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Chicks of critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis hatch in Wasit Wetland Reserve

posted on 01/06/2016: 2299 views

Five northern bald ibis chicks hatched recently at the Wasit Wetland Reserve in Sharjah.

The hatching, which is the first of its kind in the region, is part of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA) breeding programme held in coordination with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). The accomplishment comes as part of the successful efforts made by the EPAA in protecting and breeding endangered species to maintain the ecosystem's natural balance.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah, said: "Thanks to the patronage and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, we have witnessed many accomplishments, the most recent of which is the hatching of the northern bald ibis. His Highness pays special attention to the environment and biodiversity, and with his support, we are committed to adopting the best standards and services that meet the needs of organisms and birds in local habitats and to providing the necessary facilities to develop the work of reserves and preserve at-risk species. We also acknowledge the key role played by the EPAA and its dedicated teams who significantly contribute to achieving these successes."

Al Suwaidi added: "EPAA exerts the utmost effort to nurture, breed, rear and provide food and veterinary care to the northern bald ibis at Wasit Wetland Reserve and the Breeding Centre at its headquarters in Sharjah."

The chicks hatched on the 27th of April after remote monitoring by experts. The EPAA will teach the young northern bald ibis how to use safe migration routes and stop-over points and how to avoid war-torn areas. They will be released with a lead bird to fly in a flock together to Europe, Africa and Asia, through the UAE and to other Eastern countries. This will be repeated several times until the birds are trained on how to use safe migration routes.

The northern bald ibis is a rare and critically endangered bird, especially in war-affected countries. Wasit Wetland Reserve received the northern bald ibis from a North African reserve and provided the appropriate habitat to the bird to help it breed, nest and lay eggs.

Wasit Wetland Reserve, which was established in 2007, alongside the recently inaugurated Bird Centre, is a promising investment for environment conservation and a significant step forward to protecting the ecosystem and endangered species. It is also a perfect natural destination for surrounding residents, and offers educational and research facilities designed to serve biodiversity and natural life. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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