Protected Areas


 Areas Protected

 - 5,936 km2 Land

Terrestrial and Inland Water


Not Found

Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage


Not Found

Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Key species

Eritrea has recorded the presence of approximately 600 bird species and is a very important migration route and stopover location for many species. A total of 90 reptiles and 19 amphibian species have been recorded in Eritrea, including two possibly endemic reptiles and one possibly endemic amphibian. Offshore areas are important for turtle foraging and nesting of sea turtles. There is no comprehensive plant inventory for the country, but one site has recorded almost 700 species. 

Pressures and Threats

One of the largest direct threats to biodiversity in Eritrea is habitat transformation, due to expansion of agriculture and pollution of freshwater and marine ecosystems, as well as transformation for urban and industrial development. Seagrass and seaweeds are impacted by increasing sedimentation. Invasive alien species are major threats.

Eritrea has four protected areas covering 5,936 km2 of land and does not have any marine protected areas (UNEP-WCMC & IUCN (2019f). Although there are no officially gazetted protected areas in the country, there are some areas set aside for protection through government directives. The de facto protected areas have no management or business plans. A draft Protected Area Proclamation was prepared and proposed protected areas were identified in 2018.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


 Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


 (AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Eritrea

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