An interest for touristsVaried bird species call Yemen home [Archives:2005/826/Last Page]

March 21 2005

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
Recent scientific studies reveal that Yemen is one of riches countries in the region in terms of birds, as it's a cross-point for different species of migrating birds in the autumn and spring.

Such birds come from cold places in the north of Asia, like Russia, and also from some areas of South Africa.

The International Birds Organization (IBO) announced that around 370 species of birds can be seen in Yemeni lands, and 13 species settling in the south of Arabia are unique to the world.

There are also around 54 main locations of birds in Yemen which are distinguished with water resources and botanical coverage. A large number of Arabian birds (61 families and 177 species) already exist in the Yemeni Island of Socotra.

Experts specializing in ornithology ascertain that there are several factors behind the heavy existence of birds in Yemen such as biodiversity, nice weather and the geographical nature of Yemen.

The study conducted by the IBO in cooperation with the Yemen Environment Protection Council indicated that the African birds migrate to Yemen in spring to make nests and grow their younger ones. But in winter, a large number of birds migrate from north Arabia and Europe towards Yemen to escape the cold weather.

Another scientific study confirmed that the smallest bird in Yemen is named “Tamere Wadi al-Nile” (Sunbird) , whose length does not exceed 10 centimeters and weighs five grams. The biggest bird is the Arabian Bustard which weighs 10 kg. The flamingo, a long legged bird, is thought of as the tallest bird in Yemen, and the swift is the fastest one among Yemeni birds.

The Yemeni birds are concentrated in the mountainous areas. These areas are preferred by birds such as the Arabian Partridge that can live even in a wasteland. But the Arabian Bustard lives in Tehama Pain.

Bald Ibis, who is threatened, lives in fresh water swamps near the city of Taiz and in some southern valleys. The Arabian Golden Sparrow lives in the areas that are rich with agricultural crops. Other birds including Plover live mostly in the coastal areas.

Yemen's interest in birds crystallized in signing an agreement on the artificial incubation of the Asian Bustards living in Yemen, giving them an access to settlement as well as keeping them alive.

Tourists and visitors can watch the migration of birds, particularly in the area of Bab al-Mandab, as well as in many other distinctive areas across Yemen.