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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

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

There's a new bird in town: say hello to the red pochard

Posted on 23/02/2008

For the first time Red-crested Pochards, a species of diving duck, have been spotted at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. The reserve, managed by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) is home to thousands of migratory birds belonging to over two hundred different species. The sighting of the ducks demonstrates Al Wathba's suitability as a diverse habitat for a variety of species of birds with different habitat requirements, an EAD spokesperson said. The Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) is a ...  >>MORE

Pigeon lovers from across the country gather in Sharjah

Posted on 11/02/2008

Qanat Al Qasba in Sharjah saw a full house at the Fantail Pigeon Competition held on Saturday, drawing pigeon lover from across the UAE. The event brought together some of the best breeds of pigeons from across the country to one destination, and three winners from each category were chosen by judges. In the Jacobin Category, Males, Ali Sha'ban won first place, while Abdu Al Aziz Al Fardan and Bader Mousa were awarded second and third prizes respectively. For the Female category, first and ...  >>MORE

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary listed as protected wetland

Posted on 23/01/2008

The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai has been listed as the only protected wetland in the UAE that falls under the Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, which was ratified officially by the UAE government last year. Announcing this, Hamdan Al Shaer, director of environment department at Dubai Municipality, said officials from the department had attended recently the Asian Regional Preparatory Meeting of the Convention on Wetlands in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting was ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort to unveil its US$1 billion project at TDIM

Posted on 20/01/2008

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and in association with the Abu Dhabi government, the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be offering visitors to the Tourism Development Projects and Investment Market (TDIM) a sneak preview of its first of a kind USD1 billion unique concept. The TDIM event will take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEF), Dubai, UAE, on January 20-22, 2008. For the first time in ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo welcomes birth of baby giraffe

Posted on 05/01/2008

A baby giraffe was born on New Year's Day at Al Ain Zoo, surprising the caretakers who were expecting the birth a week later. The female baby giraffe was born at 9.30am and immediately got to her feet and started suckling, said Mark Craig, Director of the Zoo. Since the birth, both mother and baby are doing well and have been separated from the main group. "This was a wonderful New Year's Day present to all visitors and staff and demonstrates our high standards of animal husbandry and ...  >>MORE

Sheikh Hamdan pledges unlimited support to Houbara Bustard conservation

Posted on 30/12/2007

A Houbara Bustard was released from Al Aryam Island after it was treated in captivity for minor injuries it sustained while flying in migration. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (AEA) witnessed the release of the bird after overseeing its treatment, as per directives of President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander ...  >>MORE

African lioness undergoes root canal surgery in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 13/12/2007

A lioness paid a visit to the dentist on Wednesday for root canal treatment. The eight-hour operation on the two-year-old African Lioness was performed at the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC) by a team of South African vets. Nearly half of her teeth, 14 out of a total of 30 were extracted, four were operated on and root canal work carried out. None of her teeth will be replaced. Gulf News was asked to pick out a name for the 100 kilogram lioness and called her Roots. "We don't usually replace ...  >>MORE

Scimitar Oryx is back from the brink

Posted on 05/11/2007

The scimitar-horned Oryx, believed to be extinct in the wild, is now on display at Al Ain Zoo following the introduction of an exhibit of endangered species. It is one of the many species the zoo recently acquired in line with its reintroduction and conservation strategy, said Majid Al Mansouri, managing director of Al Ain Zoo. He said the Oryx once lived in areas ranging from Morocco and Tunisia to Egypt and south to Mauritania and Sudan. Occasional sightings of it have been recorded in Chad ...  >>MORE

New research will help save Arabian Tahr from extinction

Posted on 03/10/2007

Breakthrough research for the conservation of the Arabian Tahr promises to increase the number of their species at the Hafit Mountain reserve and protect them from extinction. Scientists have been able to freeze their sperm without any biological defects, thereby guaranteeing the protection of the genetic material to enhance artificial insemination methods. For the first time, the isolation of genetic specifications has been made possible. This is vital to guaranteeing the genetic variety ...  >>MORE

Website brings nature into bird-lovers’ homes

Posted on 17/09/2007

Bird-lovers will now be able to follow activity at the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary from the comfort of their homes and offices on the refuge's newly launched website. Introduced at Gitex 2007, the website, wildlife.ae, will provide details about animals living in the area and allow bird watchers from around the world to catch a glimpse of the action at Ras Al Khor. "The website contains information on the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary. It has a good collection of videos, pictures and ...  >>MORE

Flamingo Sinbad lands in Kazakhstan

Posted on 06/09/2007

The flamingo pet named 'Sinbad' and released by Abu Dhabi Environment Authority into the vast sky has arrived in Kazakhstan. The movements of the bird was electronically tracked by the Authority using satellite technology in an effort to learn more about the migratory routes of flamingos as the seasons change. The pinkish bird flew over Iran in last March, continued its journey northwards to Azerbaijan, crossed over Caspian sea and finally headed towards Kazakhstan. The Authority said that the ...  >>MORE

Oryx conservation workshop concluded

Posted on 23/08/2007

A workshop to draw up strategies to conserve and reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitats was concluded here yesterday. The workshop, organised by the Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx, in collaboration with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), was attended by delegates from eight countries taking part. The final session of the three-day workshop was chaired by Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD, who said that the event was held as part of the ...  >>MORE

Regional strategy to conserve Arabian Oryx on the cards

Posted on 21/08/2007

A workshop to draw up strategies to conserve and reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitats started here today with delegates from eight countries taking part. First session of the three-day workshop saw the participants sharing their views and experience in the best ways to conserve Arabian Oryx and release them into the wild. Drawing up a strategy to coordinate all efforts to preserve this animal was recommended during the committee's third meeting which was held in May at Wadi ...  >>MORE

Regional strategy to conserve Arabian Oryx

Posted on 19/08/2007

In-line with the efforts of the Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx to conserve and reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitats, a three-day workshop will be organized in the capital from 20-22 August, 2007 to draft a Regional Strategy to Conserve Arabian Oryx. Drawing up a strategy to coordinate all efforts to preserve this animal was recommended during the committee's third meeting which was held in May at Wadi Rum in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The ...  >>MORE

Saadiyat a safe breeding ground

Posted on 15/08/2007

A batch of 58 Hawksbill turtles has hatched safely on Saadiyat Island, which lies 500 metres off Abu Dhabi city, under a programme to protect the environment of the island as it is developed. The monitoring project, which is run by the Emirates Heritage Club and the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), has also made proposals to protect the future of the island's native turtles. Saadiyat Island – the site of the planned Louvre Abu Dhabi – is being transformed into an ...  >>MORE

Would you like that chilled sir?

Posted on 08/08/2007

The next time you're complaining about feeling hot and bothered in the summer heat, spare a thought for your furry friends down at Dubai Zoo. As the weather hots up and we reach for the a/c switch, down at the small Jumeirah enclosure, zoo keepers are taking all kinds of measures to ensure the lions, tigers and bears are kept cool during their last summer at their old home. Explaining the complicated process of keeping the animals comfortable during the hottest months of the year, Head of ...  >>MORE

Relief for zoo animals by year-end

Posted on 30/07/2007

Construction of a huge new zoo will start in August," said Rashad Bukhash, Director of the General Projects Department at Dubai Municipality. He said all the animals at the existing Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah will be moved by the end of this year to the new and much bigger zoo being built in DubaiLand. "We have to speed up plans for the construction of the new zoo and the core zoo will be built within three months after construction starts in August," he said. The civic body is building the zoo in ...  >>MORE

Sand cats born in captivity

Posted on 13/07/2007

Al Ain zoo has successfully bred in captivity sand cats - an endangered smallest member of the Arabian cats' family. The new born sand cats are now over four weeks old, and growing robust and active by the day. The kittens are on display at the New Nocturnal House of the zoo with visitors having the opportunity to view them and their parents at a close range through a glass viewing area. Majid Al Mansouri, Managing Director of Al Ain Zoo said the conservation of endangered species is a ...  >>MORE

World first's duckling born from hen egg Rabat

Posted on 22/06/2007

The first duckling born from a hen egg has seen light thanks to an embryonic transfer technique carried out by a Moroccan scientific team from the Emirati Centre for Scientific Research and Wildlife Preservation (EWSRC). The birth of a duckling from a hen egg (two different species) has shown that it is possible to carry out this technique, reserved so far to mammals, on threatened birds, Dr. Zinelabidine Aghezzaf and Driss Azizi, who supervised the research, told Maghreb Arabe Presse MAP. ...  >>MORE

Fujairah Wadi becomes first protected mountain habitat in the UAE

Posted on 13/06/2007

The first UAE mountain habitat to be declared as a protected zone was officially announced yesterday, along with continued plans to monitor all fauna and flora and train local tribesmen to work as rangers. Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah, an area of 129 square kilometres, is an important site for the amount of freshwater that has been captured in its peaks. The more surprising aspects of the Wadi include the quality of the water in freshwater pools, waterfalls and springs which has passed all ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo now offers a moonlit experience to visitors

Posted on 11/06/2007

Al Ain Zoo has recently ushered in an exciting new experience for its visitors. After undergoing extensive works, expanding exhibits, improving facilities and doing away with outdated, small cages, the Zoo has been transformed into a fun and informative destination for the whole family. The experience is now extending into the night. Beginning Thursday June 14 and until September 30, the Zoo will be open from 4 pm - 10 pm every night. Visitors can roam over 40 hectares of the Zoo and see ...  >>MORE

Do your bit to save UAE’s most ‘precious resource’

Posted on 24/05/2007

The UAE's Minister of Water and Environment has urged more efficient use of water in agriculture to preserve the country's most "precious resource”. "Water is life, and life is precious. It is the most important resource we have,” Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Ghandi told Emirates Today at the sidelines of a workshop on integrated water resources being held in Dubai. "There are rules for how water should be used for irrigation and recommendations on the types of plants that can be used,” Al Ghandi ...  >>MORE

Rare sea horses larvae collected in Abu Dhabi Waters

Posted on 24/05/2007

Spotting sea horses is a rare event in itself. Collecting a specimen sample of sea horse larva is even rarer. However, a sample has just been collected from the waters northeast of Delma Island. The sample was found and collected by experts of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi's Marine Environment Research Centre. The sea horse larval specimen was collected as part of a programme investigating fish reproductive habitats in Abu Dhabi's waters. This programme will help to protect habitat ...  >>MORE

Golden spiny mice born in captivity

Posted on 16/05/2007

Two golden spiny mice, a species indigenous to deserts in the Middle East, were born at the Arabian Wildlife Centre on May 12. This is the second litter bred in captivity. The first lot were born two weeks ago, in what the centre's managers consider the first successful breeding in captivity in the Arabian peninsula. The species is found in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman, and inhabits extremely hot areas. (Khaleej Times) ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park to turn into a world-class wildlife part and resort

Posted on 09/05/2007

Today Al Ain Zoo, which was established by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1968, is entering an exciting new phase in its evolution as His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, proudly continues the commitment to conservation and environmental causes. Set in the heart of Al Ain, the Garden City of the United Arab Emirates, extensive works are currently underway to transform the Al Ain Zoo to Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort by expanding exhibits and ...  >>MORE

Breathing space for wildlife

Posted on 06/05/2007

The furry stars of the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC) will soon enjoy a sizeable expanse of land, according to officials from the centre. Diego the cheetah, Maya the Bengal tiger and Marquise the black leopard are just a few of the animals who will soon be moved to a nearby larger sanctuary. The move signals the centre's desire to open up to the public, and to further its conservation efforts. "We've now outgrown the place and we have more animals," says Ronel Smuts, director of the ADWC. ...  >>MORE

Houbara nests in the UAE desert after decades

Posted on 01/05/2007

The National Aviation Research Centre (NARC) yesterday announced the first captive-bred Houbara bustard nesting in the deserts of the country after decades. According to NARC, a unit of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), the discovery of three Houbara chicks in the desert has proven that the bird can breed in the country's wild. Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, Managing Director of EAD, confirmed the discovery of the first three chicks from a female Houbara in the desert. The Houbara was ...  >>MORE

Subcontinent bird finds a nesting place in desert

Posted on 23/04/2007

A large nesting colony of Bank Myna, a variety of the common Myna or Pied Starling, has been spotted off Al Warsan. It is known as one of the largest breeding grounds of the bird in the country. "The nests were spotted in a desert area, off the Dubai Municipality's Sewage Treatment Plant in Al Warsan," said Dr Reza Khan, head of Dubai Zoo. He said Myna is a resident bird of the Subcontinent. Dr Khan said the bird was introduced to the UAE by some specimens that escaped from pet shops ...  >>MORE

Wildlife sanctuary coming up in Fujairah

Posted on 22/04/2007

With a view to boosting tourism in the emirate and preserving the environment, the Al Weraiaa area in Fujairah will soon be converted into a wildlife sanctuary. A decree to this effect is expected to be issued in a few days by Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi. The decision is a sequel to the report submitted to Sheikh Hamad after an in-depth study was carried out by Fujairah Municipality in the region. Located 15km in the ...  >>MORE

Flamingo heads to Iran

Posted on 17/04/2007

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) is successfully continuing to track, via satellite, Greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) as it has been doing since 2005. EAD tracks birds to highlight an important message. The message that it is necessary to conserve wetlands such as Ras Al Khor in Dubai and Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi and indeed the rest of the coastline. These wetlands are very important to the flamingos and to many other birds as they use them to rest and feed. ...  >>MORE

Endangered birds fly to freedom in their homeland

Posted on 11/04/2007

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has recently released 18 Houbara bustards in the mountains of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan. According to EAD, the birds were released in the wild with the cooperation of the Houbara Foundation International. Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, EAD Managing Director and Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary- General of EAD, Brigadier (Retired) Mukhtar Ahmad, General Manager of the Houbara Foundation ...  >>MORE

Record increase in breeding tropicbirds

Posted on 09/04/2007

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced that its surveys have revealed a record increase in the number of Red-billed tropicbird. The increase of this priority species was witnessed during the 2007 breeding on Jarnein Island, one of Abu Dhabi's islands. According to extensive nest search and mapping of tropicbird nests on the island carried out by EAD, a record number of 217 tropicbird nests were recorded on the island. Of the 217 nests, more than 71% (155 nests) were active, ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo shines as a unique example of animal management and conservation

Posted on 08/04/2007

Imagine dinning in the open air while you savour the rare spectacle of giraffes, zebras and other herds of animals as they swarm in what is virtually their natural habit. To imagine such a surreal scene is to think of some exotic places somewhere in Kenya, South Africa or Thailand. And if you think so, then you can be excused for getting it wrong. However the plain truth is that such a spectacle is neither surreal nor exotic. It is right here in the UAE and in Al Ain city, where the general ...  >>MORE

Herds of Arabian Oryx to be released into wild

Posted on 26/03/2007

After the successful release of captive-bred falcons and Houbara bustards into the wild, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has drawn up another plan for the development of wildlife - this time herds of Arabian Oryx will be released in a desert area of the emirate. According to the EAD over the next four years a herd of 100 captive-bred Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) will be introduced back into their natural habitat after 40 years of extinction in the wild. "This reintroduction is part ...  >>MORE

Desert Princesses to the rescue

Posted on 25/03/2007

A group of eight Emirati girls are lending their hands to the protection of the desert and marine environment against the impact of construction development. They gained the title of "Desert Princesses” after joining the Emirates Marine Environment Group (Emeg). It all started when Maha Al Qubaysi joined Emeg as a volunteer. She then managed to convince her friends and relatives to join. Maha was on a trip to the desert with her family when the Sih Shuaib Reserve attracted her ...  >>MORE

Rare migratory bird found breeding in UAE

Posted on 24/03/2007

The nest of a rare migratory bird to the UAE, the White-tailed Lapwing, was spotted in Dubai for the first time. "This indicates the bird's successful breeding in this part of the region," said Dr Reza Khan, Head of Dubai Zoo, who spotted the nest recently in a Rhodes grass field off Al Warsan near the Sewage Treatment Plant of Dubai Municipality. Four eggs were laid in a ground nest. Though the species are occasionally spotted in Dubai, this is the first time that a sign of its ...  >>MORE

Mohammed bin Zayed attends release of Arabian Oryx

Posted on 06/03/2007

The first phase of a major plan to release the Arabian Oryx back into the wild began yesterday with the release of a herd of 29 antelopes. The project, dubbed as the largest release programme in the region, will see 100 herd of the Arabian Oryx roaming freely once again in the wild. The launch of the first phase was attended by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo welcomes two new arrivals to look up to

Posted on 05/03/2007

Two giraffes have been born at Al Ain Zoo, the zoo administration announced here yesterday. The babies were born 15 days apart and are both females. Both babies are been doing fine. "Baby Minu was born on January 30, to mother Nina while her companion [the other baby] Tintu was born on February 15 to mother Tena," said a zoo spokesman. He said the mothers and babies have been separated from the main herd (one male and four females) as a precaution against disturbance from other animal ...  >>MORE

City of Birds; Abu Dhabi rich with wildlife

Posted on 08/02/2007

Now in the throes of a massive construction programme, the island-city of Abu Dhabi may not seem, at a first glance, to hold much of interest for those who are interested in wildlife. In fact, however, its parks, gardens and shorelines offer a chance to see a remarkable number of species for those who want to study the UAE's fascinating birdlife, or even just to take pleasure in the variety of birds, highly-coloured and drab, large and small, to be found. The United Arab Emirates as a whole ...  >>MORE

500-acre zoo to come up in Dubailand

Posted on 31/01/2007

A huge new zoo will be built on a 500-acre site at Dubailand of the Emirates Road with a safari and educational facilities for children, Dubai Municipality announced yesterday. Construction will start this year and the first phase is expected to be completed within 18 months, Eisa Al Maidour, assistant director general of the projects at the municipality, said. The zoo is planned to be a major tourist attraction in Dubai, he said. Animals from the present zoo will be transferred there. ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Orphaned cubs get leafy home away from concrete jungle


There's a new bird in town: say hello to the red pochard


Pigeon lovers from across the country gather in Sharjah


Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary listed as protected wetland


Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort to unveil its US$1 billion project at TDIM


Al Ain Zoo welcomes birth of baby giraffe


Sheikh Hamdan pledges unlimited support to Houbara Bustard conservation


African lioness undergoes root canal surgery in Abu Dhabi


Scimitar Oryx is back from the brink


New research will help save Arabian Tahr from extinction


Website brings nature into bird-lovers’ homes


Flamingo Sinbad lands in Kazakhstan


Oryx conservation workshop concluded


Regional strategy to conserve Arabian Oryx on the cards


Regional strategy to conserve Arabian Oryx


Saadiyat a safe breeding ground


Would you like that chilled sir?


Relief for zoo animals by year-end


Sand cats born in captivity


World first's duckling born from hen egg Rabat


Fujairah Wadi becomes first protected mountain habitat in the UAE


Al Ain Zoo now offers a moonlit experience to visitors


Do your bit to save UAE’s most ‘precious resource’


Rare sea horses larvae collected in Abu Dhabi Waters


Golden spiny mice born in captivity


Al Ain Wildlife Park to turn into a world-class wildlife part and resort


Breathing space for wildlife


Houbara nests in the UAE desert after decades


Subcontinent bird finds a nesting place in desert


Wildlife sanctuary coming up in Fujairah


Flamingo heads to Iran


Endangered birds fly to freedom in their homeland


Record increase in breeding tropicbirds


Al Ain Zoo shines as a unique example of animal management and conservation


Herds of Arabian Oryx to be released into wild


Desert Princesses to the rescue


Rare migratory bird found breeding in UAE


Mohammed bin Zayed attends release of Arabian Oryx


Al Ain Zoo welcomes two new arrivals to look up to


City of Birds; Abu Dhabi rich with wildlife


500-acre zoo to come up in Dubailand