Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands

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The Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands is a xeric woodland ecoregion of the Arabian Peninsula.


The ecoregion covers an area of 86,900 square kilometers (33,600 sq mi), lying above 2000 meters elevations in the Asir Mountains of southwestern Saudi Arabia and the Western Highlands of Yemen.


The flora changes with elevation. Evergreen woodland and scrub lies between 2000 and 2500 meters elevation, with Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata and Tarchonanthus camphoratus the predominant trees. Above 2500 meters elevation, cloud forests, composed of large shrubs and small trees, can be found on wetter north-facing slopes, mostly made up of Juniperus procera and Euryops arabicus, covered with the lichen Usnea articulata. On the drier south-facing slopes dwarf-shrub forests of Rubus petitianus, Rosa abyssinica, Alchemilla crytantha, Senecio spp., Helichrysum abyssinicum, Aloe sabae, and Euphorbia ssp. are common.


The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus ssp. nimr) and Arabian wolf (Canis lupus ssp. arabs) are critically endangered. Other mammals include the hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas), caracal (Caracal caracal ssp. schmitzi), rock hyrax (Procavia capensis ssp. jayakari), and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena).

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