Some 28 fragile ecosystems have been declared as protected areas by the Egyptian authorities since the 1980's. The oldest national park in Egypt is Ras Mohamed. This 480 sq.km protected area lies where the Gulf of Suez meets the Gulf of Aqaba at Sinai's southern extremity. The arid desert terrain consisting of sand dunes, gravel plains, fossilised corals and granite mountains is home to a number of rare species, including Dorcas gazelle, Nubian ibex and red fox. Most of these protectorates are easily accessible while others require special permits from authorities. The protected areas have an incredible range of biodiversity that ranges from underwater coral reefs, desert ecosystems, Nile river islands and mountainous areas of the Sinai.