Covering 5 sq Km and located on the northwest of Tripoli, Sanani, Ramkine and Palm Island together with their surrounding sea make up the Palm Islands Nature Reserve. They are Lebanon’s only true Islands.
Several designations have been given to Palm Islands reserve due to its special characteristics: it has been designated a Mediterranean Specially Protected Area under the Barcelona Convention, an Important Bird Area by Birdlife Convention as well as Wetland of Special International Importance.
Palm Island, the largest of the three islands is also known as Rabbit Island because it used to feature a large population of rabbits which have been removed later on for environmental reason: rabbits were threatening very important plants.
Palm Islands reserve is a resting place for migratory birds such as the grey heron. It also harbors some endangered reptiles such as green sea turtle and Loggerhead turtle as well as endemic sub-species of lizard, bats and a number of sheltering fish.
You can also find there some medicinal plants and an exceptional specie of butterfly, known as the painted lady.
Parts of the reserve are accessible during summer for swimming and snorkeling.
The rest of the year the Islands remain quiet calm haven for wildlife
For more info about Tannourine Cedar Forest Nature Reserve, please visit the Ministry Of Environment official website: www.moe.gov.lb/