Ra's al Hadd Turtle Reserve
It is Turtles Reserve and located in Sur. Its covers 120km2 with a coastline of 42km.Between 6000 – 13000 turtles migrate here annually from the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the East African coast. Oman is one of the most important sites for green turtles in the Indian Ocean. Many tourists visit the area to observe the estimated 20,000 nesting turtles.
The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary
The desert region in al Wusta is an area of great interest to scientists and environmentalists alike. It is here that the last sightings of the Arabian Oryx in the wild were recorded, whose numbers were depleted drastically by hunters, and where His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos established the Arabian Oryx Reserve in 1974.
Al Saleel National Park
It is located Al Kamil w’al Wafi and covers an area of 220km2. The park mainly consists of acacia woodland and provides a safe habitat for many of Oman’s indigenous mammals. There are three main areas to the park: the first is the alluvial plain covered in acacias; the second consists of the wadis in the mountains and the third is the sparsely vegetated hills and rocky outcrops which form the northern boundaries and the higher elevations.
Jebel Samhan Nature Reserve
This reserve is in Dhofar and covers an area of 4500km2. It is predominantly made of limestone highlands rising from the coastal plains. Jebel Samhan is a range of craggy peaks, which are separated by wadis and canyons. Hasik village, accessible only from the sea, lies on a small gravel area east of the Jebel. The sea has eroded much of the coastline and the limestone cliffs are dramatically sculptured and undercut at the base. The canyons are filled with deep pools, and with the varied plant life, the area provides perfect habitat for the likes of the Arabian Leopard, Nubian Ibex, Arabian Gazelle, Striped Hyenas, Caracal, wild cats, foxes and wolves. The steep cliffs make ideal breeding sites for rare species of birds and the surrounding waters provide food for Masked Boobies and Socotra Cormorants. Shrimps, abalone, whales, Green turtles and Loggerhead turtles are also found in the waters.
Dimaaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
This group of nine islands lies along the coast of Seeb and Barka. The islands cover a total area of 203km2 and can only be reached by boat. Many migratory birds nest here in the summer and there are various species of fish found in the coral reefs. Large numbers of Hawksbill turtles, a globally endangered species, lay their eggs here which enhance the islands’ environmental importance. The green turtles also nest on the islands’ sandy beaches. Thousands of marine birds nest on the islands throughout the year, including terns, ospreys and Red-billed Tropic birds. The islands which have been turned into reserves are free from predators such as foxes, cats and dogs. There are two species of snakes living on the islands, whilst the sea contains marine snakes.
The Khawrs' Reserve of Dhofar Coast
The khawrs and springs of the Dhofar coast contain many different species of wildlife. Historically, the khawrs have been natural harbors whilst the freshwater springs have provided water for settlements. They contain large numbers of fish, in particular edible milkfish and mullet. These fish have a high tolerance to freshwater and can adapt to decreasing levels of salinity. Over 200 species of migrating birds rest and feed at the khawrs.
Wadi Sireen Reserve
The Reserve is located in the eastern AlHajar Mountains about 45 kilometres south of Muscat. There a large number of wild animals in the area, such as the Arabian Tahr and deer. The Arabian Tahr, a unique animal that lives among the mountain cliffs and rocky slopes, is considered one of the rarest of all these animals. Its presence in the Arabian Peninsula is limited to the Sultanate of Oman, and is indigenous to Hajar Mountains. The Arabian Tahr is the smallest of its species in the world. It has a short body, hooked horns in both sexes, reddish-brown hair, as well as a dark line that extends along the back. The male Tahr has a long mane that covers its entire neck and continues to grow as the animal advances in age.