A small sandy island off the south of Kuwait. Access is open to all, but visitors should respect and avoid disturbing the breeding Tern colonies in the summer months. Kubbar is historically famous for it’s colonies of breeding sea birds. One of a small group of coral islets and associated reefs. Part of the island is covered in salt-tolerant bushes, other areas are dominated by Seidlitzia annuals, and there are patches of bare ground. Beaches are mainly sandy with some rocky stretches. A favourite recreational area for weekend trippers, scuba divers and fishermen. A small solar energy plant provides power for a beacon in the centre of the island. Unlike Failaka and the islands and muddy islets further north, which are directly influenced by the turbid Delta waters, the tiny islets to the south of Kuwait are subtropical coral cays. They are surrounded by beautiful azure waters but they are rarely visited by birders. Of these, Kubbar is the most accessible from Kuwait City and also probably the most significant for seabirds.
An important breeding colony for Sterna bengalensisand Sterna anaethetus. Also breeding are Sterna repressa and Sterna bergii (min. 7 pairs). Kuwait’s premier seabird colony, with thousands of breeding terns nesting in the Suaeda during the summer months. Three pairs of Crested Terns bred successfully in 2010 (for the first time since 1987), while 500 Lesser Crested, 4,000 Bridled & 3,000 White-cheeked Terns were on the island in June 2010. Access is via private charter boat, although visitors must avoid disturbance to the seabird colonies. Kubbar hosts one of Kuwait’s most spectacular breeding seabird colonies, with thousands of breeding terns nesting in and around the Suaeda scrub during the summer months. Approximately 500 Lesser Crested, 4000 Bridled and 3000 White-cheeked Terns, and a few Swift Terns were on the island in June 2010. This tiny islet is a designated Important Bird Area and proposals for conservation have been forwarded. Sadly the colony’s protection is poorly enforced and disturbance and willful killing by visitors has been frequently observed. Access is via private charter boat, and visitors must obviously avoid disturbance to the seabird colonies.
Reptiles: a former nesting area for the sea-turtles Chelonia mydas (E) and Eretmochelys imbricata (E).
This IBA was last assessed in 1993, so there is a need to formally conduct vigorous surveys to re-assess and update the status. Disturbance and wilful killing are major problems at the seabird colonies. The island was included in a Marine Park proposed by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research in 1988, and included together with several submerged coral reefs in the draft Nature Conservation Act submitted by the Environment Protection Council.