Unique biodiversity of Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve

Oman Tuesday 24/August/2021 21:12 PM
Unique biodiversity of Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve

Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve, was established by Royal Decree No. 58/2021, issued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, on Monday 23rd August 2021. The Reserve is located between the Wilayat of Rakhyout and the Wilayat of Dhalkout at the coast of the Arabian Sea, Dhofar Governorate.

The total area of Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve is 143.4 square kilometres and falls within the mountainous area of Dhofar Governorate, which has Khareef, the monsoon rains and subtropical climate. The area enjoys moderate climate with maximum temperature 14-34 °C , relatively cold winters and frequent rainfall that may turn heavy due to climate and weather changes.

The topography of the area comprises mountain areas at the northern part adjacent to Wadi Seiq in the form of rocky steep cliffs. This diverse topography has led to formation of different environments at the reserve; as there are mountain areas, forests, wadis, coastal areas and desert areas.

At the northern and northwestern areas of the reserve, there are desert lands and rocky areas with gravel. The sedimentary rock at the area comprises limestone with frequent igneous rock at some areas. The soil at the northern area of the reserve (classified as Entisols soil) lacks (Lithic Torriorthents) along with dominance of Orthents and high percentage of calcium carbonate.

The field survey findings revealed the presence of 20 types of mammals, 193 types of birds, 20 types of reptiles and 183 types of plants among others.

The beach of the reserve facing the Arabian Sea is an exceptional habitat for migrating birds and an amazing destination for relaxation and watching turtles, dolphins and for fishing.  The unique biodiversity of the reserve is quite an attraction.

Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve is believed to have been used as an ancient port for export of frankincense. There is evidence which depicts the historic and cultural role the area has played in the past.