Mujib Biosphere Reserve

Established in 1987, Mujib Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 212 km2. Bordering the Dead Sea at 402 meters below sea level, the Mujib Biosphere Reserve surrounds Wadi Mujib, a deep and majestic canyon that cuts through the rugged highlands and drains into the Dead Sea.

Seasonal and permanent streams flow through many of the wadis, supporting luxurious aquatic plants in the river-beds. These rivers also enable this otherwise arid area to support a remarkable diversity of wildlife. It is also one of the major sources that compensate the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea Surveys indicate that the reserve contains over 550 species of plants, 8 species of carnivores, and numerous species of resident and migratory birds. The richest vegetation is found in the wadi beds where there are Palm Trees, in addition to Wild Fig, Tamarisk trees and beautiful Oleander shrubs, in addition to the Reed bed along the river.

The steep mountain slopes support several highly adapted mammals, including Rock Hyrax, the Eurasian Badger and, most importantly, the Nubian Ibex, a large mountain goat. Today, only a small number of Ibex remain in the wild due to widespread illegal hunting. To save this animal from extinction, RSCN finished a 15-year reintroduction program for the Ibex in the reserve, where the captive bred animals were kept.

Many carnivores inhabit the various vegetation zones in Mujib. The Caracal, a medium sized cat with black and white ear tufts, lives in rocky wadis. It is a powerful and agile hunter with great jumping power, known to catch flying birds in its paws. Mujib is also an internationally important passageway for migratory birds. Huge numbers of White Storks passed through every year starting from August, Black Storks, Buzzards, Honey Buzzards, Levant Sparrow Hawks, and much more. The globally threatened Lesser Kestrel breeds in the reserve every spring. The breeding population reaches sometimes 0.1 % of the globally estimated population. At least nine species of birds of prey are known to breed in the reserve, significantly Bonelli’s eagle, Short-toad Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, and Barbary Falcon.