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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

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

Dubai Municipality, WSPA to promote animal welfare

Posted on 25/01/2007

Dubai Municipality and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share expertise and technical know-how with the objective of promoting animal welfare and humane treatment of animals. Abdullah Rafia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Environment and Public Health Affairs, and Peter Davies, Director General Director of WSPA, signed the MoU in the presence of Salim Mesmar, Director of Public Health Department, and ...  >>MORE

Cheetah’s eyesight restored after cataract surgery

Posted on 08/01/2007

A striking and playful young feline was given a chance to a better quality of life on Sunday, when her eyesight was restored by doctors in Abu Dhabi. Bee, a nine-month-old cheetah, became the first ever animal to undergo this kind of surgery in the Gulf region. Understandably a little nervous, Bee received treatment for congenital cataracts in both her eyes at the British Veterinary Clinic (BVC) in Abu Dhabi, under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Hale, veterinary surgeon at the BVC, and ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo in focus

Posted on 07/01/2007

Al Ain Zoo is arguably one of the best, not only in the Gulf region but also in the whole world. The upgraded Al Ain Zoo is a major wildlife attraction in the region and promotes education, observation and welfare of animals, a report published in the latest edition of the "Weekend", a supplement magazine being issued weekly by Dubai-based "Khaleej Times" delves extensively into this issue, splashing beautiful images of the zoo and some of its exotic animals. "You do not have to travel ...  >>MORE

New-look Al Ain Zoo to be a big attraction

Posted on 02/01/2007

The Al Ain Zoo authorities have announced a comprehensive renovation programme to transform the zoo into a major tourist attraction. As part of the programme, old cages have been disposed of, making room for better living areas for the zoo animals. In addition to this, various steps have been taken to beautify the surrounding areas of the zoo, according to Khaleej Times. Efforts are also being made to provide visitors with a better view of the animal enclosures. For instance, an African ...  >>MORE

Mountain bird pays rare visit to Gulf

Posted on 24/12/2006

Birdwatchers flocked to the capital last week to get a glimpse of a bird that has never been seen in the Arabian Peninsula or the Arab world. "The bird is an Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus longicaudatus. It breeds in northeast Afghanistan, northeast Pakistan and the western Himalayas. It usually spends its winters in southern India and Sri Lanka but seems to have chosen the UAE this time," a statement from the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) said. According to the agency, the bird has not ...  >>MORE

UAE first country to protect endangered Houbara bustard: Sheikh Hamdan

Posted on 17/09/2006

The UAE is the first country in the world to eliminate the dangers threatening the survival of Houbara bustards, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of UAE Falconers Club. In an editorial of the recent issue of Al Saggar (falconer) Magazine, Sheikh Hamdan said "the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first to realize the dangers of the significant decrease of Houbara population... so he ordered (concerned authorities) to launch Houbara ...  >>MORE

Foreign animals and plants pose threat to native flora and fauna

Posted on 11/09/2006

Indigenous animal and plant life in urban UAE environments may be under threat from foreign species accidentally or purposefully introduced into the country, experts say. The species include fish from Africa, birds, insects and a type of snake from India, an Indian mongoose, a butterfly from America and countless plants and trees from tropical environments. All have arrived in the country in recent decades. Experts agree there may be a real potential threat to indigenous species. "There ...  >>MORE

Fabled bird to feature in new documentary

Posted on 05/09/2006

The UAE is to be part of the backdrop for a groundbreaking documentary on the fabled Houbara bustard, a bird revered in Arab culture for its role in hunting with falcons. "It is for the first time that the mating, nesting, rearing and entire life of the Houbara is being recorded like this,” Al Makhyal told Emirates Today from Kuwait. The director will be in Abu Dhabi later this week to film massive Houbara releases at the National Avian Research Centre in Suweihan. "This bird is not like ...  >>MORE

EAD calls for reduction in hunting of wild birds

Posted on 23/08/2006

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has called for a substantial reduction in the hunting of wild birds, including the most sought after Houbara bustard, by hunters using the falcons. As part of its overall global strategy for the conservation and preservation of the dwindling wild Houbara population, EAD has also called for protecting the natural habitat of the birds. The agency has been promoting bustards, falcons and bird conservation programmes since 1989. It has been producing ...  >>MORE

Sanctuary to be protected area

Posted on 31/07/2006

Results of an environmental study conducted by the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands, are expected to confirm Dubai's Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary as the UAE's first internationally recognised and protected wetland area, and the third such site in the GCC. Ramsar experts agree that the excellent ecological health of the mangrove forest is a vital source of the ecosystem, which has potential to be self-sustaining. The ...  >>MORE

Night safari, waterpark planned for Al Ain zoo

Posted on 22/07/2006

Plans are afoot to create a day and night safari and a water park at the Al Ain Zoological Resort. "We are currently conducting studies," said zoo director Mark Craig. "We will develop a zoological resort that will be equipped with facilities of international standard." Craig said the safari park could be constructed at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, the highest mountain peak in the UAE, which lies within the boundaries of the Al Ain Zoological Park and Aquarium. The daytime safari would have a ...  >>MORE

Ras Al Khor set to be on global wildlife map

Posted on 16/07/2006

Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary in Dubai is likely to be accredited as an internationally recognised protected wetlands by the Ramsar Convention despite heavy construction projects planned around it. "We are convinced this site is an excellent potential Ramsar site in an arid region," Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar Convention Secretary-General, said after visiting the site twice in June. The initial assessment is one of many. However, the sanctuary which attracts a large number of flamingos ...  >>MORE

Qareen Al Aish is avian refuge

Posted on 01/07/2006

Qareen Al Aish Island in Abu Dhabi is an important place where migratory birds break their journeys. The island has succeeded in attracting a multitude of bird species, both resident and migrant. A survey showed the existence of 67 species of land and marine birds which stop at Qareen Al Aish Island from October to May. Statistics show that 30 per cent of the birds on the island are on the priority list of protected bird species regionally. Five species that are of great importance the world ...  >>MORE

Eco-friendly visitor centre to be set up in sanctuary

Posted on 17/06/2006

A visitor centre will be set up in the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary at the Dubai Creek. The Lagoons a freehold, mixed-use project being developed by Sama Dubai in an area adjacent to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is funding the Dh10 million project in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality. In addition, Sama Dubai, the international real estate investment and development arm of Dubai Holding, will oversee the design and conceptual quality of the new facility. The visitor centre ...  >>MORE

Tracked flamingo shows wetland's importance

Posted on 14/06/2006

Sindbad, one of the first satellite-tagged Greater Flamingos that had migrated into Iran, has now crossed into Turkmenistan, stopping along the way at key wetland sites. According to Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, this highlights once again how important it is for governments and developers to protect wetland habitats used not only by flamingos but many other waterbirds along the flyway. During its migration, Sindbad, released in the UAE by the agency, has covered about 2,100km and used at ...  >>MORE

Ras Al Khor may get recognition as wetland

Posted on 10/06/2006

The Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary could be in the running to be given Ramsar accreditation as an internationally important wetland, the organisation's secretary general said. The initial assessment is one of many undertaken. However, the sanctuary, which attracts a large number of flamingos amongst other birds, is a well balanced and healthy system despite being man-made, said Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of Ramsar Convention Secretariat. Bridgewater swiftly discounted any fears ...  >>MORE

Agency seeks regional help to save endangered species

Posted on 10/06/2006

The UAE's leading environment agency says it needs more support from the rest of the region in the wake of a shocking report on the declining population of all local endangered species. "Many of the species mentioned are migratory species which means they may use the UAE's territorial waters or terrestrial land areas on a seasonal basis such as migratory marine mammals, turtles and birds which move through the country during their migration,” said Khaldoun Kiwan, the head of Terrestrial ...  >>MORE

DM to set up Dh10 million Visitor Centre at Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted on 24/05/2006

Dubai Municipality will build a Dh10 million Visitor Centre at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary to educate people on the UAE's biodiversity. The centre will also act as a comprehensive reference point for providing updated information on the country's environment. This was stated by Hamdan Al Shaer, Director of Environment Department at the municipality, on the sidelines of a one-day exhibition organised by the civic body to celebrate the International Bio-Diversity Day which falls on May ...  >>MORE

Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi to monitor UAE Houbara population

Posted on 01/04/2006

The Environment Agency (EA), Abu Dhabi is studying how a general decrease in Central Asian Houbara is reflected on the bird's wintering population in the UAE. A source from the EA said that since a serious decline of Houbara population in Central Asia has been noticed, there is an urgent need to update data and check if the annual and seasonal trends and movement patterns of Houbara in UAE observed in previous years remain current. The information gained from desert rangers, combined with ...  >>MORE

Satellite-tracked flamingo charts its way to Iran skies

Posted on 29/03/2006

The first satellite-tracked Greater Flamingo in the Arabian Peninsula has successfully migrated from Abu Dhabi to Iran. According to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), which has been using satellite transmitters to track these flamingos, this is a significant achievement that has helped them better understand the flamingos' migration route. Biologists from the agency's Terrestrial Environment Research Centre expect three other flamingos that they have tracked with satellites will move ...  >>MORE

NARC launches project to save Omani Houbara

Posted on 01/03/2006

The National Avian Research Centre (NARC) in Sowaihan near Al Ain has undertaken a project to help preserve Omani houbara by enhancing knowledge about its ecology and population dynamics. arc is part of the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD). An official source from EAD said that though there have been yearly sightings and proof of breeding (sightings of chicks) in places such as the Jiddat Al Harasis in Oman to prove the existence of resident houbara in Oman, little is known about their ...  >>MORE

Jaguar recovering quickly after teeth extraction

Posted on 15/02/2006

Tiger, the male jaguar that underwent teeth extraction surgery on Saturday, is quickly recovering, Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre officials said. The one-and-a-half year old Brazilian jaguar had his first meal of minced beef on Sunday morning under the supervision of veterinarian Dr Jacob Mawnzia from the Environment and Wildlife Management section at Shaikh Zayed's Private Department. The Brazilian jaguar had severe teeth infection and needed dental surgery. The centre had flown in an ...  >>MORE

Tagged houbaras return home for winter

Posted on 06/02/2006

Two female houbara bustards which were released in February last year have returned for the winter season, the National Avian Research Centre of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi announced on Sunday. They were among the four Asian Houbara Bustards, which were caught with the help of falcons during last year's winter. The falcons used for hunting the birds were fitted with special safety covers so the houbara were not hurt. After capturing the four birds, they were fitted with satellite ...  >>MORE

Dubai Zoo designs will be ready by May

Posted on 25/01/2006

The design of the new Dh200 million Dubai Zoo will be ready by this May and the completed facility will open in 2008. The first phase of the project will involve a zoo with the area of around 50 hectares. It will also include car park of 15.5 hectares. Apart from the zoo, the new project will also include a botanical garden, and educational and recreational facilities. Meanwhile, on January 21, Dubai Zoo witnessed the birth of Arabian Oryx for the first time. Luna, the female calf, was ...  >>MORE

First capture and tagging of Flamingos in the Arabian Peninsula

Posted on 16/01/2006

For the first time ever in the Arabian Peninsula, five Greater Flamingos were captured and marked with plastic rings and satellite transmitters. The aim here was to understand where the flamingos go to feed and where they were coming from. Valuable preliminary data already collected from the birds has been of significant scientific and management importance for this species. The capture and marking was carried out in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve by ...  >>MORE

Al Maha reserve can lead world in nature-based

Posted on 26/11/2005

World renowned botanist, writer and broadcaster, Professor David Bellamy today visited Middle East's largest protected wildlife reserve and conservation-based resort, the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa to study its conservation efforts. During his brief Dubai stopover, Professor Bellamy also undertook a tour of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), the Gulf's first true wildlife reserve initiated and managed by Al Maha. Al Maha's ambitious wildlife re-introduction and endangered ...  >>MORE

New centre set up to help protect wildlife

Posted on 22/11/2005

A new wildlife conservation centre has been established under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to help boost protection of the environment. This was announced by Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), on the sidelines of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) Falcon Enforcement Task Force meeting, which began here yesterday. The Endangered Wildlife Breeding and ...  >>MORE

Dubai to have a new Dh200 million zoo

Posted on 15/11/2005

Dubai Municipality has announced the start of its plans to build a new Zoo near Mushrif Park at a cost of Dh200 million. The first phase of the project will involve a zoo with the area of around 50 hectors. It will also include car parking at an area of around 15.5 hectors, and it is expected to be completed by January 2008. Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said that the existing Zoo in Jumeirah will shift to the new location which will be designed as open zoos like ...  >>MORE

UAE expected to have first cloned camel in two years

Posted on 25/10/2005

After producing the world's first test-tube camel in February this year, the Al Hejen Research Centre is embarking upon a pioneering project to produce the world's first cloned camel conceived and born on UAE soil within two years. Researchers at the Abu Dhabi-based Centre began the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) programme four years ago and have produced five healthy test tube calves. The world-renowned breeding team managed by Abdelhak Anouassi has now mastered the technique of camel IVF. ...  >>MORE

Environment Agency keeps close eye on hunting in the wild

Posted on 17/10/2005

In its effort to restrict and monitor hunting in the wild, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) is detailing by-laws which will identify specific areas and seasons for hunting as well as indicate which species are not permitted to be hunted. In addition, the prohibited hunting equipment, according to international standards, will be identified. The Government of Abu Dhabi had recently issued Law No. 22 for 2005 pertaining to the regulation of the hunting of wild animals in the Emirate of ...  >>MORE

Decree to regulate wildlife hunting in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 13/09/2005

President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, issued local law number 22 for 2005 pertaining to regulation of wild animals hunting in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The 13-article law which prohibits the act of hunting mammals, birds and reptiles within emirate of Abu Dhabi without permission from the Abu Dhabi Environmental Authority (ADEA), which will oversee implementation of the law. ADEA will specify the hunting areas, type of animals, hunting ...  >>MORE

Al Ain zoo attracts visitors with its variety of fauna

Posted on 10/09/2005

Al Ain Zoological Park, with a large variety of animals and lush green landscape, is a major attraction for tourists and residents. The zoo, which covers a total area of 770 hectares, includes sites for future development. The zoo houses more than 2,100 mammals, in addition to hundreds of birds. Separate facilities for reptiles are also one of the main attractions of the zoo. It is also involved in animal propagation and grouping, improvement of diet and healthcare, enriching habitats, ...  >>MORE

Activities of Houbara breeding Centre to be showcased at ADIHEX 2005

Posted on 07/09/2005

A UAE success story in the field of Houbara breeding in North Africa will be showcased during the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX 2005) which will kick off on 12 September 2005. The Houbara breeding project was set up in Eastern Morocco by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1995 in order to conserve and protect endangered wildlife species. The project is currently ran by the Emirates Centre for Wildlife breeding and conservation. The activities ...  >>MORE

Houbara conservation efforts receive international acclaim

Posted on 03/09/2005

The efforts of Abu Dhabi emirate to conserve houbara birds have won international acclaim, said Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Environment Authority. Despite the hurdles that impeded houbara breeding projects - given its delicate nature- Abu Dhabi emirate succeeded to multiply the houbara population through its sustained efforts during the last 28 years.', said Al Mansouri, according to a press release. He noted that the UAE efforts to conserve the bird stretched as ...  >>MORE

Dubai's Ras Al Khor a miracle sanctuary

Posted on 02/07/2005

Ras Al-Khor is truly a miracle sanctuary. If you have ever driven by you will notice a solitary green land floating on its own blue waters with birds swooping over it, travelling in their own time, nature's time with no deadlines or rush hours to beat. One of the few rare existing nature sites, located at the very end of the Dubai Creek, it has become a coastal wetland of great importance on a global level. Just recently, the Dubai Municipality, the National Bank of Dubai, in collaboration ...  >>MORE

Protection brings crab plovers back to new breeding site

Posted on 10/06/2005

The timely protection of a newly discovered site of the nationally and internationally important Crab Plover has attracted the birds back to their new breeding site in significantly larger numbers on the island of Abu Al Abyad in the 2005 breeding season. The Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA), has been monitoring the Crab Plover and other waterbirds in the Emirate, for the past several years, according to a press release. In 2004, ecologists from ERWDA's ...  >>MORE

CITES confiscates five endangered monkeys

Posted on 08/06/2005

Staff of the UAE CITES Management Authority at the Federal Environment Agency (FEA) recently raided pet shops at the animal market in the Mina Area in the capital and confiscated five endangered Monkeys (Vervets), which were being sold illegally without the proper documentation. The natural habitats of Vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), which are also known as the African green monkey, is the African savanna, ranging from the southern Cape to Sudan and Senegal. Vervets prefer to live along ...  >>MORE

Operation save lizards under way

Posted on 04/06/2005

A major wildlife rescue operation is under way on the site of the planned second runway for Abu Dhabi's International Airport. The operation is to save a large number of spiny-tailed agamids or dhubs as they are locally known. According to the Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (Scadia), about 200 dhubs, known as Uromastyx microlepis aegyptia, live at the site. The project is being carried out in association with Abu Dhabi's Environmental Research and ...  >>MORE

Tagging the UAE's Rüppell fox

Posted on 22/05/2005

A fox hunt of a different kind involved camera-trapping followed by release in order to determine the number of the rare Rüppell's fox still remaining in the UAE. The vast, almost untouched, wilderness of south Dhafra is home to plenty of rare and unusual creatures. The Hoopoe Lark is probably the most annoying. "According to local tradition, there is a city buried under the sand here,” says Chris Tourenq, a French ecologist with Abu Dhabi's Environmental Research and Wildlife Development ...  >>MORE

Sharjah makes strides in preserving bio-diversity

Posted on 22/05/2005

As the world observes International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, the Desert Park in Sharjah celebrates a decade of experience in providing infotainment-- education in an entertaining way--for the vast numbers of tourists that pass through its environs. Situated about 28kilometres on a stretch of desert away from the city, the Desert Park displays the verdant change from sandy desert to a considerably wide patch of greenery. "Where biological diversity is concerned, this park ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

500-acre zoo to come up in Dubailand


Dubai Municipality, WSPA to promote animal welfare


Cheetah’s eyesight restored after cataract surgery


Al Ain Zoo in focus


New-look Al Ain Zoo to be a big attraction


Mountain bird pays rare visit to Gulf


UAE first country to protect endangered Houbara bustard: Sheikh Hamdan


Foreign animals and plants pose threat to native flora and fauna


Fabled bird to feature in new documentary


EAD calls for reduction in hunting of wild birds


Sanctuary to be protected area


Night safari, waterpark planned for Al Ain zoo


Ras Al Khor set to be on global wildlife map


Qareen Al Aish is avian refuge


Eco-friendly visitor centre to be set up in sanctuary


Tracked flamingo shows wetland's importance


Ras Al Khor may get recognition as wetland


Agency seeks regional help to save endangered species


DM to set up Dh10 million Visitor Centre at Wildlife Sanctuary


Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi to monitor UAE Houbara population


Satellite-tracked flamingo charts its way to Iran skies


NARC launches project to save Omani Houbara


Jaguar recovering quickly after teeth extraction


Tagged houbaras return home for winter


Dubai Zoo designs will be ready by May


First capture and tagging of Flamingos in the Arabian Peninsula


Al Maha reserve can lead world in nature-based


New centre set up to help protect wildlife


Dubai to have a new Dh200 million zoo


UAE expected to have first cloned camel in two years


Environment Agency keeps close eye on hunting in the wild


Decree to regulate wildlife hunting in Abu Dhabi


Al Ain zoo attracts visitors with its variety of fauna


Activities of Houbara breeding Centre to be showcased at ADIHEX 2005


Houbara conservation efforts receive international acclaim


Dubai's Ras Al Khor a miracle sanctuary


Protection brings crab plovers back to new breeding site


CITES confiscates five endangered monkeys


Operation save lizards under way


Tagging the UAE's Rüppell fox


Sharjah makes strides in preserving bio-diversity