Ajloun Woodland Reserve
Ajloun Woodland Reserve is located in the Ajloun Highlands (North of Amman), around the extension of a long valley known as Wadi Ain Zubia. It consists of Mediterranean-like hill country, dominated by open woodlands of Oak and Pistachio trees. The Reserve was first established in 1988 when a captive-breeding program for the Roe Deer was initiated.
The reserve, 13 square kilometer, is located in an area named Eshtafena. The reserve management has set up two hiking trails and provided a special area for camping.
Ajloun's woodlands consist mostly of Oak trees, interspersed with Pistachio, Pine, Carob, and Wild Strawberry trees. These trees have been important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty, and quite often for medicine and food.
The Roe Deer is adapted to forest habitat, and feeds on a variety of trees, shrubs and grasses. The rich Mediterranean-like forests that covered the Ajloun area provided an ideal habitat for millennia. However, deforestation and desertification over the past 200 years led to the decline in numbers of the Roe Deer. Three Roe Deers were introduced to the captive breeding enclosure in Ajloun in 1988, from a similar habitat in Turkey. Today, there are 13 Roe Deer at Ajloun.
The Persian Fallow Deer is another species that was once common in Jordan. This animal probably became extinct by the turn of the century. A re-introduction program for this deer at Zubia will begin as soon as the Roe Deer program has been firmly established. This species of deer derives its name from the old English word "falu", meaning "brownish-yellow", which describes the color of its coat.
The Ajloun area has a long history of human settlement, due to its Mediterranean climate, dense forests and fertile soil. This rich history is reflected in the many archaeological ruins scattered in the woodlands and surrounding villages.
A spring located in a valley between Zubia and Tubna villages served as a major source of water for the surrounding settlements. Today, there are more than ten villages surrounding the Ajloun Reserve. Some villagers are involved in farming crops such as grapes, figs and olives while others work in the public sector. Ajloun area is famous for its olive trees and its assorted products.