Country/territory: Egypt

IBA criteria met: A1, A4iv (1999)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 5,000 ha

Nature Conservation Eqypt

Site description (baseline)
The city of Suez is located at the head of the Gulf of Suez, the northernmost point of the Red Sea. It overlooks the southern entrance to the Suez Canal and the Bay of Suez to the east and south-east. To the south-west a wide plain separates the city from Gebel Ataqa (871 m) and the Isthmic Desert plains lie to the north-east. A freshwater canal and a narrow band of cultivated land extend along the western bank of the Suez Canal and reach the northern suburbs of the city. The Bay of Suez once had some of the largest and richest intertidal mudflats in the Egyptian Red Sea; today only small fragments remain. Suez has a busy port and a growing number of industries consisting, primarily, of petrochemical and fertilizer factories. The human population of Suez numbers around 250,000.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Because of its unique position on the only land-bridge between Eurasia and Africa, the Isthmus of Suez is one of the most important bottlenecks in the world for migrating soaring birds, particularly birds of prey. Maxima of 134,000 and 125,000 birds of prey were counted in autumn 1981 and spring 1982 respectively. The commonest birds of prey recorded on passage at Suez are Aquila nipalensis, Buteo buteo, Aquila pomarina and Circaetus gallicus. Ciconia ciconia, Ciconia nigra, Pelecanus onocrotalus and Grus grus also occur regularly in large numbers on migration. Although most soaring birds pass over Suez at fairly high altitudes without stopping, large numbers occasionally roost in the vicinity of the city or land to drink and feed en route, particularly during the hotter parts of the migration seasons. This can expose large numbers of some species to serious dangers. Suez also falls on an important migration flyway for many waterbirds, and is still of importance for some wintering waders, which utilize the shrinking mudflats of the Bay of Suez.

Raptors MOU - IBA listed under Table 3 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Suez. Downloaded from on 01/06/2023.