Study of the Biodiversity of Petra
Project date: 1994-1996
Project Consultants: Dr. Ahmad al-Disi (zoologist), Dr. Issam al-Shannag (botanist), Dr. Alia Hatoug-Bouran (botanist)
Funded by: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme in Jordan
Project cost: JD 26,270 (USD 37,000)
Petra is strategically located at the crossroads of three zoogeographic zones that has brought forth a wide variety of landscapes, climatic conditions and has allowed for the diversity in plant and animal species.
Nowadays, Petra shows a very delicate ecological system associated with the decrease in the amount of rainfall, overgrazing, soil erosion, desertification, and uncontrolled visitor circulation. This in turn has led to the fragility and vulnerability of Petra’s ecological features.
In recognition of the delicate balance between nature and tourism requirements, PNT has taken the first step by focusing its efforts on studying an important side of development, the status of the ecology and conservation of biological diversity in an attempt to draw the attention of the government to the urgent need to protect and conserve the biological and genetic resources in Petra.
The project involved conducting a thorough ecological survey of the flora and fauna of Petra, recording the variety of species and their status (in terms of species frequency, abundance, and if those species are threatened or on the verge of extinction), categorising existing species, and assessing the carrying capacity of Petra. The survey revealed over 700 species of plants and over 400 species of animals.