The Hawar Islands, off the coast of Bahrain, were first surveyed in 1820. The archipelago comprises of over 35 islands, with Jazirat Hawar, Rubud Al Sharqiyah, Suwad Al Shamaliyah being some of the main ones. The islands have an abundance of endangered bird and marine species, both resident and migratory. Therefore, the archipelago is not
only a natural wonder but also a site of global significance.
Listed as a Ramsar Site (a wetland site of international importance) in February 1997, the undisturbed outer islands provide an unrivalled sanctuary in the Arabian region for numerous species of breeding sea birds, while the marine environment around the islands has habitats and seascapes that are home to a remarkable array of marine fauna.
Love for Wild
Home to a diverse range of marine and terrestrial species, the Hawar Islands are the largest breeding colony for the socotra cormorants. Apart from this majestic black bird with a tinge of green and purple, the island is also home to the sooty falcon, the white-cheeked terns, linnets, chaffinches and pied kingfishers.
The islands are also known for sightings of noteworthy wildlife like the Ethiopian hedgehog, Cape hare, various geckos and the endangered Rheem gazelle. They are also resident to flamingo populations. Most of these appear on the endangered-species list.
Due to the diverse marine biotopes with extensive seagrass beds and mudflats and patchy coral reefs, you also get to see some exquisite sea life. The seagrass beds surrounding Hawar are important grounds for species like the green turtle. It is also one of the few sites in the world where dugongs can be spotted. One of most common form of marine life in this region are sea jellies, the most popular of which are the brown jellyfish. Another commonly found species is the crab Scylla Saratan.
How to get there
The Hawar Islands are a short 45-minute ferry ride from Jaw. You can stay overnight at the only Resort Hotel and spend some time with the exotic wildlife species. The resort also offers activities like snorkelling, mountain bike tours, bird watching and dugong tours.