The Jordan Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD) – Aqaba Birds observatory ABO

Preserving part of the natural heritage and biodiversity, connecting the private sector into the Governmental plans for tourism and development as well as involvement and local communities in the development aspects are the pillars upon which JSSD has established the Aqaba birds observatory.

The green areas of Aqaba, particularly the relatively dense vegetation and open ponds at the waste water treatment plant attract hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of more than 350 different species of migratory birds every spring and autumn.  Migratory birds flying from Europe to Africa in autumn visit suitable habitats in Jordan to make final preparations (e.g. fat deposition and maintaining water balance) for the long journey across the Sahara desert. In spring, migrants tend to land at any suitable habitat in Jordan, Aqaba being the first station they encounter after a long journey over the deserts of North Africa.

Objectives of establishing the Aqaba Birds Observatory

  1. Maintain and preserve habitats that of global importance for birds.
  2. Develop Aqaba as focal point for birds watching and ecotourism activities on both national and international levels.
  3. Environmental education and increase the public awareness of the locals and visitors toward the importance of Aqaba for global birds migration.
  4. Scientific monitoring & Research to create database for birds and their migration.


The observatory provides all necessary infrastructures to meet the objects upon which the observatory established. To manage the site and the visitors, a visitors center is constructed which also have an interpretation and education room where the majority of the education and the awareness programs will be implemented. The observatory has a research facility that will be used as a research center. Walking trails in the observatory will lead to the bird’s hide, the major spot for watching birds. In addition, the observatory includes a nature garden that educates the visitors about the native plants that occur at Aqaba area and will support resident birds that depend on such habitats.

This piece is taken from the website of the Jordan Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD).

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