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The Biosphere according to Eduard Suess, an Austrian geologist, is “the place on Earth’s surface where life dwells”.

Dana Biosphere Reserve was founded in 1989 and is Jordan’s greatest nature reserve. Located in south-central Jordan, Dana Biosphere Reserve encompasses 308 square kilometres (119 sq mi) and is considered to be the area in and around the Dana village.

The varied geology of Dana contains limestone, sandstone, and granite. The area of Wadi Dana also features magnificent wind-cut sandstone cliffs. The reserve is a location for Earth lovers and adventure seekers alike.



Dana Biosphere Reserve is a wonderful example of an area that portrays the significant and major ongoing geological processes that occur during the development of landforms. There are three main reasons we love Dana Biosphere Reserve and they include; the history, the land (including geography and wildlife), and plethora of outdoor activities the area offers.

The Biosphere according to Eduard Suess, an Austrian geologist, is “the place on Earth’s surface where life dwells”. The biosphere in particular is a fascinating and beautiful place with an interesting history. Those who originally inhabited the Dana Reserve are known as the people of the Ata’ta (or Al Atata) tribe. Although their history in Dana only dates back 400 years, their original settlement dates back to over 6,000 years. Archaeological discoveries suggest that the Dana Reserve was a stomping ground for many ancient settlements apart from that of the Ata’ta which include those of the Palaeolithic people, Egyptians, Nabataeans, and Romans. This region of the world is very special in that it has been touched by and considered a home to many different cultures.

Dana is especially special because it is the only nature reserve in the country that crosses four bio-geographical zones which include the Mediterranean, Saharo-Arabian, Sudanian Penetration, and Irano-Turanian Territories.

The reserve’s unique geography is what separates this area from the rest and allows it to be a home to exotic, rare, and even endangered wildlife. The area is home to a variety of species including those from Europe, Africa and Asia. Dana is the most diverse area of plant life in Jordan.


  • The Dana Biosphere Reserve has a diverse environment. It is home to over 700 plant species, 200 species of birds, and almost 40 different species of mammals.
  • The reserve is also home to a total of 25 endangered animal species including; the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard.
  • The Dana Biosphere Reserve has provided scientist with 3 new plants that have never been studied before and can only be found in this region.
  • According to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “Dana Biosphere Reserve is a part of a larger ecologically important area identified by Birdlife international as Dana Important Bird Area (IBA).”
  • The reserve’s local guides are made up by a culture of people known as Bedouin. Their name comes from the Arabic word “B'doul” which means “switched”. They are believed to be the modern-day relatives of the ancient Nabataeans.



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