The volcano rises about 100 m above the surrounding plain. Spring rain lies in small lakes and pools in scattered pans of impermeable clay, and there is a rain-fed lake at the foot of Jabal Sis itself. Vegetation is sparse. The terrain is impassable to vehicles except along tracks, of which there are few. Nomadic pastoralists graze large flocks in the area in spring and early summer.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. Proven or probable breeding species include Cursorius cursor (common), Charadrius leschenaultii (see box; large numbers have been seen at rain-flooded pans in March and May: almost certainly a breeding summer visitor), Eremophila bilopha, Oenanthe deserti, Corvus ruficollis and Rhodopechys githaginea. The area also holds a thinly spread resident population of a dark form of Oenanthe lugens, which occurs only on the basalt plains of Syria, Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia. Pterocles orientalis (150, December) and P. alchata (c.300, March) occur in good numbers in winter/spring.

Non-bird biodiversity: No information.

Data-sheet compiled by M. I. Evans.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Jabal Sis. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.