The northern and north western coastline is known for its narrow fertile strip, however, in general the desert environment predominates the terrestrial landscape in Bahrain. Despite the barren appearance of the desert of Bahrain, it supports recognizable diversity of vascular plants providing food and shelter for many animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, arachnids and insects.
The northern and western coastal areas have been heavily cultivated with date palms and alfalfa plantations for thousands of years forming a biologically important habitat. Indeed, date palm farms are the most diverse terrestrial habitat in the country supporting a wide range of introduced and native species, including vascular plants and algae, insects, brackish water fish, amphibians as well as resident and migratory birds. These farms were once watered by numerous freshwater springs, which, in turn, represented the most biologically diverse inland water ecosystem. Sadly, however, the freshwater springs have vanished due to over-exploitation of underground water.
Relative to terrestrial and inland ecosystems, Bahrain supports a wider range of marine habitats in spite of the prevailing harsh physical marine environment. They include inertial habitats such as rocky shores, mud flats, salt marshes, mangrove swamps and sandy beaches as well as sub tidal habitats like sea grass beds, sub tidal sands and muds and coral reefs.