Mujib: The lowest nature reserve on earth
Back to Fauna and Flora
The deeply cut sandstone mountains of the Mujib Reserve span an elevation drop of over 1,200 meters: from 900 m above sea level to 400m below sea level - the lowest ground level on Earth. As a consequence of this dramatic change in altitude and the presence of several flowing rivers, it has many different habitats, supporting a wide variety of plants and animals.
One of the most important animals in Mujib is the Nubian ibex, a large mountain goat which became threatened as a result of over-hunting. RSCN established a captive-breeding centre in the Reserve in 1989 and the initial group of 20 ibex has multiplied to over 100 animals. Over 30 of these animals have been successfully returned to the wild.
Mujib is also well known for large carnivores like the regionally scarce striped hyena and Syrian wolf, and for many species of birds. Among the important birds are the lesser kestrel, imperial eagle, Bonelli`s eagle and griffon vulture, all of which are declining in numbers throughout the world. As well as resident birds, the reserve is strategically important as a safe stop-over for the huge number of birds which fly annually along the rift valley between Africa and northeast Europe.
412 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, Polygomum argyrocoleum, whereas 43 rare species, 67 medicinal plants, 12 poisonous species, 115 palatable plants and 22 edible species have been recorded.
40-50 species have been recorded in Mujib Reserve, belonging to 27 families and five different orders.
24 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, Stripped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Caracal Caracal caracal, Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr, Nubian Ibex Capra ibex nubiana, Mountain Gazelle Gazella gazelle and Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis.
Three species have been recorded in the reserve: Capeota damascina, Nemacheilus insignis and Garra rufa.
Three species have been recorded: Hyla savignyi , Bufo viridis , Rana bedriagae.
21 species of reptiles have been recorded, three of which are very poisonous snakes: Walterinnesia aegyptia, Echis coloratus and Atractaspis engaddensis.
150 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve, some of which are of special importance on the international level like Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni and Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca. Species of special importance on the regional level include: Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus, Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus and Sooty Falcon Falco concolor. Species of national importance include: Cybrus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax and Ruppelle's warbler Sylvia rueppeli.
Back to Fauna and Flora