Research-Sawakin Marine Station

The Red Sea has one of the best coral reefs in the world. The Sudanese Red Sea coast extends in about 720 square meters. It extends from the semi-desert regions to the tropics and is characterized by the presence of marvelous coral reefs, islands and archepelagoes. The area provides optimal conditions for coral formation and growth. It also encompases the the World Heritage Site: Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island. The bay and the island are located in the middle of the world's most diverse marine ecosystem. The reef has an overall excellent condition as the area is almost untouched by human activities and has a high species richness.

Dungunab bay is situated less than 100 miles from Port Sudan. It provides a haven for a lot of marine species. The isolated islands, almost untouched by human activity, have retained their integrity and authenticity as one of the most naturally conserved islands in the Red Sea. Biodiversity flourishes on the developed biosystems of mangrove mosses, lagoons, bays and mountain beaches and mountain ranges. This lack of protection measures puts the area's ecosystems and marine life in a dangerous position of overexploitation of humans in the shark or animal trade. The area consists of the highly diversified ecosystem of coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, beaches and islands. Populations of seabirds, fish, marine mammals, sharks, turtles, manta rays, the national park provides critical nesting sites for waterfowl and sea turtles. Here, too, there are several groups of mantra rays that are unique to the east coast of the Indian Ocean. Rare species of whale sharks and baleen whales, Rorchals, also live here. Rorchals are also seen in the northern parts of Abushagara and south of Mukkawar Island. The mangrove mosses also provide habitats for herons. Hawksbill turtles are common at the northern end of Dungonab Bay, and green turtles thrive in almost every sector. Hammerhead sharks occupy the areas around Sanganeb Atoll, Shaab Rumi and the reef in Dungonab Bay. On the west side of Mukkawar Island there are a small number of small reef sharks. The mangrove forest occupies the southern end of the Dungonab Peninsula, Mukkawar Island and the Mersa Inkefal mainland.

The site has no direct resident population. Since the early 1980s, the islands have drawn the world's attention to biodiversity, but it was not internationally recognized until 2004 when it became a World Heritage Site.
Nonetheless, the Dept of Zoology, UofK started conducting research in the area since the late 1960s.

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