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NATure reserves Some of the world's finest nature reserves and protected areas packed with wildlife can be found in Jordan. Its landscape of deserts and their oasis, mountains blanketed with pine trees, wetlands, rich green valleys created by its network of wadis and the remarkable coral reef ecosystem and its abundance of vividly coloured fish in the Gulf of Aqaba where Jordan meets the Red Sea provide one of the most unique combinations of natural wildlife habitat. Add to that the Dead Sea and you could be forgiven for thinking that Jordan has it all. There are seven nature and wildlife reserves, along with the Dead Sea and the Aqaba Protected Area, with at least six more sites being considered for reserve status. Add to this, more areas currently being studied for their biodiversity, and you have a country that recognises the importance of its fabulous flora and fauna, and takes all steps to protect it. The two most northerly official nature reserves are the Ajlun Nature Reserve and Dibeen Forest. Located about 90 minutes by road north from Amman, the Ajlun Nature Reserve is a wilderness of dense woodlands full of evergreen oak, carob and pistachio trees. In spring it becomes a rainbow of colour as anemones and rockroses cover its forest floor. Here, numerous birds and mammals thrive. Nearby is the Dibeen Forest, Jordan's newest reserve and home to more than 17 endangered wildlife species. The forest is made of ancient Aleppo pines and evergreen oaks. In fact, it is considered one of the finest pine-oak forests in the Middle East. Here, if you are especially lucky, you could glimpse the endemic Persian red squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) which thrives in the forest habitat, or the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena). The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is known to roam in the forest too. Both the Ajlun Nature Reserve and the Dibeen Forest offer visitor information and nearby accommodation.