Raas Xaafuun - Raas Gumbax

Country/territory: Somalia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 240,000 ha

Site description
The site comprises the proposed Wildlife Reserve of Raas Xaafuun (Ras Hajan) and the contiguous proposed Raas Gumbax (Raas Gubah, Raas Gubba) National Park. It is located in the north-east of the country, on the coast between the towns of Bandarbeyla and Bargaal. The site, centred around the large headland of Raas Xaafuun which projects eastwards for over 50 km into the Indian Ocean, includes areas of rocky coastline, sandy beaches and some mangrove, giving way inland to lowland plains supporting an arid ChrysopogonDactyloctenium savanna with a few low, woody plants. The Daror valley, through which runs the seasonal watercourse of Dhud Jaceyl and drains a large area of the Horn, reaches the ocean at Raas Xaafuun.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. In addition to the species listed below, Phalacrocorax nigrogularis has been recorded at this site and Sterna saundersi breeds. Although, to date, a relatively small number only of Somali–Masai biome species have been recorded, these include several which occur nationally at few other IBAs, while the list is undoubtedly incomplete. The waters around the headland of Ras Xaafuun are believed to be an important migration bottleneck for seabirds on passage, while the littoral is thought to support large numbers of waders on migration. There are, however, no count data.

Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, both Gazella soemmerringii (VU) and G. spekei (VU) have been recorded.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Raas Xaafuun - Raas Gumbax. Downloaded from on 29/03/2023.