Clean-up event and bird watching in Wadi Gharaba

Black-winged-Kite-Ghor-Rama-Jordan-Valley-7-December-2019-photo-by-Fares-Khoury

A special Conservation Area

Solid waste is one of the main and ever-growing environmental issues in the Jordan Valley, others being depletion of water sources, overgrazing of native vegetation, invasion of alien shrub species and unregulated hunting.

JBW is carrying out projects in one site to tackle the root causes for such local problems and present a model of best practices and for integrated management of ecosystems and natural resources in the Jordan Valley area.

White-throated-Kingfisher,-Ghor-Rama,-Jordan-Valley,-7th-December-2019
White-throated Kingfisher, Ghor Rama in the Jordan Valley on the 7th of December 2019
photo by Fares Khoury

Moreover, JBW organizes birding trips to spread awareness and to monitor birds and their habitats.

In this context, Jordan BirdWatch together with Ahl El-Balad initiative carried out a clean-up event in Wadi Gharaba Special Conservation Area, which is located in Ghor Rama north of the Dead Sea on Saturday 7th December 2019. Large amounts of waste were collected, including mainly plastic water bottles and cans.

cleaning-campaign-7-dec-2019
Cleaning campaign on the 7th of December 2019 organised by Ahl El-Balad initiative and Jordan BirdWatch

JBW members also enjoyed watching a variety of birds in and around Wadi Gharaba in the early morning including Herons and Egrets, two Black-winged Kites Kingfishers (three species), Little Green Be-eaters, Bluethroat, Robin, Stonechat, Indian Silverbills and Spanish Sparrows.

Kingfisher in Ghor-Rama, Jordan-Valley. December-2019, photo by Fares Khoury
Kingfisher in Ghor Rama, Jordan Valley, December 7th 2019, photo by Fares Khoury

A Special Conservation Area

Wadi Gharaba bird habitat

Wadi Gharaba becomes a Special Conservation Area

Wadi Gharaba, Jordan Valley, was announced as a “Special Conservation Area” by the Ministry of Environment upon the request of JORDAN BIRDWATCH and after obtaining the approval of various stakeholders.

An SCA includes management of important habitats and ecosystems to conserve biodiversity while allowing limited or traditional use by local communities.

The nearly 5 Km² area is adjacent to the River Jordan and 7 km north of the Dead Sea. It is around 35 km (half an hour drive) from Amman. It includes a narrow, shallow wadi with marsh-like conditions and Tamarisk thickets, suitable breeding habitat for Little Bittern, Blue-cheeked and Little Green Bee-eater, White-throated and Pied Kingfishers, Clamorous Reed and Cetti’s Warblers and Dead Sea Sparrow.

The management plan was prepared by JBW during 2018, and includes activities for preparing the site for visitors and minimizing threats, namely overgrazing, encroachment by an invasive shrub, hunting of birds and waste management.

Soon after the management plan was prepared, however, new plans to invest within and around the SCA have been announced. Nonetheless, JBW along with supporters is determined to protect the natural bird habitats along the wadi which flows into River Jordan. GIZ and SGF/UNDP are supporting JBW in carrying out two projects at the site in 2019-2020 (see projects for more information).

For information on how to reach the site and for organized birding trips please contact JBW.