Shaumari Wildlife Reserve

The Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is a Jordanian nature reserve near the town of Azraq, approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Amman.

It is a regionally important reserve created in 1975 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature as a breeding center for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. The 22-square-kilometre (8.5 sq mi) reserve is a thriving protected environment for some of the most threatened species of animals in the Middle East. Some of the species include Arabian oryx, Somali ostriches, Persian onagers (an Asian wild ass from Iran) and gazelles.[2]

Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
Tall reeds, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
Map showing the location of Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
Map showing the location of Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
Map of Jordan
Nearest cityAzraq
Coordinates31°44′31″N 36°46′59″E / 31.742°N 36.783°ECoordinates: 31°44′31″N 36°46′59″E / 31.742°N 36.783°E[1]
Area22 km2 (8.5 sq mi)


  1. ^ "Shaumari Wildlife Reserve".
  2. ^ "Shaumari Wildlife Reserve". Jordan Tourism Board. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
Azraq, Jordan

Azraq (Arabic: الأزرق‎ meaning "the blue one") is a small town in Zarqa Governorate in central-eastern Jordan, 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of Amman. The population of Azraq was 9,021 in 2004. The Muwaffaq Salti Air Base is located in Azraq.

Azraq Wetland Reserve

The Azraq Wetland Reserve is a nature reserve located near the town of Azraq in the eastern desert of Jordan. An oasis for migratory birds, Azraq was established in 1978 and covers 12 square kilometres (4.6 sq mi). The natural springs dried up in 1992 and most migratory birds subsequently moved away from the area. Artificial springs are maintained today in order to keep the site a tourist destination.

Ecotourism in Jordan

Ecotourism in Jordan has grown tremendously due to environmental pressures and the demand for jobs outside of the cities, especially since the establishment of the Dana Biosphere in 1993, the first biosphere reserve.The early history of ecotourism in Jordan is attributed to His Majesty, the late King Hussein who was behind the creation of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, created in 1966, which protects and manages the natural resources of Jordan. It currently oversees ten protected areas. Jordan was one of the countries that responded to the declaration of the International Year of Ecotourism in 2002. Ecotourism practices were considered when planning for tourism destinations in order to improve its contribution to the local and national economic development. The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) published an ecotourism booklet in April 2004 with the cooperation of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society. The booklet includes all the ecotourism sites in Jordan with a brief description of each site location, what it is, and what has been done to enhance and develop the site. Six nature reserves including the Ajloun Forest Reserve, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Mujib Nature Reserve, Azraq Wetland Reserve, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, and Wadi Rum in addition to the Dead Sea, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, and the Gulf of Aqaba are distinguished. The booklet also provides some important and useful guidelines for visitors; the guidelines include:

Respect the culture and the traditions of the local community

Purchase local products

Use energy conservation practices

Follow directions and rules of the reserves

Use water conservation practices

Do not use natural water resources as they may not be clean

Do not hike alone in the dark The booklet also encourages tourists to become members of the RSCN, providing them with a membership form. A person can become a regular member with several benefits or can “adopt” an animal by paying a fee which provides some benefits such as a “parent” certificate and free entry to the reserve to visit the adopted animal.Jordan uses tourism as a tool for conservation. By promoting tourism throughout the country, business owners and hoteliers contribute to conserving Jordan's landscape. The ecotourism scheme has provided job opportunities and a market for local products, bringing much needed economic stability to some of Jordan's poorest rural communities.

In addition to small NGOs and other organizations, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and USAID are largely responsible for the increase in ecotourism in Jordan. In 2003, a branch of the RSCN, Wild Jordan, was established to manage social economic development and eco-tourism activities in all RSCN protected areas. In 2000, USAID began supporting development of Jordan's eco-tourism industry as a means to create jobs in rural communities. The RSCN and USAID partnership is now 20 years old, and both work together to make eco-tourism a success.Eco-tourism has generated tremendous revenue for the country and the rural communities in the nature reserves. The RSCN has a 100% local employment policy in all their protected areas, resulting in eco-tourism directly supporting around 160,000 families throughout Jordan. According to USAID, in the Dana community, over 85 jobs were directly created, helping around 800 people. The Feynan Ecolodge, in Wadi Feynan, alone directly creates 32 jobs for locals, and many more indirect jobs. Creating jobs is a concern in Jordan since the unemployment rate rests around 12.3 and 15.3 percent.

Through income-generating projects with eco-tourism, communities living around nature reserves earned JD1.6million in 2012, which is roughly USD2.3million. RSCN annual report also showed that eco-tourism revenue was up 10% in 2012 from the year before, jumping from JD831,336 to JD916,141.

There is huge potential for this industry, which could generate around 50,000 jobs in a decade through environmental conservation. This would equate to about JD1.3 billion, equal to about USD2.1 billion. According to the Environment Ministry Secretary General Ahmad Qatarneh, environmental destruction costs Jordan about USD1.25 billion a year, five percent of Jordan's GDP and about twice the amount of aid received in 2009. A green economy helps to offset this cost while reducing degradation.It is the local communities' involvement in these nature reserves that makes eco-tourism a success. The local communities contribute to eco-tourism by leading tours and hikes, working in the lodges and restaurants, transporting people and resources, and other various jobs. Manual labor is used more than machines, providing a smaller impact on the environment and more jobs. Community members originally relied on hunting and herding for income. Now, with the wide variety of jobs, there is less hunting and a better standard of living. Herding was once sustainable, but with population growth there was too much pressure on the diverse plants and grazing area. Hunting was decreasing biodiversity and endangering animals like the Nubian ibex. Now, these animals are used as a tourist attraction rather than food. The communities still graze their herds, but they keep significantly less and respect no grazing areas. Furthermore, eco-tourism is also helping to revive communities. With the help of USAID, the city of Dana, near the Dana Biosphere Reserve, is rebuilding fifty-seven historic houses. The goal of the project is to bring back the community members who left the poor city in search of work. Through eco-tourism, poverty is reduced, the environment is protected, and heritage is restored.However, despite the economic benefits, eco-tourism is not without controversy. Eco-tourism projects, especially in the beginning, are not always as environmentally-conscious as possible. For example, in the Wadi Rum nature reserve, the sudden increase in tourism was accompanied by increased roads, electrical lines, hotels, and litter. Although the development helped improve the Wadi Rum Village of Bedouins by bringing them more reliable water and electricity, decisions regarding the fate of Wadi Rum often disregarded local opinions. For example, plans were created to move the village further away and make the existing village into a tourist site without consulting the Rum community. Despite efforts, there are still environmental problems within the reserves. Threats include woodcutting, overgrazing, and hunting, but these threats have significantly decreased in the past decades.


Jordan (Arabic: الْأُرْدُنّ‎ Al-ʾUrdunn [al.ʔur.dunː]), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية‎ Al-Mamlakah Al-Urdunnīyah Al-Hāshimīyah), is an Arab country in Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and the east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and Israel and Palestine (West Bank) to the west. The Dead Sea is located along its western borders and the country has a small coastline to the Red Sea in its extreme south-west, but is otherwise landlocked. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.What is now Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was established in 1921 by the Hashemite, then Emir, Abdullah I, and the emirate became a British protectorate. In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after the country captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967. Jordan renounced its claim to the territory in 1988, and became one of two Arab states to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers.

Jordan is a relatively small, semi-arid, almost landlocked country with an area of 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq mi) and a population numbering 10 million, making it the 11th-most populous Arab country. Sunni Islam, practiced by around 95% of the population, is the dominant religion in Jordan and coexists with an indigenous Christian minority. Jordan has been repeatedly referred to as an "oasis of stability" in a turbulent region. It has been mostly unscathed by the violence that swept the region following the Arab Spring in 2010. From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from multiple neighbouring countries in conflict. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan as of a 2015 census. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution by ISIL. While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure.Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" with an "upper middle income" economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce. The country is a major tourist destination, also attracting medical tourism due to its well developed health sector. Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees and regional turmoil have hampered economic growth.

Mohammad Jamhour

Brigadier Mohammad Jamhour (Retired) is a Jordanian brigadier. He was born in Jerusalem on September 25, 1930. Jamhour graduated from Bishop Gobat School which was located on Mount Zion just outside the Walls of Old Jerusalem near King David Gate, and it was the first English Missionary School established during the Ottoman Empire in 1873. In 1950 Jamhour was selected to study in the United Kingdom as an officer cadet at both Mons and Eaton Schools. In 1951 he was accepted at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 1952 King Hussein graduated from Harrow School and became an Officer Cadet in the same college at Sandhurst. Jamhour became a close friend to the king and they graduated together in 1953.

After graduation, Jamhour went to the British Army's Royal School of Artillery on Salisbury Plain. When he completed his military studies, he returned to Jordan to serve his country as an officer in the Armed Forces and he attended many advanced military courses in England and Germany. In 1964, he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas USA. He holds a master's degree in Military Science.

In 1970 he became the youngest Brigadier in the Army and was appointed as the Commandant of the Military School becoming Director of Training at the General Headquarters and lecturer of military science at the University of Jordan.

In 1974 he was retired at the age of 44 and was appointed as General Manager of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature playing a successful role in establishing the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve near Azrak Oasis for the Arabian oryx, ostriches, and gazelles with the cooperation of the World Wild Life Fund, Switzerland and San Diego Zoo in California.

He wrote frequently about current affairs in the Middle East and translated several military books such as: Military Leadership, Surface to Surface Artillery, Staff Duties in the Field, Handling Units in the Field, Map Reading, Military Dictionary and many other tactical and technical pamphlets.

In 1985, he was appointed to the Jordan TV, department of censorship and evaluation of English programs a post he held until 2000.

National symbols of Jordan

National symbols of Jordan are the symbols that are used in Jordan and abroad to represent the country and its people.

Nature reserve

A nature reserve (also known as natural reserve, bioreserve, natural/nature preserve, or natural/nature conserve) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park.

Nature reserves in Jordan

There are at least seven nature reserves in Jordan. In 1966, the organization that would later start Jordan's nature reserves, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, was founded. RSCN's first efforts involved bringing back severely endangered species. In 1973, RSCN, was given the right to issue hunting licenses, giving RSCN an upper hand in preventing extinction. The first step was the founding of Jordan's first nature reserve, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, in 1975. The primary purpose was to create means to breed endangered species, specifically: the Arabian oryx, gazelles, ostriches and Persian onagers in their natural environment.

In 1994, shortly after Dana Biosphere Reserve was established, RSCN began its Research and Survey section, made up of experienced researchers with the primary goal of collecting information at the reserves needed to create a sustainable living environment for wild animals through scientific research. Shortly thereafter, Wild Jordan was created as a business branch of RSCN dealing with socio-economic projects. In 1999, RSCN started a training program to build local and regional skill in conserving nature. RSCN raised more awareness in 2005 with a "Save Jordan's Trees" campaign. Jordan's sixth and latest nature reserve, Dibeen Forest Reserve, was created in 2004, cementing 1,200 square kilometres (463 sq mi) of protected natural landscape throughout Jordan.In addition, there are eight proposed nature reserves in Jordan, and two more sites that are possible candidates for preservation.

Tourism in Jordan

Jordan (Arabic: الْأُرْدُنّ‎ Al-‘Urdunn [al.ʔur.dunn]), officially The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية‎ Al-Mamlakah Al-Urdunnīyah Al-Hāshimīyah), is a sovereign Arab state in the Middle East. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.

Its major tourist attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, and one of New Seven Wonders of the World), the Jordan River, Mount Nebo, Madaba, numerous medieval mosques and churches, and unspoiled natural locations (as Wadi Rum and Jordan's northern mountainous region in general), as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions.

Jordan also offers health tourism, which is focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving in Aqaba's coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan's cities. More than half of the approximate 4.8 million Arab tourists in 2009, mainly from the GCC, said they plan to spend their holidays in Jordan.

Wildlife of Jordan

The wildlife of Jordan includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Although much of the country is desert, it has several geographic regions, each with a diversity of plants and animals adapted to their own particular habitats. Fossil finds show that in Palaeolithic times, the region had Syrian brown bears, Asiatic lions, zebras, Asian elephants, and rhinoceroses, but these species are all now extinct in this region.More recently, in the twentieth century, the Arabian oryx became locally extinct through hunting, and several species of deer and gazelle were reduced to remnant populations. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature was established in 1966 to preserve Jordan's natural resources, a number of protected areas have been set up, and conservation measures and captive breeding programs have been put in place, resulting in an increase in the numbers of these animals. In 1978, 11 Arabian Oryx were brought in to Jordan from USA. They were taken care of at the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve. Since then, not only has the Oryx population reached to 200, but Jordan is supplying other countries with Oryx.Many other mammals are found in Jordan, over four hundred species of bird visit or live in the country and over two thousand plant species have been recorded here. A total of 220 bird species migrate to and from Jordan from, Europe, Asia and Africa. In addition, 150 species are native to Jordan.

Wolong National Nature Reserve

Wolong National Nature Reserve (simplified Chinese: 卧龙自然保护区; traditional Chinese: 臥龍自然保護區; pinyin: Wòlóng Zìránbǎohùqū) is a protected area located in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China. Established in 1963 with an initial size of about 20,000 hectares, the reserve was further expanded in 1975, covering an area of about 200,000 hectares in the Qionglai Mountains region. There are over 4,000 different species recorded in the reserve. According to China's Third National Giant Panda Survey, Wolong National Nature Reserve houses about 150 wild individuals of highly endangered giant pandas. The reserve is also a home to many other endangered species including: snow leopards, red pandas, golden monkeys, white-lipped deer and many precious plants. Before the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake Wolong got up to 200,000 visitors every year. Its area is superseded by the Wolong Special Administrative Region.

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