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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

Ministry bans importation of live birds from South Africa, ruminants from Madagascar

Posted on 23/01/2009

All live birds from South Africa and ruminants from Madagascar will not be allowed into the UAE. The Minister of Environment and Water, Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd has issued a ministerial decree banning the importation of all live birds and ruminants, their products and wastes from the two African countries. The decree called on the ministry's Department of Animal Resources and all related administrative units to coordinate with the concerned bodies in the country to effect the implementation ...  >>MORE

UAE delivers 15 Arabian Oryx to Jordan

Posted on 18/01/2009

The UAE has delivered 15 Arabian Oryx to Jordan to be released in its natural habitat in the Kingdom. The delivery, which includes five male and 10 female Oryx, forms the first batch of 20 Oryx UAE plans to release in Jordan in March this year as part of an agreement signed in April last year between the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and the Aqaba Private Economic Zones Authority of Jordan, which is in charge of the Arabian Oryx Resettlement Project, embarked upon in the Ram Game Reserve in ...  >>MORE

Residents urged to keep lookout for washed-up turtles on shores

Posted on 09/01/2009

Dubai residents are urged to be watchful of any washed-up turtles on the beaches and to call the Emirates Marine Environment Group (EMEG) should they come across the shelled creatures. Hawksbill turtles have been found ashore with several types of marine organisms attached to their shells and plastrons. In particular, barnacles have been found attached to their mouths, preventing them from breathing and feeding properly which can ultimately lead to their deaths. In just 24 hours more than 12 ...  >>MORE

Battling extinction of the Arabian leopard

Posted on 29/12/2008

Will spent his youth cooped up in a cramped two-metre square cage, being poked and prodded until he roared for the crowd. At the age of three he was rescued from the small illegal zoo in Sana'a, Yemen, and brought to the Sharjah Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, where he is one of 24 Arabian leopards – the largest captive collection in the world. The Arabian leopard is now classified as "critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, pushed ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi bird-protection plan hailed as ’new era’ for the world

Posted on 28/10/2008

Plans to assemble a team of six experts in Abu Dhabi to oversee bird preservation efforts in the Gulf herald a new era in the fight to protect species around the world, a senior UN official said yesterday. The UAE agreed to host the team after ratifying a memorandum of understanding last week for worldwide co-operation against the threat to migratory birds, an agreement signed by 27 other countries that comes into effect on Saturday. The MoU is seen as a precursor to the UN Convention on ...  >>MORE

MoU on Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey signed in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 23/10/2008

A Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia was signed yesterday (Wednesday) by twenty eight countries. The signing ceremony took place in Abu Dhabi on the last day of a meeting organized by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), along with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and UK's Department of Food and Agriculture. The MoU, which was finalised during the three-day meeting attended by ...  >>MORE

UAE to host secretariat of migratory birds body

Posted on 21/10/2008

HE Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water announced yesterday at the opening of the three-day meeting to Conclude an Agreement on Birds Of Prey, that the UAE will be signing this agreement which include measures to conserve migratory birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia. He also said the UAE will host the Secretariat and make available necessary funding to run it here in Abu Dhabi. The minister was speaking at the opening session of the meeting, which is being held ...  >>MORE

Sammy must be released, minister says

Posted on 19/10/2008

Sammy the shark, in captivity at the Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, will have to be released, Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, the Minister of Environment and Water, said. He said the UAE is a signatory to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and in due time the whale shark would be released. Bin Fahd did not give a time frame for Sammy's release. He confirmed that he had been in contact with Atlantis. "Having this whale shark is very educational for the children ...  >>MORE

Documentary has double significance for the UAE

Posted on 16/10/2008

The UAE's only entry in the environment category of the Middle East International Film Festival brings full circle a dream of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the founder of the nation, to replenish the dwindling stock of an animal vital to its heritage. The Arabian Oryx – Freed Spirit of the Desert, which was screened yesterday, shows the release into the wild of 98 as part of the captive breeding programme Sheikh Zayed pioneered 30 years ago. The film was shot last year as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, ...  >>MORE

Cheetahs to roam free on island

Posted on 13/10/2008

Two African cheetahs will join other exotic species in the Sir Bani Yas Island nature reserve. The big cats, to be imported within a year, will be fitted with radio tags so they can always be located. "They're going to be allowed to roam free once they're acclimatised,” said William Heinecke, chief executive of Minor, which operates the Desert Islands Resort and Spa on Sir Bani Yas. "You set up salt licks out where they will come. During the day, when it's hot, they hang around the trees ...  >>MORE

New Fund for species conservation fund announced at (WCC)

Posted on 10/10/2008

Barcelona - A new fund that places species conservation at the forefront of the environmental debate was announced on the sidelines of the World Conservation Congress (WCC) yesterday. The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a 25 million euro endowment fund established by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who hopes to make a genuine contribution to species conservation worldwide when the Fund's operations commence in January 2009. ...  >>MORE

World Houbara Conservation Fund takes part at International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition

Posted on 10/10/2008

World Houbara Conservation Fund is showcasing its efforts in preserving falconry heritage during participation at the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition-Abu Dhabi 2008. The fund plans to support all the initiatives aiming at doubling numbers of houbara in the wild in future, including the reproduction efforts in captivity being exerted by the National Avian Research Centre in Suwaihan, as well as other similar centres in Morocco, North Africa and Asia. The fund reiterated in a ...  >>MORE

Local species 'face extinction'

Posted on 09/10/2008

Native species including the Arabian leopard, tahr and houbara bustard are under threat of extinction, according to an updated list of the world's most endangered plants and animals. The Arabian leopard is among 188 mammals deemed critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The group's "Red List”, which is considered the most respected inventory of biodiversity, also says the tahr, a mountain goat found only in northern Oman and the UAE, is endangered, while ...  >>MORE

Survival rates of dugong improving

Posted on 09/10/2008

A sudden dip in recorded deaths among the emirate's threatened dugong population has sparked hope the gentle marine creature may be recovering from intensive building work along the coastline. Conservationists have long warned that the dredging, land reclamation and increased boat traffic associated with a boom in the development of marinas and hotels was taking a devastating toll on the rare mammals. But after two years of record numbers of dugong deaths, scientists at Environment Agency-Abu ...  >>MORE

Arabian Wildlife Centre to re-open on the second day of Eid

Posted on 30/09/2008

The Arabian Wildlife Centre will resume work from the second day of the Eid Al-Fitr, an announcement said. The Centre was closed for renovation since early September. Situated on the Sharjah-Dhaid highway, the Arabian Wildlife Centre exhibits all the animals naturally occurring in the Arabian Peninsula, both current and extinct. Opened in September 1999, this excellent facility houses over 100 species displayed in safe, spacious and natural surroundings. The centre also demonstrates the ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi hosts meeting on ways to save migratory birds

Posted on 25/09/2008

Representatives of nearly 50 African, European and Asian countries and non-governmental organisations will attend a meeting in Abu Dhabi on October 20-22 to finalise an agreement on measures to conserve migratory birds of prey in African and Eurasian regions. The emirate of Abu Dhabi is making efforts to conserve more than 70 species of migratory birds of prey in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. "Developing an agreement for such a large number of species involves more than 100 countries ...  >>MORE

Houbaras face extinction

Posted on 21/09/2008

Scientists in Abu Dhabi say they are in a race against time to save the houbara bustard from extinction due to over-hunting. The National Avian Research Center (NARC), which has bred and released 200 of the rare birds since 2004, hopes to have increased that number to 5,000 by 2013. However, Dr Olivier Combreau, the centre's director, said despite their success in captive breeding, studies show that the species could be extinct in the wild by 2035. The Asian population has already suffered a ...  >>MORE

Fall in animal contraband

Posted on 11/09/2008

The number of smuggled wild animals, birds and pieces of ivory seized at UAE customs has tumbled dramatically since the Government began clamping down on the illicit trade in 2002. Customs officers who confiscated hundreds of species and tonnes of ivory a few years ago are now finding only a few bits of ivory and far fewer birds and animals. "Smuggling still happens but the numbers have dropped a lot,” says Abdulrab al Hemeri, a senior Federal Environment Agency official involved in enforcing ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo helps secure future home for endangered African Wild Dogs

Posted on 05/08/2008

Al Ain Zoo announced the opening of a new exhibit dedicated to the African Wild Dog (Lycaon Pictus), a critically endangered carnivore from Africa. The exhibit, which will span over 1300 square meters, will be the first home for the wild dogs in the Middle East. As part of Al Ain Zoo's commitment to assisting in the conservation of threatened animal species, the Zoo has developed and landscaped a new exhibit that will meet all the needs of the African Wild Dog. This is the first time that ...  >>MORE

Specific guidelines for Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park

Posted on 05/08/2008

In a move to protect its natural and cultural resources, Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council (UPC), in close collaboration with the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi and other government organisations, announced the launch of new planning guidelines for the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park. As the first of five national parks identified in Strategic Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park will have specific guidelines to ensure its protection and longevity. The UPC is ...  >>MORE

Zoo steps up efforts to protect the animals

Posted on 16/07/2008

With the UAE witnessing temperatures above 50 degrees for the past couple of days, Dubai Zoo has stepped up its efforts to protect the animals from the sweltering heat. A senior zoo official, Saleh Al Najjar, told Khaleej Times that more than 50,000 gallons of water was being sprayed each day in the zoo and also on the animals in a bid to keep them and the area cool. The Dubai Zoo houses nearly 800 animals. "The water is being sprayed on the animals and on the concrete ground round the ...  >>MORE

Now, visit Al Ain Zoo every night

Posted on 02/07/2008

Now, you can relish summer evenings and nights at Al Ain Zoo until September. The zoo yesterday opened its Summer Night Programme. As part of the concept called Summer Night Zoo, you can visit the zoo from 4pm to 10pm on all days and experience the place under moonlight. "The night zoo sets a new benchmark for wildlife tourism in the Middle East," said Majid Al Mansouri, Managing Director of Al Ain Zoo. The zoo has expanded and improved facilities for visitors, who can see over 600 animals ...  >>MORE

Documenting on endangered species under way

Posted on 30/06/2008

The Environment Agency ¬ Abu Dhabi (EAD), a governmental agency that was established in 1996 with the overall function of protecting and conserving the environment, has formed an exciting international partnership with Wildscreen. The three year partnership will give Wildscreen vital investment to further develop its ARKive project, whilst giving the UAE opportunities to raise awareness of the country's biodiversity. Wildscreen, is a charity working to promote conservation through wildlife ...  >>MORE

Rules to protect Saadiyat’s hawksbill turtles

Posted on 29/06/2008

Developers on Saadiyat Island have been issued with strict construction guidelines to ensure the preservation of the island's colony of endangered hawksbill turtles. The Tourism Development and Investment Council (TDIC) has restricted resort development on the island's nine kilometres of beach to within 60 metres of dune lines to protect the breeding grounds. One of TDIC's main concerns is "to prevent impact from construction activities on sea turtles' behaviour on beaches”. The only people ...  >>MORE

Zoo gives home to seized animals

Posted on 23/05/2008

About 300 animals confiscated at Dubai International Airport, mostly birds, turtles and tortoises, were given a new home at the Dubai Zoo last year, said Dr Reza Khan, the zoo's director. Most were travelling without documents required by the UAE authorities, and sending them to the already crowded zoo was the only option, he said. Some of the creatures, such as seven Dent's Mona Monkeys, an endangered species native to the Indian subcontinent, were probably on their way to pet traders dealing ...  >>MORE

EAD releases more houbara in Pakistan

Posted on 14/05/2008

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has released the 2nd flock in the Pakistani wild. The flock included 25 Asiatic houbara which were captive-bred in the National Avian Research Centre (NARC). The move is in line with EAD's plans to protect Asiatic houbara and increase their declining population in their geographic distribution, The release was witnessed by Mohammed Al Bowardi, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD, Brigadier (Retired) Mukhtar Ahmad, ...  >>MORE

EAD releases UAE captive-bred houbara in Pakistani wild

Posted on 13/05/2008

In an aggressive drive to protect the declining population of Asiatic houbara, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi has released the 2nd flock of UAE captive-bred houbara in the Pakistani wild. The flock included 25 Asiatic houbara, which were captive-bred in the National Avian Research Centre "NARC". The release was witnessed by HE Mohammed Al Bowardi, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD, Brigadier (Retired) Mukhtar Ahmad, General Manager of the Houbara ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort signs strategic partnership with San Diego Zoo

Posted on 06/05/2008

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, represented by H.E Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the San Diego Zoo, represented by Ms. Berit Durler, President, Zoological Society of San Diego and Douglas G. Myers, Chief Executive Officer, Zoological Society of San Diego, signed a strategic partnership for the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort Project, a 20 years exclusivity agreement for the GCC, North Africa and Central Asia. The San Diego Zoo ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo: an eco-friendly safari park

Posted on 06/05/2008

The arrival of five white rhinoceros from South Africa, three females and two males, the most recent inhabitants of Al Ain Zoo, marks the first major step towards its transformation to desert safari park and conservation centre. They were flown in special crates from Johannesburg and are freely roaming the arid land at the foothills of Jebel Hafit, strolling among their neighbours 'zebras, giraffes, Thompson gazelles, fringe-eared Oryx and wildebeest' in the mixed-African exhibit, which is to ...  >>MORE

Khalifa expresses satisfaction at AI Ain Zoo re-development plan

Posted on 05/05/2008

President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed AI Nahyan has reviewed at Al Bateen Palace the proposed re-development of the AI Ain Zoo and Aquarium in the presence of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The President expressed his satisfaction and approval of the plan that will make AI Ain Zoo a world-class wildlife destination, as well as a centre of excellence for ...  >>MORE

Mohammed bin Zayed names World Houbara Conservation Fund board

Posted on 05/05/2008

General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council has issued a resolution, forming the board of directors of the World Houbara Conservation Fund. According to the resolution 31 for 2008, Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi shall serve as the board's Chairman and Majid Ali al Mansouri as Deputy Chairman. Other members include Dr Mughir Khamis Al Khaily, Major General Fares Mohammed Al ...  >>MORE

Sir Bani Yas Wildlife Park to receive visitors soon

Posted on 29/04/2008

Sir Bani Yas Island, the private wildlife park created by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan nearly 40 years ago, is getting ready to receive its first tourists in just a few months. The 87 square kilometre island, located 170km west of Abu Dhabi, should see visitors come ashore to a new resort later this year, said a report published by The National daily. Predators, including a golden jackal and a striped hyena, were introduced as part of an attempt to deal with a wildlife population ...  >>MORE

A lost chick is 'adopted' by another houbara

Posted on 29/04/2008

It was an adoption with a difference. The 'child' in this case was a lost houbara chick, and the 'parent', a houbara bustard. The scene of adoption - the wild in Abu Dhabi western region. And the end result - the lost houbara chick survived an almost certain death. The female houbara bustard, despite not being the mother, is providing the little bird with all care that a mother does. According to researchers at the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) of Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), ...  >>MORE

UAE to repatriate Arabian Oryx to Jordanian wilderness

Posted on 27/04/2008

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi in its capacity as a chair of coordinating committee to preserve the endangered Arabian Oryx, signed Saturday an agreement with Jordan to repatriate the Oryx to the Jordanian wild. The deal was signed by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, with the project of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on releasing the Arabian Oryx to the Rem sanctuary in Jordan after more ...  >>MORE

Arabian Oryx returns to the desert

Posted on 19/04/2008

The sighting of a tiny calf on unsteady, matchstick legs marks the long-awaited return of the Arabian Oryx to the deserts of Abu Dhabi. The animals were driven to extinction in the UAE in 1972 but a breeding programme established by the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi has resulted in the birth of 17 calves and raised hopes that the animal will once again breed in large numbers. For decades, hunting and the destruction of habitat have meant the Arabian Oryx survived only in zoos. The ...  >>MORE

Hamdan bin Zayed visits Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation in Morocco

Posted on 13/04/2008

Rabat - UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Emirates Falconry Club HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, visited Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation, the biggest sanctuary for houbara birds in the world. He was accompanied by Sheikh Nahyan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and HE Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, board chairman of the Red Crescent Authority (RCA). Sheikh Hamdan said the houbara reproduction programme, which was set up by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1977 "is yielding ...  >>MORE

Houbara bustard reintroduced into the wild

Posted on 02/04/2008

In line with the United Arab Emirate's strategic efforts to increase the number of Houbara in the wild, General/ HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, participated in the release of more than 5,000 North African Houbara (Chlamydotis undulata) in an area of about 300 km inside the Eastern desert of Morocco. The released Houbara had been bred in captivity at the Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP) ...  >>MORE

Nature nurtures Al Wathba: A Spring of life

Posted on 17/03/2008

The stunningly beautiful Al Wathba Natural Reserve in Abu Dhabi has a very unique and unbelievable story of its formation. Just an ordinary water body until a couple of decades ago, it evolved into a prominent natural habitat by sheer coincidence. By the turn of the century, what was a little known pond in the wilderness of desert until 1980s, turned into a serene oasis. The reserve gradually became home to a magnificent mix of natural species, catching the curious eyes of the experts. Many ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo gets five new white rhinos

Posted on 16/03/2008

Visitors to the Al Ain Zoo will soon be able to see five white rhinos which have recently arrived at the zoo. The rhinos were brought from South Africa three months ago and have been isolated for quarantine purposes, giving them time to acquaint themselves with their new surroundings in the mixed African exhibit. Managing Director of Al Ain Zoo, Majid Al Mansouri, said: "The arrival of the five white rhinos demonstrates our commitment to conserving threatened species, as well as the ...  >>MORE

Roots recovers fast from operation

Posted on 25/02/2008

It's been more than two months since the two-year-old African lioness named Roots had nearly half of her front teeth extracted and a root canal procedure during an eight-hour corrective surgery. A vet team from South African extracted 14 out of 30 teeth. "Roots has ... put on some weight and is not as aggressive as she was before the surgery. She no longer feels any pain in her teeth. "She's running, walking, playing and eating normally," said Ronel Smuts, Manager of the Abu Dhabi Wildlife ...  >>MORE

Orphaned cubs get leafy home away from concrete jungle

Posted on 24/02/2008

The Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre will soon be relocated to Al Wathba Cheetah Centre on Mussafah Road, which is closer to town and only a 35km drive from the city. Ronel Smuts, an Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC) manager, has spent sleepless nights taking care of cheetah and lion cubs who were taken from their mothers too early. "I've worked with animals all my life and this is the only job I know. But I don't see it as a job, it's fun to work with animals and I feel it's what I was born to do," ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Ministry bans importation of live birds from South Africa, ruminants from Madagascar


UAE delivers 15 Arabian Oryx to Jordan


Residents urged to keep lookout for washed-up turtles on shores


Battling extinction of the Arabian leopard


Abu Dhabi bird-protection plan hailed as ’new era’ for the world


MoU on Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey signed in Abu Dhabi


UAE to host secretariat of migratory birds body


Sammy must be released, minister says


Documentary has double significance for the UAE


Cheetahs to roam free on island


New Fund for species conservation fund announced at (WCC)


World Houbara Conservation Fund takes part at International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition


Local species 'face extinction'


Survival rates of dugong improving


Arabian Wildlife Centre to re-open on the second day of Eid


Abu Dhabi hosts meeting on ways to save migratory birds


Houbaras face extinction


Fall in animal contraband


Al Ain Zoo helps secure future home for endangered African Wild Dogs


Specific guidelines for Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park


Zoo steps up efforts to protect the animals


Now, visit Al Ain Zoo every night


Documenting on endangered species under way


Rules to protect Saadiyat’s hawksbill turtles


Zoo gives home to seized animals


EAD releases more houbara in Pakistan


EAD releases UAE captive-bred houbara in Pakistani wild


Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort signs strategic partnership with San Diego Zoo


Al Ain Zoo: an eco-friendly safari park


Khalifa expresses satisfaction at AI Ain Zoo re-development plan


Mohammed bin Zayed names World Houbara Conservation Fund board


Sir Bani Yas Wildlife Park to receive visitors soon


A lost chick is 'adopted' by another houbara


UAE to repatriate Arabian Oryx to Jordanian wilderness


Arabian Oryx returns to the desert


Hamdan bin Zayed visits Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation in Morocco


Houbara bustard reintroduced into the wild


Nature nurtures Al Wathba: A Spring of life


Al Ain Zoo gets five new white rhinos


Roots recovers fast from operation


Orphaned cubs get leafy home away from concrete jungle