IBA Criteria met: A3 (2001)
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Area: 20,000 ha
The Nefhusa (Nafusah) Protected Area is situated in Jabal Nefhusa, north and east of the town of Gharyan (Garian), some 70 km south-south-west of Tarabalus. It includes a section of the Jabal Nefhusa escarpment, from the peaks at 500 m down to the coastal plain, including the foothills and a section of the plain. Three wadi systems are included. Areas of natural vegetation remain and there is a complex of small springs with old Pistacia trees, date-palms and thick scrub below the crags at Abu Gharyan. A dam on the Wadi Ghan in the eastern portion of the reserve, built to provide water for irrigation of the adjacent plains, has created a reservoir some 12.5 km long when full. The level of the reservoir fluctuates greatly. Rainfall on the peaks allows a lusher vegetation, with Tamarix spp., old Pistacia spp. trees and self-regenerating date-palm Phoenix dactylifera. On the lower slopes and foothills there are pockets of natural vegetation, consisting of spiny cushion plants and Juniperus spp. and Pistacia spp. woodland, surrounded by extensive plantations of introduced Acacia spp., Pinus spp. and Eucalyptus spp. Average annual rainfall is about 400 mm.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. There have been no full surveys, but at least 46 species are known to occur.
Non-bird biodiversity: The fauna includes the North African endemic gundi Ctenodactylus gundi.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nefhusa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/03/2023.