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EAD records the biggest breeding of flamingos at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

posted on 23/07/2013: 3236 views

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) revealed that the Greater flamingo has successfully bred once again at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi. Around 200 chicks were born in the last six weeks - the highest number ever recorded since the species first returned to the Reserve to breed back in 2011 and experts say it is an indication of improved conditions for birds to breed.

EAD recorded that the first chicks hatched on June 1, 2013 and by July 16, a total of 201 chicks were observed. The numbers are significantly higher than the 39 chicks born during the last breeding season in 2012-2013. Today, around 2,000 Greater flamingos can be spotted residing in Al Wathba, with a high percentage of these being adult breeding birds.

"The 200 chicks born in Al Wathba is the biggest breeding of flamingos ever recorded in the Reserve and is a result of sustained efforts to improve habitat conditions and management in the Reserve. This record further enhances Al Wathba's status as a key bird site," said Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD.

"The landscape around Al Wathba has changed considerably over the past decade and we are making sure that the necessary resources are allocated to the Reserve to ensure its proper protection. Protecting such an area is crucial in the preservation of Abu Dhabi's biodiversity," she added.

Flamingos successfully bred for the first time in 1998 at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, and following this successful breeding, the Reserve was established as a Protected Area by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

EAD undertakes routing monitoring on key elements of the Reserve's wildlife and runs a successful flamingo tracking programme. By monitoring and tracking this species, EAD was able to acquire valuable data about trends, the number of flamingos which visit the Emirate's shores as well as the route they travel. EAD also regularly monitors the water quality and Artemia (or brine shrimp) to help ensure a suitable environment for the flamingos to breed throughout the year.

In April 2013, the Reserve was recognised internationally and declared as a Ramsar site, the first in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It was recognised for its contribution to the conservation of biological diversity and cemented EAD's efforts to preserve the UAE's natural heritage. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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