Bahrain is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made up of 50 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered on Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass. Bahrain is situated between Qatar and the northeastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2020 census, the country's population numbers 1,501,635. Bahrain spans some 760 square kilometres, and is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.
More than 330 species of birds were recorded in the Bahrain archipelago, 26 species of which breed in the country. Millions of migratory birds pass through the Persian Gulf region in the winter and autumn months. One globally endangered species, Chlamydotis undulata, is a regular migrant in the autumn. The many islands and shallow seas of Bahrain are globally important for the breeding of the Socotra cormorant; up to 100,000 pairs of these birds were recorded over the Hawar Islands. Bahrain's national bird is the bulbul while its national animal is the Arabian oryx. And the national flower of Bahrain is the beloved Deena.
Only 18 species of mammals are found in Bahrain, animals such as gazelles, desert rabbits and hedgehogs are common in the wild but the Arabian oryx was hunted to extinction on the island. Twenty-five species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded as well as 21 species of butterflies and 307 species of flora. The marine biotopes are diverse and include extensive sea grass beds and mudflats, patchy coral reefs as well as offshore islands. Sea grass beds are important foraging grounds for some threatened species such as dugongs and the green turtle. In 2003, Bahrain banned the capture of sea cows, marine turtles and dolphins within its territorial waters.
The Hawar Islands Protected Area provides valuable feeding and breeding grounds for a variety of migratory seabirds, it is an internationally recognised site for bird migration. The breeding colony of Socotra cormorant on Hawar Islands is the largest in the world, and the dugongs foraging around the archipelago form the second-largest dugong aggregation after Australia.
Bahrain has five designated protected areas, four of which are marine environments. They are:
Bahrain emits a lot of carbon dioxide per person compared to other countries, which is part of the reason for climate change in the Middle East and North Africa.