Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary محمية رأس الخور للحياة البرية

Dubai

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary محمية رأس الخور للحياة البرية

WetlandsEco InformationHabitat semnificativHabitat costierHabitat protejat / cultivatLoc de observare insecteObservare păsări și viață sălbaticăMigration Zone

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Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (RAKWS) has become the Nation's first Ramsar wetland site. RAKWS is located at the head of the 14Km long watercourse known as Dubai Creek, and covers an area of 620 hectares featuring sabkhas saline flats, intertidal mudflats and mangroves, small lagoons and pools, and a few tiny islands which lies at the interface between the Arabian Gulf and the Al Awir Desert.

During winter, RAKWS supports more than 20,000 water birds of 67 species and acts as a critical staging ground for the wintering birds of the East African-West Asian Flyway. The site hosts more than 500 species of flora and fauna and is one of the best-managed arid zone wetlands in the region. Located within Dubai city, it is an important eco-tourism destination and receives increasing numbers of local and international visitors.

Country/Territory: United Arab Emirates
Administrative region(s): Dubai
Central coordinates: 55o 20' East 25o 12' North Map
Area: 620 ha
Altitude: 0 - 20m
Criteria: A4iii, B1i

The head of a 10-km-long tidal creek which penetrates 7 km inland from the Gulf through Dubai city, containing tidal mudflats (maximum low-water extent c.150 ha) and a lagoon with maximum depth of 2 m and tidal range of 1.0-1.5 m. Flat sabkhah surrounds the intertidal area; there is some salt-tolerant scrub above the high-tide line, and some Tamarix in disturbed areas. The intertidal zone supports an abundant invertebrate fauna, but in late 1993 most of the 50-cm-deep top layer of mud was scoured off and a network of channels created, after which most of the area was densely planted with mangrove saplings. There is nutrient enrichment from irrigation run-off and treated sewage effluent. Seawards of the mudflats the creek has been dredged for shipping, and much is bounded by commercial development. The land is under the authority of the Coastguard, but is owned by the Government of Dubai/His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.

Land-use and percentage cover: nature conservation and research: 100%

Birds:
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus), Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

The most important mudflat area in the UAE, supporting a more varied assemblage of waterbird species at much higher densities than any other sites in the coastal zone, especially in winter and during passage periods. Important for Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus); no other significant concentrations have been found elsewhere in the country. Furthermore, the site is well-known for its population of Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber), which is present all year but is largest in winter (January av. max. 1,400, 1989-1992; 2,300 in February 1990, peak 3,100 in January 2011 ); another notable winter visitor is Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) (max. 40). Large numbers of Common Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) also roost in winter.

Conservation approaches:
The Government of Dubai declared the area a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1985, giving protection from interference (only) at the Ruler's discretion. Thousands of mangrove, Avicennia sp. saplings were planted in 1991 to 1994. The mangrove forest is steadily flourishing since then. A Mangrove Management Plan is currently being developed to maximize the advantages of the expanding forest which is currently showing signs of encroachment to the mudflats. Moreover, researches on the biodiversity of the sanctuary are continuously being undertaken. Lectures are also being conducted (upon request) regarding the sanctuary to schools or any groups interested in the activities being done in the sanctuary.

SOURCE: BirdLife International 2007 BirdLife's online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation. Version 2.1. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. Available: http://www.birdlife.org (accessed 4/7/2007)

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