Wildlife of Wadi Rum
They say the desert has a still silence to it. That is not always the case in Wadi Rum, as it actually has quite a diverse set of wildlife and fauna compared to many other deserts. Hearing the howling of the local nomadic wolves and the chirping of songbirds gives the stillness a bit of mystifying union. We share this beautiful place. Below you can find a list of some of our neighbors.
Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs)
While wolves are fairly common in the world, the Arabian Wolf is quite different. They can be heard howling at the moon and live in the lower mountains in Wadi Rum. These wolves are mostly independent, solitary beings that do not have a large pack. The Arabian Wolf is not a threat by any means to humans but is the apex predator of Wadi Rum. Spiritually, to the Bedouins, the wolf (dhib) is a protected animal and well respected in the community. You even will have the chance to meet our Arabian Wolf, Saddam. He is energetic and loves to play and be petted. Overall, the wolf is a very important figure in the Wadi Rum ecosystem and the Bedouin culture.
Arabian Oryx (O. leucoryx)
The Oryx's history is one of triumph and survival, a fitting theme of the desert. Officially deemed extinct in the wild in 1972, a reintroduction plan started in 1982 to return the species to their former glory. It has been deemed the job of Wadi Rum and therefore the Bedouin community to watch over the Oryx. Currently, the Oryx community is living right behind Jebel Rum in an area called Wadi Rumun. The Oryx can thrive here. With its only predator being the Arabian Wolf and without a large human presence, the species revival is just one of the many magical aspects of the Wadi Rum Protected Area.
While this animal will not be seen on the general tours and camping we do, an arrangement can be made to see the once extinct species. Please give us some notice is you would like to visit the Oryx.
Rock Hyrax (P. capensis)
Similarly to our nomadic predecessors, the Rock Hyrax (also known as the Rock Rabbit) live in the cracks and caves of the mountains. However, while our ancestors liked the lowlands, these animals prefer the taller and harder to get to cracks and caves. Interestingly, they can have families of up to 80 living on a single mountain! They love fig trees and seem to always have each others back by having one Hyrax be a lookout at the top of the mountain for predators. Wadi Rum is one of the most northern borders of their species as they are mostly native to Central Africa and the Coast of the Eastern and Southern Arabian Peninsula. And funny enough, these little guys are closely related to elephants!
The heart and soul of the desert, the Acacia Radiana is a short bush tree that gives shade, nutrients and resources to all the live in Wadi Rum. It is extremely resilient and will not die in typical droughts or extreme heat. This makes it a favorite of songbirds! When you come and need a rest from the heat, you will understand the Acacia Radiana is the glue that holds Wadi Rum together.
There are different kinds of songbirds in Wadi Rum, but rather than focus on one species of them, it is more important to tell you what they bring to the desert. In an arena of silence, the chirping of songbirds goes a long way. They brighten up the day and give many trees the chance to grow again by dropping seeds next to their mountainous locations. There the sands contain more moisture than in the dunes, allowing for more trees to grow! They are the "carriers of life" in Wadi Rum. We appreciate their singing and natural preservation work that keep this desert diverse. Featured in the photo is a Sinai Rosefinch, Jordan's national bird.
If the Acacia Radiana is the heart of the desert, the Fig Tree is its energy. The fig tree, known around the world as one of the prettiest fruit bearing trees, is not just important as a nutrients giver but also as a gathering location for many locals. While in season, people love to go to the fig trees and spend time with the people that make the world better. The delicious fruit is only a bonus to a great time.
The camel has a special relationship with the Bedouins that dates back thousands of years. The camel is the complete embodiment of the desert, resilience and durability. In Wadi Rum, you will be able to see authentic camel shepherds. These nomads' lives have been centred on the camel for many generations. You will have the opportunity to interact with these beautiful creatures closely if you want to. Here are some fun facts about them to show you how cool they are! They can run up to 40 mph or 64 kph! They can store up to 80 pounds of fat in their humps which can sustain them for months if need be. There are around 150 words in the Arabic language for "camel". They can carry up to 900 pounds for upwards of 20 miles. Which makes them perfect for travellers and essential for ancient merchants. But most of all, they are a very unique animals.