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Migrating Greater Flamingos on screen at Bu Tinah Experience Eco-Cinema

posted on 19/10/2011: 3007 views

With the recent return of the Greater Flamingo after a ten-year absence at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said that protection of vital ecosystems and habitats was critical to ensuring a sustainable future for Abu Dhabi Emirate.

The third episode of The Environment Show, with Ask Ali' highlights EAD's conservation efforts to protect the Greater flamingo, which is a species native to Bu Tinah Island. The film is being screened at the Eco-Cinema at the Bu Tinah Experience' dome this entire week.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, commented: "The conservation of Bu Tinah Island is a national priority. As our country continues to grow and develop, we must all ensure that all our biodiversity and natural resources are protected. Our bird conservation programme, which involves closely studying the Greater Flamingos' ecology, movement and migration patterns also enables us to understand the health of the environment and how it should be managed to ensure long-term sustainability." The third episode of The Environment Show with Ask Ali, was filmed at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Ali and members of the EAD Bird Conservation Programme team observed flocks of flamingos enjoy the Reserve's peaceful waters which are abundant with food, such as brine shrimp. During the episode, Ali witnesses EAD's satellite tagging programme which has led to the discovery of a new breeding colony and better understanding of the birds' migration patterns.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1998 and is currently managed by EAD. To date, over 240 bird species have been sighted on Al Wathba Reserve by the Agency. Nearly 2,200 Greater flamingos were observed on Al Wathba as of October 2011, as part of EAD's regular bird counting exercises. A high percentage of these were adult birds. As part of the routine monitoring undertaken by EAD, nests were recorded at several locations across Al Wathba Lake. In total, 18 chicks were born on Al Wathba this year and all of them survived.

Al Mubarak added: "Through our work managing areas such as Al Wathba Wetland Reserve and the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, which includes Bu Tinah Island, it has become increasingly evident that the protection of such areas is crucial in ensuring the preservation of our environment, as our economy continues to grow." Dr. Salim Javed, Manager of Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring at EAD, said: "Our conservation programme underlines the importance of using scientific and innovative approaches in order to protect important species of birds in the country. Through our conservation programme, we are focusing on ensuring that these birds have access to suitable and safe habitats. By monitoring and tracking this species, we are able to acquire valuable data about trends, the number of flamingos which visit our shores as well as their nomadic travel path. The information compiled has led to the discovery of new breeding colonies such as the ones found on Bul Syayeef in 2009 and at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in 2011." - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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