Qurm Natural Reserve is a mangrove forest that is located in Qurm beach, Muscat. This reserve aims to protect the mangrove trees and the migratory seabirds habitats. Several sea species can be found growing and living there.
Qurum Natural Reserve contains only one type of mangrove trees (Avicennia marina) which is the only type growing in the sultanate. It adapts to the climatic condition of Oman’s environment. It contains almost 27 types of crustaceans, 48 types of Mollusks and 40 types of fish that have been identified. The reserve’s water also contains shrimps, crabs, oysters and a refuge for migratory birds coming from Africa and Russia, as well as endemic birds which have reached 194 types so far.
All waters inside the Reserve are salt sea waters, thus are not used by human beings. The absence of people inside the reserve due to its nature has helped protecting it through the years. The reserve contains an archaeological area as excavation studies in the recent years has confirmed that mangroves and fishing existed in this area before 4000 years. The ministry of environment and climate affairs organizes awareness programs and activities to the local community and school students to introduce them to the importance of mangrove forests, and to allow them to watch birds and wander in the reserve using rowboats. Currently, it is not allowed to enter the reserve without a permission from the ministry.
The reserve was declared as the first reserve in the Sultanate in 1975 by the virtue of the Royal Decree No. (38/75). The reserve covers a surface area of one million seven hundred eighteen thousand and six hundred fifty-seven (1.718.657 m2). The Qurum Nature Reserve has been chosen as the first site of universal importance (Ramsar site) after the sultanate has joined the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance by the virtue of the Royal Decree No. (2012/64).