The mammals of the Farasan archipelago, Saudi Arabia


Abstract: The Farasan archipelago is located in the southern Red Sea, off the south-western coast of Saudi Arabia. Around the beginning of the 1990s, these islands were designated as a marine and terrestrial reserve, mainly for the protection of the Farasan gazelle, which is the only wild ungulate present on the archipelago. As far as is presently known, other mammals reported from the islands are 2 or 3 species of bat, the Eastern spiny mouse, possibly 1 rat, and the white-tailed mongoose. To date there is no evidence for the occurrence of house mice. Furthermore, the occurrence of the Arabian sacred baboon has been reported from Farasan Kebir. The sea surrounding the archipelago is still home to dugongs and several species of cetaceans. All the non-volant mammalian species occurring at present on the Farasan islands appear to be essentially related to human introduction. The aim of the present work is to outline the occurrence and the distribution of the mammals of the Farasan islands in order to offer a starting point for future studies.

Keywords: Mammals on islands, Papio hamadryas, Rhinopoma hardwickii, Asellia patrizii, Ichneumia albicauda, Gazella gazella, Acomys dimidiatus, Farasan islands, Saudi Arabia

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