The upper zone of a range of mountains south-east of Kabul and bordering the North-West Frontier province of Pakistan, from 2,000 m to over 3,000 m. There are forests of Cedrus deodara, Pinus gerardiana and P. excelsa.
A poorly studied region at the western limit of many Himalayan forest birds. See box for key species; others known to occur and presumed to breed are Buteo rufinus, Tetraogallus himalayensis, Lophophorus impejanus, Psittacula himalayana, Picus squamatus, Anthus similis, A. roseatus (breeds over Pakistan border), Prunella strophiata, Turdus rubrocanus, Phylloscopus chloronotus (breeds over Pakistan border), P. occipitalis, P. subviridis, Muscicapa sibirica, M. ruficauda, Ficedula superciliaris, Aegithalos leucogenys, Parus melanolophus, P. rufonuchalis, Sitta leucopsis, S. cashmirensis, Certhia himalayana, Garrulus lanceolatus, Nucifraga caryocatactes, Corvus macrorhynchos, Dicrurus leucophaeus, Mycerobas carnipes and M. icterioides. Most of above is based on Wardlaw-Ramsey (1879) during his stay in the Hariab valley. Koelz made a brief visit in 1937 (to Khudi Khel). Other species known to occur just over the border in Pakistani Safed Koh include Delichon dasypus, Tarsiger cyanurus, Phylloscopus magnirostris and Carpodacus thura; the occurrence of Garrulax albogularis, Carduelis spinoides and Callacanthis burtoni in the Safed Koh range needs confirmation.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No formal conservation measures are known to have been taken. Up-to-date knowledge of the condition of habitat and fauna is completely lacking. However, deforestation is almost certain to be a critical problem, and Lophophorus impejanus has probably already disappeared through hunting. The lack of protected areas severely compromises the survival of any remaining significant areas of forest.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Safed Koh. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022.