Jordan's splendor is waiting to be explored. Here you can mountain-climb 400 meters below sea level, bird-watch among ancient ruins, and see coral reefs never touched before by a human hand. From the virgin deserts to nature reserves, in Jordan you have great chance to be in touch with the elements of nature, to be in touch with yourself.
Jordan has a vast variety of wildlife. This is attributed by its geographical position being at the junction of three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as its diverse landscape, weather conditions and geological structure.
Eco Jordan Map
Jordan is divided into three different bio-geographical zones; the Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, and Saharo-Arabian. These zones are key elements in supporting biodiversity. Within these diverse zones, there are 13 different vegetation types each representing different elements of flora and fauna (Al-Eisawi, D. 1996).
Much of the country's diversity is due to the formation of the Great Rift Valley. The titanic forces that created the Rift Valley produced the high western mountains ranging in altitude from 400m below sea level to 1854m above sea level. While the rest of the country is arid, composed of either basalt or Hamada; a striking ecologically rich ecosystem is present which is unique to Jordan and Syria. Furthermore, Jordan has some highly specialized habitats, the most noteworthy being the Dead Sea in which surrounding communities are considered to be of global importance.
The nature reserves of Jordan offer the visitor a chance to experience some of the country's most beautiful natural surroundings including the marshes of Azraq, the desert grassland of Shaumari, the flowing streams of Wadi Mujib, the sandstone cliffs of Dana, and the oak woodlands of Ajloun. So whether you enjoy hiking, bird-watching, archaeology, or simply a peaceful picnic, Jordan's nature reserves offer something for everyone.
So far, 77 species of mammals have been recorded in Jordan (Amr. Z. 2000), belonging to 7 orders and 26 families. They are distributed as follows: 16 sp. of Carnivora, 5 Artiodactyla, 5 Insectivora, 24 chiroptera, 1 Hyracoidea, 1 Lagomorpha and 25 Rodentia species.
The Jordanian herpetofauna consists of 102 species. They are comprised of five amphibians and 97 reptile species. They are classified as follows: 55 lizards, 37 snakes and 5 turtles.
The majority of Jordanian herpetofauna is not critically endangered however about 14 species are relatively rare and 2- 4 species might be already extinct (Dr. Modry. 1999).
The 415 bird species recorded in Jordan belong to 58 families (Ian Andrews, 2000). 300 of which are migrant, 95 are resident with definite breeding records, 111 are winter visitors, 202 are passage migrants, 81 vagrants, 63 different summer visitors and 10 are former breeders. Jordan hosts breeding populations for three globally threatened species; Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) and Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata). 18 bird species are threatened while 21 are on the CITES appendices.
Jordan's location within the Great Rift Valley makes the country one of the most important passageways for migratory birds. Huge numbers of birds cross the area yearly, some of which are globally threatened like the Corncrake (Crux crex). Migration of birds of prey takes place during the spring. More than 500,000 birds pass through Jordan towards their breeding areas in Eastern Europe and northern Asia.
Invertebrates form a large and diverse group of fauna. Jordan's invertebrates are unique as their composition is a mixture of several faunal origins.
Due to lack of comprehensive research on invertebrates in Jordan, their exact number is unknown. So far a total of 13 orders and 116 families have been recorded in Jordan.
Jordan's flora is rich and highly diverse. Around 2500 species of vascular plants have been recorded, belonging to 152 families, representing about 1% of the total flora of the world. One hundred species are endemic, forming about 2.5% of the total flora of Jordan, which is considered high in world standards. Many species are considered rare or endangered, but the status of many plants remains unknown.
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