Arabian Highland Woodlands & Shrublands | WWF

Arabian Highland Woodlands & Shrublands

About the Area

Part of this ecoregion is blanketed in heavy fog and dew for months at a time resulting in high moisture conditions that attract a greater number of species than the surrounding deserts.

The Al Hajar Mountain Range within this region is the highest in eastern Arabia, forming a spectacular wall of rock rising above the desert. Known to be unique for having plants and trees above 6,600 feet (2,000 m), the mountains serve as an important refuge for endemic and relict species.

The southwestern highlands are an important stopover site for migrating birds and the fog desert is the site of the successful reintroduction of the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx).

Local Species
Notable species include the endemic Arabian tahr (Hemitragus jayakari), Arabian gazelle (Gazella gazella), Nubian ibex (Capra ibex nubiana), Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), Wild cat (Felis sylvestris), and Leopard (Panthera pardus).

Representative bird species include the Yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos), Graceful warbler (Prinia gracilis), Brown woodland warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens), Yemen linnet (Carduelis yemenensis), Gambage dusky flycatcher (Muscicapa gambagae), Arabian partridge (Alectoris melanocephalia), and Black kite (Milvus migrans).

Major threats include overgrazing by cattle, deforestation, off-road vehicle use on the coastal plain and in the mountains, and human population growth.


470,000 sq. km (181,500 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Deserts and Xeric Shrublands

Geographic Location:
Arabian Peninsula, in Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Conservation Status:

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