By virtue of the Royal Decree No.96/23 dated on 3/4/1996, the Daymanyiat natural islands were declared as natural reserve .It is a kind of archipelago comprising nine islands of Wilayat Al-Seeb and Wilayat Barka (Kharaba, Hayot, Al Jabal Al Kabeer Al Jabal Al Sagheer, Al Mamlahah, Aloumiya, Al Jawn and Awlad Jawn). The borders of the reserve contain also the rocks and shallow waters which extend along 16-18 Kilometer of the beach which extends from Seeb to Barka, knowing that the reserve covers a surface area of 203 Km2. These islands are characterized by their pristine nature and beautiful picturesque landscapes that qualify it to become a museum of nature.
Daymaniyat islands are fantastic protection zone of national and regional importance, and are considered an international regional and international center for the proliferation of an incalculable number of species of migratory and endemic birds as highly large numbers of sea birds tend to nest there. It is actually the only place where Pandion haliaetus nest. It is also characterized by the presence of great number of different species of coral reef fish. Large number of Hawksbill Turtle shelter in the islands in order to nest and lay their eggs, which in fact add a great importance to these islands being a haven for such species stongly endangered with extinction. It is also visited by green turtles for nesting during the summer.
Establishment of the Reserve objectives:
1-Ensure the protection of wildlife species and their habitats in order to allow them to breed and to ensure the renewal of their natural resources.
2-Maintaining models of wild life for scientific studies, Environmental monitoring and education.
3-Working with local fishing communities to promote economic and cultural benefits in a sustainable manner.
Physical resources of the reserve:
The islands contain limestone rocks, obsolete coral reefs nevertheless coral is still visible. There is also rocky slopes downward the sea and continue inside the water in extreme sloping into the depths ranging between 20 and 25 meter. The islands are bordered from the south with huge and wide sandy cliffs along with a prominent coral zone.
Wild plants: almost 15 type of wild plants exist in the reserve mainly in Kharaba, and Al Jabal Al Kabeer which makes from it one of the most bird nesting grounds.
Sea grasses and weeds: the sea grasses and weeds together with many different species of marine algae exist in the reserve which are considered a food source for many sea creatures such as turtles and mammals.
Daymaniyat islands many types of coral reefs available in the region which protect the beaches by forming coral reefs in shallow waters. It is believed that the thick growth of coral results primarily from the availability of the appropriate and uncontaminated sub-structure in shallow water. Coral grows in general on the exposed rocks forming a frame several meters thick. There are several types of coral reefs that grow on stretches of splintered sand or coral.
The reefs away from the islands provide many habitats of subsistence and places of feeding groups of commercially important fish species. The types of fish available in the reserve are Pocillopora damicornis, Acropora, Alcyonacea soft corals, Daisy coral , Favits (brain coral) and other.
Birds: Daymaniyat Islands Natural Reserve is considered the natural habitat for a wide range of wildlife species as many different bird species take it as haven thanks to the availability of food and the shallow waters of islands. The islands are considered significant standpoints for migratory birds such as Osprey and sooty falcon. The island turns to a fantastic panorama thanks to the migration of thousands of sea birds during the breeding season such as the great white heron, the gray heron, the wading bird, different sea ducks and many types of the seagull, many types of bridled tern and some red billed tropical birds.
The sea turtles take from the Daymaniyat Islands Natural Reserve a standpoint for it to nest and lay their eggs each year including turtles, Loggerhead turtle and Hawksbill turtle. The number Loggerhead turtle nesting in the reserve range between 250 to 300 turtle annually and they nest in areas associated with coral reefs and their existence in these islands makes it safe from foxes and wolves and stray dogs that eat their eggs and their babies.
Some sea mammals live in the reserve such as Bottlenose Dolphinand local types of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) along with spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), humpback whale, whale shark and black-headed fish.
Fish: suitable water are available in the reserve water for a large number of fish most famously, Greasy grouper, the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus commerson, Yellowfin tuna, ornamental fish,the sea horse and many other types.
Invertebrates: there are many types of invertebrates in the reserve including Cancer, worms, starfish and mollusks, all of which play a crucial role in the completion of the food chain.
Reptiles: two types of reptiles live in the reserve island which are the Scincus and gecko, whereas sea snakes are also sometimes seen away from the shore and mainly in the mainland side of the islands.
Water management inside the reserve:
All waters inside the Reserve are salt sea waters not used by human beings thanks to absence of population inside the Reserve.
Population: there is no population inside the reserve due to the nature of islands environments which are not appropriate for human presence and living.
Human heritage (archaeological areas): Daymaniyat islands nature reserve is a great protection zone of national and regional importance. It is a rich natural heritage thanks to various wild life it encompasses .There is no archeological areas in the islands.
Human activities practiced inside the reserve:
Fishing is allowed to fishermen of the region as well as swimming, diving, and camping for the reserve visitors after obtaining coupons for entering the reserve for the allowed mentioned activities except fishing which shall be permitted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Instructions to visitors:
1.Obtaining coupons to access the reserve to practice swimming, diving or camping from the Directorate General of Nature Protectorates.
2.Disembarking on islands or camping is not allowed during the period from the first May until the end of October each year. After this period camping is allowed in Al Jabal Al Kabeer and Al Jawn only
3.The coupon is valid for only one day and the date is fixed and is not subject to change or modification or putting off and its bearer shall adhere to all applicable regulations concerning the protection of wildlife and natural areas protected in the the Sultanate of Oman.
4.Tampering with fishing nets and cages of fishermen is prohibited.
5. Fixed and mobile locations designed for the purpose of setting fire (barbecue) shall be used in the two islands where camping is allowed.
6.Collection of coral and other wildlife species and causing damage to them is prohibited when diving.
7.Causing damage to nesting turtles and disturbing them by touching and getting close to them or touch or collect or move their eggs is not allowed.
8.Plants and seeds, as well as cats, dogs or any other animals shall not be brought to these islands.
9.Plants and herbs cutting inside the reserve is prohibited.
10.Waste shall be disposed of in specific bags and shall be taken with them outside the island.
11.Lights and fire shall be turned out after 09: pm.
12.The coupon shall be filled out and giving the first part of it to Wildlife Conservation Unit supervisors and the other part shall be kept in the brochure and returned to the specialists in the ministry.
How to reach the reserve:
The islands can be reached through using boats from any place along the coast.