The site is an archipelago of six small volcanic islands in the mouth of the Red Sea at the Bab-el-Mandeb straits (the peninsula at Ras Siyyan, not included in this IBA, makes the seventh member of the group, from which the archipelago takes its name). The islands are rocky and virtually unvegetated. They are surrounded by a rich marine environment; the mixing of warm Red Sea waters from the north and west with cold, nutrient-rich upwelling water from the Somali-Arabian Sea region to the east, results in an unusual coral-reef habitat. The area is visited sporadically by sport-divers, and by fishermen, largely Yemeni.
See Box for key species. A colony of Sterna bengalensis and Sterna bergii was recorded nesting on one of the islands, Ounda Dâbali, in September 1985. Other species which breed, in unknown numbers, on the archipelago include Sula leucogaster, Pandion haliaetus and Falco concolor, the latter a Sahara–Sindian biome species (see Table 2).
Non-bird biodiversity: There is high diversity of fish, with endemics from both the Red Sea–Gulf of Aden region and the Arabian Sea region occurring. Turtles—most commonly Eretmochelys imbricata (CR), probably also Chelonia mydas (EN)—are seen around the islands. Three species of black coral have been recorded.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Les Sept Frères. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/06/2021.