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Helping Nature * Protected Areas * Proposed Protected Areas

The 1978 and 1998 surveys of Jordan’s wild places identified several sites of exceptional wildlife and landscape value. These sites need special care and management. RSCN has managed to develop management plans for six of these nature reserves. At present, five other sites identified in the surveys are proposed as national priorities for designation as protected areas. Each proposed protected area has some unique qualities that qualify it to become a fully functional nature reserve. Below is a brief description for the top priority proposed nature reserves and the threats they face.


Yarmouk River (Proposed area 30 km2)
Fifa (Proposed area 27 km2)
Qatar (Proposed area 50 km2)
Jabal Mas’uda (Proposed area 460 km2)
 

Yarmouk River (Proposed area 30 km2)

The Yarmouk River valley located on the northern borders has been left largely undisturbed due to its strategic location.As a result, it still supports a wide variety of plant and animal communities typical of intact and unpolluted river systems. The area includes important woodlands of deciduous oak trees, the largest of the oak tree species found in Jordan. It also supports many rare animals, including the locally endangered and globally near-threatened river otter Lutra lutra and the globally threatened mountain gazelle Gazella gazella and one species of fish found only in the Yarmouk catchment. The area is also very important for birds, especially birds of prey like Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus. The main threats are water extraction, sewage pollution, uncontrolled agriculture, grazing and increasing visitor pressure.


FiFa Nature Reserve

Fifa was declared a Protected Area by Jordan’s prime minister in the last quarter of 2011.  Although relatively small (only about 25 square kilometers), Fifa’s land area represents two important kinds of vegetation (tropical and saline).Fifa’s natural forest is rich in trees such as the tamarisk and acacia.  The Protected Area contains six species of locally-endangered plants and a variety of globally-threatened animals, such as the Caracal and the Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard and the Honey Buzzard.  Surrounding the Protected Area, a number of local communities depend on agricultural activities within and around Fifa, including fishing, grazing, and wood collecting.  Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the Assembly pay special attention to integrating the local residents and garnering community participation in both conservation and socio-economic development programs in order to ensure the sustainability of Fifa’s resources and protect them for future generations.


Qatar Nature Reserve
Qatar Protected Area lies in the southern part of Wadi Araba within the giant mountain of Aqaba , just north of the port city of Aqaba.with an area of 110 square kilometers.is characterized as having different heights ranging between 50 and 500 meters above sea level. Qatar was established with the express purpose of safeguarding protected trees, especially the acacia trees and the steppe vegetation type in which they grow. Rainfall is very minimal throughout the year and does not exceed 50 mm annually, making the area extremely dry. This dryness does not affect the diversity, however, and many plant and animal species have been recorded in Qatar, including 32 species of resident and migratory birds. The village of Qatar is the only village adjacent to the protected area and its residents are very important to the future of Qatar. Much of the population uses parts of the protected area for economic purposes, such as livestock grazing, firewood collection, and hunting. Therefore, their participation in the management of the region is a major goal of RSCN and a prerequisite for the sustainability of the protected area.

Jabal Mas’uda (Proposed area 460 km2)

Jabal Mas’uda is located in the southern part of Jordan, in Ma'an Governorate. The name of the site was taken from the highest mountain peak in the area. The site has an elevation range from 180m to 1500m and contains three bio-geographical zones: Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian and Saharo-Arabian. It lies in a region including parts of the Southern Escarpment, Esh Sharrah Plateau and the Rift Valley Desert. The diversity in the landscape in the area is unique where one can pass through not less than seven vegetation types by only driving along the road that crosses through the reserve. These vegetation types cover extremes of the vegetation of Jordan from Juniper in the highlands of the area down to sand dunes and acacia trees along the wadis in the lowlands of Wadi Araba.