N12 30 0 E53 49 60
Date of Inscription: 2008
Property : 410,460 ha
Buffer zone: 1,740,958 ha
Socotra Archipelago, in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden, is 250 km long and comprises four islands and two rocky islets which appear as a prolongation of the Horn of Africa. The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna: 37% of Socotra’s 825 plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. The site also supports globally significant populations of land and sea birds (192 bird species, 44 of which breed on the islands while 85 are regular migrants), including a number of threatened species. The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp.
Socotra is globally important for biodiversity conservation because of its exceptionally rich and distinct flora and fauna. 37% of Socotra’s plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. Socotra is of particular importance to the Horn of Africa’s biodiversity hotspot and, as one of the most biodiversity rich and distinct islands in the world, has been termed the “Galápagos of the Indian Ocean”.
Criterion (x): Biological diversity and threatened species: Socotra is globally important for biodiversity conservation because of its exceptional level of biodiversity and endemism in many terrestrial and marine groups of organisms. Socotra is particularly important for its diversity of plants and has 825 plant species of which 307 (37%) are endemic. Socotra has high importance for bird species as underlined by the identification by Birdlife International of 22 Important Bird Areas on Socotra. Socotra also supports globally significant populations of other land and sea birds, including a number of threatened species. Extremely high levels of endemism occur in Socotra’s reptiles (34 species, 90% endemism) and land snails (96 species, 95% endemism). The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp, and well represented in the property’s marine areas.
Hadibu, formerly known as Tamrida is a coastal town in northern Socotra, Yemen. It is not far from the mount Jabal al-Jahir. It is the largest town of the small archipelago, with a population of 8,545 at the 2004 census. Hadibu is also the capital of the larger eastern district of Socotra’s two administrative districts, Hidaybū. For the inhabitants of the town, animal husbandry is the main source of income. Socotra Airport is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) west of Hadibu, and close to the third largest town in the archipelago, Qād̨ub. Diesel generators make electricity widely available in Socotra. A paved road runs along the north shore from Qulansiyah to Hadibu and then to the DiHamri area; and another paved road, from the northern coast to the southern through the Dixsam Plateau. The former capital is located to the east of Hadibu [read more].
Qalansiyah is a town on the main island of Socotra, Yemen. Its approximate population is 4,000. The majority of the population are sustenance fishermen [read more].
Abd al Kuri is a rocky island in the Guardafui Channel. As a part of the Socotra Archipelago of the Socotra Governorate of Yemen, it lies about 65 miles (105 km) southwest of the island of Socotra. It is geographically closer to Somalia. It consists of granite and diorite covered by limestone. There is a dispute between Yemen and Somalia’s government over the island’s sovereignty. Much of Abd al Kuri is semi-desert with little vegetation. Two ranges of hills separated near the centre occupy the entire length of the island. The northern coast consists mostly of a sandy beach with a few rocky points, while the southern coast consists of steep cliffs. Its highest point, Mount Ṣāliḥ, reaches an altitude of over 700 metres (2,300 feet). Most of its inhabitants subsist on fishing. Kilmia is the main village. Abd al Kuri has a number of endemic plant species and an endemic bird, the Abd al-Kuri sparrow with estimated population of fewer than 1,000 [read more].