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Sir Bu Nair Island

Date of Submission: 30/01/2012
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities
State, Province or Region:
North coast of United Arab Emirates, Emirate of Sharjah
Coordinates: N25 13 07.5 E54 14 14.11
Ref.: 5661
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

Description

The protected island Sir Bu Nair is one of the most important marine protected areas in the UAE for its contents of significant environmental elements, such as its geological formations, natural flora and Marine birds, island characterized by the nature scenery and sandy beaches that have been taken by sea turtles as a center for breeding.

Sir Bu Nair is one of the most important hawksbill nesting sites within the entire Arabian Gulf and certainly by far the most important location in the UAE.

Several important sea-birds have been recorded nesting at Sir Bu Nair, including lesser crested tern (Sterna bengalensis), great crested tern (Sterna bergi), red-billed tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) and Socotra cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis). Today sooty gulls and bridled terns (Onychoprion anaethetus) nest in large numbers at Sir Bu Nair although there are threats to nesting bridled terns from feral cat predation.

The subsoil of the island is rich in minerals such as iron oxide and sulfur, which has been heavily exploited in the past, and was previously used in the paving of streets in Britain, and underscores the fact that there are some mines on the island.

Currently, there are many scientific studies and surveys, including a study for the establishment of facilities in the island to promote eco-tourism in certain seasons, for those interested and specialists, and has been a mutual cooperation agreement between the Environment and Protected Areas Authority and Sharjah Police to protect the biodiversity in the island.

Through the monitoring program of wildlife in Sir Bu Nair Island, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority have been tracking hawksbill turtles on the island via satellite, in cooperation with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), where the satellite tags were successfully fixed to the carapace of the turtles and can now be followed at the link: www.gulfturtles.com.

Since 2000, The Environment and Protected Areas Authority started to organize the environmental heritage festival of Sir Bu Nair, which sheds light on the historical and environmental importance of the island as well as to raise awareness of the need to support the Authority's efforts in conservation the biodiversity in the island.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

Sir Bu Nair island is characterized by its rich Environmental biodiversity, as a refuge for sea turtles, birds, coral communities, and reef fishes. The historical dimension of the island is closely linked to the region's history, and to the fact that Sir Bu Nair Island was a meeting point of hunters and a refuge from the storms and winds.

The protected Island of Sir Bu Nair is one of the most important marine protected areas for its contents of significant environmental elements, such as its geological formations, natural flora and Marine birds, island characterized by the nature scenery and sandy beaches that have been taken by sea turtles as a center for breeding. It is one of the most important hawksbill nesting sites within the entire Arabian Gulf and certainly by far the most important location in the UAE.

The marine and wild ecosystem, picturesque nature, sandy beaches around the island's perimeter and unique geological formations of the island make it exceptional and gives it a unique natural beauty.

Criteria met: (ix)(x)
Sir Bu Nair Island is rich in biological diversity, and constitutes an important refuge for marine birds, which visit the island in most seasons of the year. The Island is considered an ideal habitat for marine turtles; there are two species which are encountered within the island: the hawksbill turtle and the green sea turtle.

A total of 20 species of coral were identified in the island such as Psammocora obtuseangulata, Favites
spinosa Kluzinger and Favites cf acuticollis Ortmann.

A total 58 species of reef fishes were recorded during the surveys in the northern and western Reef areas in island. The Fish Gobiodon citrinus, which is a species absent from and uncommon in the Gulf and Gulf of Oman, was found on corals in Sir Bu Nair.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Sir Bu Nair Island still maintains its originality, and still reserves it's cultural and heritage particularities, social and cultural prestige. The island enjoys official protection and care by its designation as a protected area in accordance with the Decree No.(25) Of 2000 issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, as the form of the issuance administrative decision No. (3) Of 2000 on "the prevention of environmental degradation on Sir Bu Nair island", in support efforts to preserve biodiversity and wildlife conservation on the island. The dangers that threaten the island may include some human activities and pollution caused by oil leak and oil tankers collision.

Comparison with other similar properties

Similar example to the Island is Sir Bani Yas, but Sir Bu Nair Island is unique due to its land and marine ecosystems and its habitats highly rich in biodiversity.