A small coralline island, fringed by coral reefs to the north-east, with good sea-grass beds offshore to the south-west. A small mangrove stand is located in an isolated pool in the middle of the island, and another occurs on the south-west shore, which slopes very gently, forming extensive mudflats. A moderate-sized saltmarsh is found along the inland fringe of the coastal mangrove, and many isolated halophytic shrubs are scattered over the rest of the islands.
See Box for key species. Nine bird species are known to breed on Wadi Gimal island: Phaethon aethereus, Butorides striatus, Egretta gularis, Platalea leucorodia, Pandion haliaetus, Falco concolor, Larus hemprichii, Larus leucophthalmus and Sterna caspia. The smaller number of breeding birds on this, and other southern Egyptian Red Sea islands, is probably due to the limited ornithological coverage of this region, rather than to a lack of birds or suitable breeding habitats.
Non-bird biodiversity: Reptiles: Chelonia mydas (EN) has been reported nesting on the island. Mammals: the marine pastures surrounding the island are probably a good grazing habitat for Dugong dugon (VU), as well as for Chelonia mydas.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadi Gimal island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2022.