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BAHRAIN – AL-AREEN WILDLIFE PARK: 26.204167, 50.458333

Bahrain is a country situated in the scope of Med-O-Med program, geographical and culturally. That is why and with the objective to use them as reference for the different research and catalogues created by the program, that we present this data for the country in different subjects.

Biodiversity conservation data

MAIN PHYTOGENETIC RESOURCES OF BAHRAIN AND THE MAIN THREATS

Of exceptional international importance is the Hawar Islands Protected Zone, which providesvaluable feeding and breeding grounds for a large variety of migratory marine birds. The cormorant colony on the Socotra Hawar Islands is the largest in the world, and the dugong colony is the world’s second largest after Australia.

Urbanisation is the main threat for biological diversity in Bahrain. A considerable proportion of the coast has been altered by coastal development and by dredging and filling operations. Other important anthropogenic pressures on local biodiversity stem from industrial activities and contamination by hydrocarbons, as well as overfishing and the existence of invasive exotic species.

STATUS OF IN-SITU AND EX-SITU CONSERVATION

In-situ conservation

Bahrain has drawn up a National Environmental Strategy which is currently awaiting official approval. Financial limitations have not allowed the development of a system of protected areas in Bahrain.

To date there is one terrestrial protected area (the Al-Areen Wildlife Park) as well as five marine areas. The main objectives of the former are to promote scientific research, ecotourism, public awareness and conservation of the country’s biodiversity. Tuble Bay was declared a protected area in 1995 and designated a RAMSAR site in 1997 in an attempt to help protect the coast from development. The Hawar islands were declared a protected area in 1996 and designated a RAMSAR site in 1997.

Ex-situ conservation

The search for information carried out for this study seems to indicate that there is neither a germplasm bank nor a botanic garden as such in Bahrain. These are essential, especially in view of the environmental changes that have taken place over the last two decades as a result of urban expansion occupying most of southern Bahrain, which is considered one of the places with the richest plant diversity in the country. Ex-situ conservation can help prevent species from becoming extinct, and Bahrain is making efforts to explicitly include it amongst its priorities (and reflect it in legislation).

Centres of plant diversity

Physical geography data

Bahrain is a country off the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago of 33 islands, the main one being the island of Bahrain, where Manama, the capital, is located. There are also many smaller islands, sand banks and reefs opposite the central south coast of the Arabian Gulf. The country’s surface area is 728 km2, and it has sovereignty over about 3,000 km2 of territorial waters.

WWF classifies Bahrain’s ecoregions as Persian Gulf desert and semi-desert, and the landscape is mostly arid desert. However, the marine habitats are very diverse, including seaweed beds, marshes and coral reefs as well as coastal islands. There are no mountains of importance except for the Jabal ad-Dukhan, at the centre of Bahrain island. Farming – date palms and fruits – is made possible, only to the north and north-east of this mountain, by the use of artesian wells, springs and desalination plants. The rest of the territory is desert, with some small lagoons.

The winters can be considered cold with some rainfall (74 mm/year) and last from December to February. The climate is influenced by low pressure systems coming from the Mediterranean and travelling eastwards via the gulf. Summers are hot and humid (relative humidity of 67-82%) with temperatures between 38 and 42°C.

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Bahrain is a country situated in the scope of Med-O-Med program, geographical and culturally. That is why and with the objective to use them as reference for the different research and catalogues created by the program, that we present this data for the country in different subjects. This post is available in: English Español