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Mujib Nature Reserve

Date of Submission: 11/05/2007
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Environment
State, Province or Region:
Karak Governorate, Jordan
Ref.: 5158
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

Description

The Reserve lies between Wadi Zarqa Mai'n, which forms, the northern border of the reserve, and Wadi Shgeig, which forms, the southern border of the reserve. The western border lies alongside the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth, with 396 m below sea level. The reserve is confined within two governorates : Madaba and Karak, reaching an altitude of 900m above sea leve(a.s.1). The area of the Reserve is approximately 220 sq km.

The dramatic change in altitude and the presence of several flowing rivers, it has many different habitats, supporting a wide variety of plants and animal. 412 plant species have been recorded in the reserve during the first baseline survey in the reserve in 1996. Four Species were considered new flora to Jordan: Kickxia judaica, Ophioglosum polyphyllum , Withania obtusifolia, Polygomurn argyrocoleum, whereas 43 rare species, 67 medicinal plants, 12 poisonous species, 115 palatable plants and 22 edible species have been recorded.

24 mammal species have been recorded during the first baseline, ten of which are of special importance. Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Blanford's Fox Vulpes cana, Honey Badger Mellivora capensis, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Caracal Caracal caracal, Nubian Ibex Capra ibex nubiana and Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis.

Being bordered by the Rift Valley, which is one of the main bird migration routes between Africa and Europe, the reserve is strategically important for bird migration, which gives the reserve very special importance for wildlife on the regional level. The reserve is also a part of a larger ecologically important area "Mujib IBA". 150 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve this includes Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus, Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus and Sooty Falcon Falco concolor, Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanofhorax and Ruppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli.

The complex drainage system in Mujib Nature Reserve is characterized by three large catchments (Wadi Mujib, Wadi Hidan and Wadi Zarka Ma'in) with permanent water flow throughout the year. Several other perennial wadis are also present in the reserve including Wadi 'Attoun, Wadi Abu Retarna and Wadi Shgeig. Numerous springs, like 'Ain Zara and Hammarn Albani, also occur along the wadis. Due to the presence of these wadi systems, the site has been recently identified as a wetland after the review of wetlands in the Middle East in 1995.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Under Jordan's environmental law, natural reserves are protected and all issues related to their establishment and management are governed by a by law titled: "Natural Reserves and National Park by law". Since its establishment in 1987, ecological surveys, monitoring programs, effective zoning, management planning cycles and socio-economic projects have been on going to ensure the sustainable use of the reserve and its resources.

Comparison with other similar properties

The main features of the wadi system and the narrows gorges of these wadis is unique to the area and cannot be found anywhere along the Dead Sea. In addition to this, having this whole permanent water system flowing into the Dead Sea is unmatchable at the global level.