Jebel Al Dair National Park
Permanent Delegation of Sudan to UNESCO
North Kordofan State
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Jebel Al Dair National park is located at Er Rahad Locality in the South Eastern corner of Northern Kordofan State. It covers a total area of 615.460 km², falls within the northern limits of the dry savannah woodland – grassland. Its annual rainfall ranges between 250 mm and 600 mm starting at late May with a peak in August and diminishes towards the end of October. Jebel AL Dair, as the name designates, appears from a distance as a group of mountain tops, clustering in a circular form, with several peaks of varying heights, some of which rise up to over 1400 m. above sea level. The park contains a variety of habitats in four distinct biophysical environments with their specific fauna and flora, including the higher elevation slopes and escarpments (at 900 to 1424 m), Fawas or enclosed flat plains between the grouping humps and peaks of the massif (at 900- 1200 m), upland valleys and streams (at 800-1200 m and the lower slopes down the foot hills (at 500-800 m).
From the fawas many streams and khors originate to form a network of water courses that drain from the mountains into the lower valleys and to khor Abo Habel, which is the major and largest water course in Er Rahad Locality. The most important seasonal khors are Khor Karafang, Khor Tombal, khor Talbas, Khor Hager El Teir and Khor Fawa El GidadOther khors are Khor El Baladia and Khor El Mishiesh. The upland valleys which are known as wadies such as Wadi. E Saraf Eggri and Saraf Shakro, pass through the three zones of JADNP from the top fawas to the foot hills. They comprise cracks or hollows between rocks, locally known as “Shaqs”, such as Shaq Ballah, Shaq El Birmeel, Shaq El Kadad, Shaq El Neem, Shaq El Siheibat and Shaq El Sim. These Shaqs cross the Fawas for several kilometers with a width of 3-5 m. The dominant plant species in the upper slopes and escarpments ecosystem are Boswellia papyrifera, Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia tortilis, A. mellifera, A. etbaica, Terminalia spp, Anthephora hochstetteri and. Combretum glutinosum. The bushes and shrubs include Grewia villosa, G. tenax, A. nubica and Cappris decidua. The herbs include Solanum incanum, Ocimum sp and Pulicarca sp. The grasses are Aristida sp, Erograstis sp, Cymbopogon nervatus and Pennesetum porporea. The most dominant plant species are represented by the thorn trees and shrubs including Acacia tortilis, A. mellifera, A.seyal, Balanities aegyptiaca, Dalbergia melonoxlon and Boswellia papyrifera. The shrubs include Grewia villosa, G. tenax, Cadaba farinosa and Cappris deciduas. Among the grasses Eragrostis sp showed the highest dominance, followed by Cyperus metzii, and Cymbopogon nervatus. The herbs include Solanum incanum, Ocimum sp, Senna tora, Tripogon minimus, and Zornia glochidiatain. A total of 20 fawas were identified in JADNP. Each fawa has a name, often descriptive of its situation. The bamboo (Oxytenanthera abyssinica) is the most prominent grass along the course of the valleys, streams and khors in the fawas. It occupies a prominent economic position as one of the most important sources of woody materials needed for several uses.
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
The park contains a variety of habitats in four distinct biophysical environments with their specific fauna and flora, including the higher elevation slopes and escarpments (at 900 to 1424 m), Fawas or enclosed flat plains between the grouping humps and peaks of the massif (at 900-1200 m), upland valleys and streams (at 800-1200 m and the lower slopes down the foot hills (at 500-800 m). More than thirty seven tree species, with high densities, have been recorded in the lower valleys around the Jebel. Exceptional Resource Values (ERVs) are the biophysical features of a national park that are assessed as being especially important to maintain the unique ecological character and functions of the park and that provide outstanding benefits (social, economic and aesthetic) to local, national and international stakeholders. Jebel Al Dair is important for exceptional natural, socio-economic and cultural values. The hydrology of Jebel El Dair is essential to the whole area of Er Rahad Locality. It enriches Khor Abo Habel drainage system through the flows of the small khors and streams that run down the Jebel. It is a rich biodiversity area, has more than 112 plant species including 96 medicinal and aromatic plants. The only remaining intact natural forests in the eastern part of North Kordofan are found in Jebel Al Dair. To a certain extent it has a global value since its forests contribute to the process of carbon sequestration in collaboration with partners of the international community. Jebel Al Dair is unique in its location in the semi-arid environment and as a watershed area is still constitutes essential water source in such semi-arid ecosystem.
Criterion (vii): The naturalness and the esthetic features of Jebel Al Dair gave it an increasing interest in the arid region. The park contains a variety of habitats in four distinct biophysical environments with their specific fauna and flora, including the higher elevation slopes and escarpments, upland valleys, streams and lower slopes down the foot hills, which constitute beautiful scenic from far, encouraging mountainous ecotourism from all the region.
Criterion (ix): The distinct biophysical habitats evolved in different layers from bottom to the top higher elevation with their specific fauna and flora, within fawas, wadies and fresh water springs. The biophysical features of the national park are especially important to maintain the unique ecological character and functions of the park and that provide outstanding benefits (social, economic and aesthetic) to the local communities down the Jebel.
Criterion (x): Jebel Al Dair is unique in its location in the semi-arid environment. The only remaining intact natural forests in the eastern part of North Kordofan are found in Jebel Al Dair. These forests are valued by the local communities as part of their heritage for the wilderness and aesthetic values and a rare biodiversity not found elsewhere in the region. Over 90 species of trees and grasses,17 species of birds and 6 species of reptiles are recorded in the Jebel. Over 112 plant species have been recorded including 95 species of medicinal and aromatic plants. Twenty two species of mammals, the most prominent are Greater kudu, Baboons (Papio anubis), and Hyraix (Keko) (Procavia capensis) which are endangered species. Birds are many including indigenous and migratory species. As part of the drainage system, the springs in the Jebel constitute the main sources of water for the wildlife species and domestic animals and to the local communities in the down streams. The demand for water often outstrips the supply, particularly when supply may be severely limited in years of drought. Most of the springs dry out as soon as rainfall ends; that is between late October and early November. During the dry season, wildlife depends on permanent springs (mainly Saraf El Zulal and Tulbas bir). There are many salt licks, found near the springs which are used by the wild animals especially by the Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros).
The mountain actually provides security attributed to high altitude and the rough nature of the terrain. At the cliffs top eagles and hawks build their nests away from the disturbance of intruders and fruit gatherers. Below in the fawas and along the valleys and streams, mammalian species obtain their food requirements in the dense wooded grasslands beyond the competition of livestock. The Greater Kudu or "Nalat" as it is known locally and the most valued game animal, takes refuge in the top massifs when harassed by poachers. In addition to the relative security and abundance of forage and water sources, there are salt licks in some fawas which most of large animals frequently visit for supplementing their dietary requirements. The fawas constitute water catchment areas that flood out into many streams and khors while absorbing a considerable amount of the annual precipitation which eventually oozes out at lower levels in the form of springs. Some of these springs are seasonal or of a short duration while others are perennials. Some of the springs drain excessive water through some of the streams. It is rather a prosperous natural habitat for those wildlife species that are still holding their grounds in this splendid mountain seclusion. Trees and grasses were recorded in the Jebel habitats, providing the shelter and food to wildlife species. More than thirty seven tree species, with high densities, have been recorded in the lower valleys around the Jebel.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrity
Jebel Al Dair was declared a national park at 2010 and a Biosphere Reserve at 2016. It is managed by Wildlife Conservation General Administration. The park well maintained, by both the local community and government authorities. As for the community, it represents a cultural and ritual value; and for the authorities, it represents a site of natural heritage and it has to be preserved. It has also great potential for agricultural and forestry development in the lower plains surrounding the jebel. While the jebel springs and waterfalls are a major source of water for the down stream catchments areas, and enrich the major water body in the whole state called Khor Abou Habil. The intact natural vegetation of Jebel Al Dair is valued by the local stakeholders as an economic source for their livelihoods. The Jebel’s boundaries are considered appropriate and an effective management regime is in place including an overall management plan and adequate resourcing. The site has a buffer zone all around the jebel core zone and a transitional zone where the local communities live. The Jebel has spectaculars variations in habitat, biodiversity, health status, and degree of endemism, intactness and resilience, which make it valuable site of global importance.
Comparison with other similar properties
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest: At 5,199 m, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity (3.1-2.6 million years ago) is thought to have risen to 6,500 m. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provide an outstanding example of ecological and biological processes. Through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, the property also incorporates lower lying scenic foothills and arid habitats of high biodiversity, situated in the ecological transition zone between the mountain ecosystem and the semi-arid savanna grasslands, the same as Jebel Al Dair.
Jebell Al Dair with its several arid granite massifs could be compared to Canaima National Park which is spread over 3 million ha in south-eastern Venezuela along the border between Guyana and Brazil. Roughly 65% of the park is covered by table mountain (tepui) formations. The tepuis constitute a unique biogeological entity and are of great geological interest. The sheer cliffs and waterfalls, including the world's highest (1,000 m), form a spectacular landscape. The Jebel Al Dair mountain actually provides security to the biodiversity, attributed to high altitude and the rough nature of the terrain. Between the grouping humps and peaks of the massif (at 900- 1200 m), there are upland valleys and streams and about 8 springs of fresh water.