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Jordan was the first country in the Middle East to adopt a national environmental strategy, with help from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A national strategy was completed in 1992 presenting specific recommendations for Jordan on a sectorial basis, addressing the areas of agriculture, air pollution, coastal and marine life, antiquities and cultural resources, mineral resources, wildlife and habitat preservation, population and settlement patterns, and water resources.
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has been working since its establishment in 1966 on the protection of natural resources from regression and the environment from pollution. Over seven natural reserves have been established throughout the past 30 years, They are the Shomari reserve, Azraq reserve, Zoubia reserve, Wadi Moujeb reserve, Wadi Rum reserve, Dana reserve and Aqaba marine reserve. Public awareness programs such as Afforestation and the control of hunting are made to ensure the protection of Jordan’s most valuable natural resources
Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is located in the eastern Jordanian desert, close to Azraq Wetland Reserve. The geology comprises desert wadis making up 65% of the area and Hammada areas covered in black flint forming 35% of the reserve. Founded in 1975, Shaumari was founded for the wildlife in the desert area. One of the main goals of the reserve has been to bring back locally extinct species, notably the Arabian oryx, into the wild. In 1978, 4 Arabian oryxs were brought to the reserve for a breeding program. Starting in 1983, 31 oryxs were released into the wild, successfully returning the oryx into its native environment. Other species, such as Somali ostriches, Persian onagers and gazelles reside in the reserve. Before the establishment of the reserve, hunting nearly annihilated local animal populations, a problem which RSCN has been successful in dealing with
AZRAQ WETLAND RESERVE
The Azraq Wetlands, located in Jordan's eastern desert near the town of Azraq, is RSCN's only wetlands reserve. The reserve, once a popular stopover for millions of migratory birds going from Africa to Eurasia, is now severely depleted due to over-pumping to support Jordan's growing population. In 1978, the reserve was established as an effort to conserve the oasis. Between 1981 and 1993, water levels decreased sharply, concluding with the drying up of the springs in 1992. Azraq today only makes up 0.04% of its former size. Water levels are maintained by RSCN in order to save indigenous fish species such as the Azraq Killfish and to keep the site a tourist destination. Efforts have been partially successful; some birds have returned and killfish have increased in numbers, but attempts to increase the water mass by 10% of the original size have been unsuccessful. Water pumping and lack of manpower and wetland experience keep water levels at a lo
MUJIB BIOSOHER RESERVE
At 410 meters below sea level, the Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve on Earth. Its rugged and spectacular mountains border the Dead Sea coast and are dissected by several river-filled canyons that offer the best river and adventure hikes in Jordan. The breathtaking scenery and the challenge of negotiating Mujib’s fast-flowing rivers make the Reserve one of Jordan’s most popular natural attractions.
Mujib’s complex river system and all-year water flow enable it to support a rich biodiversity. To date, over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded. Some of the mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach and offer safe havens for rare species of cats, mountain goats (Ibex) and other mountain animals.
Mujib Adventure Center
Is the starting point of all the adventures and activities (except Al Hidan trail) to explore Wadi Al Mujib, and it is a special spot for the adventure lovers in Jordan and the world. The center also has a cafeteria and a waiting area.
D’ANA BIOSPHERE RESERVE
D’ana was founded in 1990, providing a rugged wild life reserve in which numbers of specific species would be protected. Among the reserve’s most important fauna are ibex, mountain gazelle, red fox, badger, wolf and jackal. The reserve is also important for birdlife, as it has a wide variety of tree cover. The illustrious D’ana project was launched to revitalize the natural habitat and foster the reserve’s numbers of wildlife. D’ana is a wildlife reserve with a difference in that man has resided there for 6,000 years. Evidence of Paleolithic, Edomite, Nabatean and Roman occupation has been found. It is hoped that the small village of D’ana can be kept uncluttered by modern gadgets.
Foxes and hedge hogs are some of the species protected at Zubia. The roe deer was recently reintroduced to its original habitat at Zubia, and similar plans are in the works for the Persian Fallon Deer, a rare species which inhibited Zubia over 110 years ago
AQABA MARINE RESERVE
The Gulf of Aqaba is home to 268 known species of Fish and 127 types of Coral. In comparison, the state of Hawaii’s coastal waters contain 45 varieties of Coral, while Bermuda hosts some 15 types.
YARMOUK FORERST RESERVE
Yarmouk Forest Reserve is located in the northwestern parts of Jordan, at the border with Golan hill. The total area of Yarmouk Forest Reserve is 20 km2. It contains two main topographic areas: Mountains which are covered by deciduous oak up to 500 m high above the sea level, punctuated by valleys of small and medium descend towards the Yarmouk river. Those small and medium descend valleys have a seasonal runoff with the exception of Shag Al Bared valley.
Yarmouk Forest Reserve is located within the Mediterranean biogeographical zone, which provides a warm climate in summer and a cold one in winter with an average rainfall of 400 mm / year. The reserve has two vegetation types: Deciduous oak forest and fresh water vegetation types. The rapid assessment surveys show that there are 59 plant species, among them: Deciduous Oak, which is the national tree in Jordan, Atlantic Pistachio, White Willow, Oriental plane, Orchid Anatolian and Aleppo Pine. Fauna rapid assessment shows 20 recorded mammalian species, among them: Arabian Gazelle, Stone Marten, Rock Hyrax, Egyptian, Jungle Cat, Asiatick Jackal. Also 58 Bird species were recorded which count for 14% of Jordan’s bird population: Avifauna: Kestrel, Chukar, Sand Partridge, Moorhen, Hoopoe, Syrian Woodpecker, Collared Dove and Bee-eater. Also 15 herpetofaunal species were recorded at Yarmouk Forest Reserve, among them the Green Toad and the Palestinian Viper. The main challenges in the reserve are: Overgrazing, soil erosion, wood cutting, hunting, expansion of agricultural lands and random tourism, RSCN is preparing an integrated management plan to meet this threats in a participatory way with local communities.
FIFA NATURE RESERVE
On July 13, 2011, the Fifa Nature Reserve was officially declared. It is located in the south-western part of Jordan. The reserve has an area of 23.2 km2. In part lying well below sea level, the reserve contains the salt plant pattern and the tropical plant pattern
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