The site lies 80 km north of al-Baha and 150 km south-east of Taif, between the Bani Saad-al-Baha escarpment road and the Taif-al-Baha road. Jabal Ibrahim (Jabal Batharah, 5,000 ha, up to 2,604 m) is a granite mountain rising c.1,000 m above the surrounding rocky hills and giving rise to several streams which provide a permanent flow for Wadi Turabah and its tributaries (west end 20°27'N 41°05'E, east end 20°37'N 41°18'E). Habitats include: bare granite domes and slabs; well-vegetated granite boulder slopes with montane woodland, including Juniperus; wadis with abundant Ficus and Ziziphus trees; and Acacia woodland.
See box for key species. The site's location and interesting mix of habitats provide an avifauna with Afrotropical elements as well as most of the south-west Arabian endemics, and breeding birds thus include Scopus umbretta (c.30 birds present), Aquila verreauxii, Halcyon leucocephala, Monticola rufocinereus, Phylloscopus umbrovirens and Emberiza tahapisi. Up to 20 Ciconia nigra overwinter.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Papio hamadryas (endemic) and several (heavily persecuted) large carnivores. Fish: Cyprinion mahalensis, Garra buettikeri and Barbus apoensis (all endemic). Flora: Jabal Ibrahim is of high botanical interest.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is proposed as a Natural Reserve, Biological Reserve and Resource Use Reserve in the NCWCD System Plan for Protected Areas. Some nature conservation public awareness activities have been undertaken, but large numbers of visitors and hunters are not reached by this method. Many camps of nomadic pastoralists are now appearing more permanent and buildings are being erected, even though ownership of the area remains unknown, and the complexities of land ownership and utilization mitigate against rapid establishment of a protected area. There is a threat from overgrazing locally, as from settlement and building in key areas.
Data-sheet compiled by Dr Stephen F. Newton.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadi Turabah and Jabal Ibrahim. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2022.