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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

Rare gazelle released into the wild

Posted on 19/04/2004

In line with the directives of H.H President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a total of 300 rare Chinkara gazelles were released here today into the wild. Considered as the smallest of Asiatic antelope, the rare Chinkaras were previously donated by President Sheikh Zayed to a game reserve near the Punjabi city of RahimyarKhan for the purposes of breeding before being ultimately released to their natural habitat. The release of the animals was supervised by Ali Mohammed Al Shamsi, UAE ...  >>MORE

Giraffe gives birth to female baby at Dubai Zoo

Posted on 19/03/2004

A long-legged beauty has made her appearance at Dubai Zoo, and the birth of this female giraffe takes the total number of these graceful animals at the zoo to four. "The happy event occurred yesterday morning and the birth was absolutely natural and quick, too. This is the third time a female giraffe has been born in the zoo. The first one, Laila, who was born on April 9, 2000, is still attracting visitors, while the second, Razia, died a few days after birth in June, 2002. Dubai Zoo got ...  >>MORE

Giraffes, apes draw crowds to zoo

Posted on 13/03/2004

The giraffes, in particular the baby giraffe, are popular with children and adults alike. Dubai Zoo enjoyed a record number of visitors in February when a total of 56,866 people viewed the attractions. The figure was a 23 per cent increase over the 46,231 visitors in the same month last year. The gorillas - which were obtained as a result of a confiscation at the airport - were among the biggest crowd-pullers. The giraffes were also popular with children and adults alike, with the baby ...  >>MORE

Critically injured Hawksbill rescued from Jebel Ali beach

Posted on 09/03/2004

An endangered turtle which was found seriously injured on the beach of Jebel Ali Marine Life Protected Area has been brought back to health. The Hawksbill turtle is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as it is facing extinction. Veterinarians who treated the turtle couldn't, however, determine her age. A Dubai Municipality official said: "Workers in the protected area found the turtle last week... she had suffered ...  >>MORE

UAE vows to protect falcons, houbaras

Posted on 22/02/2004

The UAE is pushing ahead with projects to protect the dwindling falcon and houbara population within an overall programme to rebuild its eroding wildlife. Officials said they had taken steps to enforce a plan by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to produce falcons locally and breed more than 10,000 houbara bustards in captivity. "The UAE has completed preparations to place all its scientific resources and capabilities at the disposal of the institutions concerned in ...  >>MORE

Dubai to get Dh 610m zoo

Posted on 10/02/2004

The 1,000 odd animals in Dubai Zoo, and the thousands of visitors who visit it annually, can now breathe easy as the Dubai Municipality is finally going ahead with the construction of a new, more spacious and specialised zoo in the emirate. This was revealed by Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, to the "Khaleej Times” recently. "The budget of the civic body for the year 2004 includes the new zoo, and we have made provisions for it,” he said. The number of visitors to the ...  >>MORE

Gang of traders in Houbara birds held

Posted on 06/01/2004

The Ministry of Interior announced yesterday that its law enforcement teams have captured a multi-national gang of vendors illegally trading in Houbara birds. In remarks shortly after the arrest of the group, Major General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior praised the concerted efforts exerted by the law enforcement personnel in the ministry and authorities of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA). "The cooperation of ...  >>MORE

UAE will always be ready to share its expertise in breeding houbara bustards: Hamdan bin Zayed

Posted on 03/01/2004

The UAE will always be ready to offer its scientific expertise in breeding houbara bustards to interested GCC establishments, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers' Club. In an editorial comment in the fifth issue of "Al Saggar" Magazine, Sheikh Hamdan added : "We are seeking to put into effect the terms of the Abu Dhabi Declaration on the Conservation of the Saker Falcon.” He added that the ...  >>MORE

Naturalists spot 22 new bird species in UAE

Posted on 09/12/2003

Naturalists have discovered 22 new bird species in the UAE between 1995 and 2003, bringing to 413 the number of avian species in the country. This is a huge number for a country like the UAE, observed publishers of the latest Emirates Bird Report, believed to be the most detailed scientific account of Arabian birdlife ever published. The report is packed with information about the birds of the UAE, including a full checklist of wild birds seen since 1995 to the present and details of the winter ...  >>MORE

A lone swan finds its rightful place among flock of flamingos

Posted on 02/11/2003

A large black swan that appears to be suffering from an identity crisis is living with a huge flock of flamingos at the Ras Al Khor Sanctuary in Dubai. Observers say that it seems to think it is a flamingo, and experts are puzzled by how it got to be there. It stands out as a stark black image against the exotic pink and white of the other birds. Despite its natural grace, it has the look of an ugly duckling compared to the vivid colourful displays of the other birds (the collective noun for ...  >>MORE

Ministry moves to preserve rare plant species

Posted on 01/11/2003

Rare desert plant species with possible medical and cosmetic properties are being preserved in a long-term conservation programme. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has commenced establishing a garden for rare desert flora at the Dibba Agricultural Research Station with the aim of protecting and conserving rare species. At its optimum level of operation, the facility would house more that 150 pastural plants from at least 35 families. Saeed Mohammed Al Raqbani, Minister of ...  >>MORE

Space limitations finally force Dubai Zoo to relocate

Posted on 26/10/2003

After years of intense discussion, Dubai Municipality is finalising plans for a new location for Dubai Zoo. Among the latest developments have been efforts to ascertain possible designs for the new zoo, which will be greatly expanded to incorporate a nature park element. The present zoo in Jumeirah has been described as "too cramped", with about 1,000 species - some rare and endangered - sharing just 17,500 square metres, including offices and a visitor centre. This works out to less than ...  >>MORE

Confiscated houbaras released

Posted on 11/10/2003

Nearly 7,000 houbara bustards are smuggled into the UAE every year, the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA) said yesterday. The birds, confiscated by local authorities, are put in quarantine and then released back into their habitats. According to an ERWDA report: "Because of bad conditions while in detention and containment, many of them die during the journey or arrive with wounds or diseases." The report said since houbara bustards are used extensively in the ...  >>MORE

Flamingo habitat set for clean-up

Posted on 09/10/2003

Around 2,000 school-children will take part in a clean-up drive at the Ras Al Khor Natural Sanctuary, but they must be careful not to disturb the flamingoes living in the area. The Ras Al Khor sanctuary is a familiar destination for scores of migratory birds and it became an internationally acclaimed reserve because of its bio-diversity. More than 1,000 Greater Flamingoes, which come from Iran, have made their home in the area. However, the area is also visited by birds from inland breeding ...  >>MORE

Houbara Bustard set to take centre stage at Riyadh meet

Posted on 30/09/2003

The joint organising committee of the 1st International Conference on Biology and Conservation of the Houbara Bustard, which met in the capital yesterday, gave final shape to the aims and objectives of the conference and its scientific programme, besides issues relating to the budget. 'The objective of the conference is not just to allow the stake-holders concerned by Houbara conservation to meet, but also to stimulate whatever action is needed for its conservation,' said Prof. Abdul Aziz Abu ...  >>MORE

New-born genet causes a sensation at Dubai Zoo

Posted on 24/09/2003

A new arrival is causing a stir at Dubai Zoo: the attraction on Jumeirah Beach Road has just witnessed the birth of a baby genet, the first since 1999. The genet is a nocturnal cat-like animal native to bush covered areas of eastern and southern Africa and the Middle East. Some genets still survive in the southeastern parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman, where the small carnivore is confined to a mountainous habitat. Excited staff at the zoo, who are now taking suggestions on possible ...  >>MORE

Greater flamingos make Shahama Lake their home

Posted on 13/09/2003

The Shahama Lake in Abu Dhabi is emerging as a unique breeding site of greater flamingos of which a large population has started to colonise the area, according to a report published by the Dubai-based Khaleej Times today. The lake, privately-owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Municipality and Town Planning Department, is located just near the Shahama Township on the right side of Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. In recent ...  >>MORE

Oryx finds safe haven in UAE

Posted on 26/08/2003

When President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan took over as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966, his main concern was how to unite the emirates and benefit from the oil windfall in transforming the desert oases into a modern state. His attitude towards modernity and advancement did not affect his love of nature as he set off towards another major goal: how to rebuild the wildlife and restore ecological balance that had been badly damaged by excessive hunting. The Arabian Oryx was ...  >>MORE

Avian centre breeds 116 Houbara bustards in captivity

Posted on 24/08/2003

National Avian Research Centre has successfully managed to breed 116 Houbara bustards this breeding season, almost double that recorded in the previous season. The effort is part of a programme by the centre to breed endangered bird species in captivity. Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, said that the number of young birds reproduced this season is up an astounding 554 per cent over the 2001 season. He said bustards ...  >>MORE

Preliminary studies for new Dubai zoo underway

Posted on 01/07/2003

Dubai Municipality is currently undertaking preliminary studies and preparing general designs for a new zoo adjacent to Mushrif Park at a cost of Dh610 million. The first phase will cost Dh200 million, announced Qassim Sultan, Director General. The tendering process will begin once the designs are ready, with construction expected to take three years to complete. A 560-hectare site has been identified for setting up the zoo. It will include a 'core' (open) zoo which will consist of six major ...  >>MORE

Dubai centre helps revive UK desert owl breeding

Posted on 25/03/2003

Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre in Dubai has sent three captive bred owls to the World Owl Trust near Ravenglass in the UK's Lake District. The Centre has been set up under the guidance of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry. The birds, a male and two females, are Pharaoh Eagle Owls (also known as 'Savigney's' or 'Desert' Eagle Owls) Bubo Ascalaphus, a species from the deserts of the Middle East. Tony Warburton, Director of the ...  >>MORE

Two rare wildcats sent to Prague

Posted on 20/03/2003

Two Gordon's Wildcats have left the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah, destination Prague. Four more are lined up to go to Canada this spring. The developments demonstrate the breeding programme undertaken by the centre has been successfully resumed, with new bloodstock. "The programme began exactly 18 years ago on March 19, 1985," recalled Christian Gross, Managing Director, Animal Management Consultancy, who caught the first of these shy desert creatures to start a ...  >>MORE

UAE becomes a major bird sanctuary

Posted on 27/02/2003

A ban on hunting ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan several years ago, has allied with massive breeding programmes to turn the UAE into a major bird sanctuary and resurrect some of the endangered animals. The Oryx, believed to be the origin of the legendary unicorn, and the Arabian deer, have mushroomed and now stroll safely and undisturbed in various reserves in the country after they were brought back to the wildlife in large-scale breeding programmes. The ...  >>MORE

Public awareness key to protecting Arabian leopard

Posted on 25/02/2003

Education about the few Arabian leopards left in the wild is the key to keeping them from becoming extinct, a conservationist said. "Our best 'guestimate' is that there may be about 60 of them left in Jebel Samhan and 100 to 150 in Jebel Dhofar (in Oman's mountainous region)," said Dr Andrew Spalton, who studies Arabian leopards. Loss of habitat, scarcity of prey and private animal skin collectors are considered the major threats to the Arabian leopard, of which only about 250 are left in the ...  >>MORE

Nubian giraffe born in Al Ain zoo

Posted on 25/02/2003

A Nubian giraffe, which is considered an endangered species, was born in Al Ain Zoo recently taking its number to 14, said Sultan Al Darmaki, Director of the Al Ain Zoo Department. Al Ain Zoo is world leader in breeding and conserving Nubian giraffes and other endangered species, said Al Darmaki. The Nubian giraffes are proliferating, he said, adding that with the newborn the number of Nubian giraffes has reached 14 - three of them females. The zoo also has one of the largest numbers of Nubian ...  >>MORE

Third cama born in Dubai

Posted on 23/02/2003

A male cama was born at Dubai's Camel Reproduction Centre 17 days ago, bringing the total number of the camel-llama hybrids in the world to three, centre officials told Gulf News yesterday. After a tense first 12 hours, the yet-to-be-named calf has grown from 60cm height and 5.5kg weight at birth to 63cm and 8.5kg. Dr. Skidmore and colleagues finally had to take milk from a camel that had given birth and feed it to the newborn cama with a tube inserted into its throat. Since then, the cama ...  >>MORE

Zayed endorses GCC wildlife protection pact

Posted on 18/02/2003

President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has endorsed an agreement with the other GCC countries to pool regional efforts and chalk out joint programmes to protect the local wildlife, and restore balance to the damaged ecological system. A Presidential Federal decree published in the official gazette ratified the "Agreement for Preserving the Wildlife and Natural Habitats in the GCC", which will be enforced three months after it is formally approved by at least four member ...  >>MORE

Dh87m project to develop Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 12/02/2003

Al Ain Zoological Park is set to acquire a new look with a Dh87 million project to develop its educational and tourism value. The programme is being carried out in phases that will result in the creation of several new facilities, according to a source at the Municipality and Town Planning Department. The first phase of the project that has been named 'Africa Close up' involves construction of better habitats, larger enclosures for gorillas and other animals, and prime viewing areas for ...  >>MORE

Sharjah wildlife centre to display rare hedgehogs

Posted on 12/02/2003

Arabia's Wildlife Centre in Sharjah will put on display a pair of rare long-eared hedgehogs. The centre had been breeding Ethiopian hedgehogs, an open desert species, and Brandt hedgehogs, which are mountain dwellers. "The long-eared hedgehog is the rarest and is found only in Bahrain and along parts of the Gulf shores of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, from where it spreads over a wider habitat into Iraq, Syria and Jordan," said Christian Gross, Managing Director, Animal Management Consultancy. ...  >>MORE

New Dubai Zoo aims to be among the best

Posted on 27/01/2003

Dubai Municipality will build a new Dh610 million zoo on 560 hectares of land behind Al Mushrif Park, said a top municipality official. Abdurrahman Al Sharid, Director of General Projects Department at the municipality, said: "Construction should start by the end of this year or by the beginning of 2004 and is expected to be completed in three to four years. We have recently given contracts to design the project. "The first phase will cost Dh200 million. The new Dubai Zoo has the potential ...  >>MORE

4 Cheetah cubs born at Sharjah wildlife centre

Posted on 18/12/2002

In a rare case of success in breeding of Cheetahs in captivity, a Cheetah pair – Azizam and Grumpy – selected from the 24 that were confiscated by the authorities in 1998-99, has given birth to four cubs at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah recently. The successful breeding of the cheetah at the private Wildlife Centre of Sheikh Butti Maktoum, under the direction of Co-ordinator for Captive Cheetah Breeding, Sean McKeown, is the first ever in the entire Middle East. ...  >>MORE

Ban lifted on trade in endangered wildlife

Posted on 18/11/2002

The General Secretariat of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, has lifted a ban on trade in endangered wildlife imposed on UAE in November last year. Sources said the ban was lifted last week by the standing committee of the Geneva-based CITES Secretariat following fulfilment by the UAE to a set of requirements it had agreed upon with the secretariat. The ban has been lifted in three phases. Measures taken by the UAE to combat illegal wildlife trade to ...  >>MORE

Asian Houbara Bustard faces extinction

Posted on 02/10/2002

The Asian Houbara Bustard could become extinct within 25 years because of massive hunting in some countries and excessive use of the bird in falconry, according to a UAE study. Scientifically known as Macqueenii, the bird is becoming an endangered species as a result of the death of large numbers every year due to hunting, and improper breeding in captivity, said the report by National Centre for Birds Research at the Environment Research and Wildlife Development Agency, the "Gulf News” said in ...  >>MORE

Conserving island wildlife

Posted on 18/08/2002

The conservation of wildlife at Sir Bu Nair Island is one of the main goals the Environment and Protected Areas Authority plans to achieve in the next phase. Laws enacted – including Administrative Order No 3 for 2000, concerning environmental deterioration, and Amiri Decree No 25 on wildlife conservation at the island, issued the same year – are being rigorously implemented on the ground. Located 62 miles west of Sharjah city, the island boasts a unique biological variation that renders it an ...  >>MORE

New wildlife reserves planned: Hamdan

Posted on 17/08/2002

Damascus - Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA), has disclosed that a plan to set up and run a network of maritime and wild reserves in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is being processed by ERWDA. In a statement to the Syrian Arabic " Teshreen" newspaper published here today, Sheikh Hamdan said that the plan " comes in light of basic surveys currently underway on the habitats ...  >>MORE

Dubai Zoo receives rare animals

Posted on 13/08/2002

The Dubai Zoo has received three rare animals, classified as endangered species. The three African oryxes, received by the Dubai zoo for the first time, were donated by Omar Al Naboudah, said Saleh Al Najaar, Head of the Administrative Services at the Dubai Zoo. Al Naboudah said that the species of African Oryx, noted for their furry ears, are found in Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania and West Africa. They live in rather barren areas and often seen in herds of between 10 to 200 animals. He urged the ...  >>MORE

Cabinet clears draft law on endangered species

Posted on 16/07/2002

The Cabinet held its weekly meeting in Abu Dhabi yesterday, under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. During its meeting, the Cabinet endorsed a federal draft law regulating international trade in endangered species of wild animals and plants. The approval of this new federal draft legislation will pave the way for full implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered ...  >>MORE

Rare Arabian leopard born in Sharjah

Posted on 07/07/2002

For the second time this year, the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah witnessed the birth of an Arabian leopard. Two cubs were born to the female Carla and the male Al Jezira on June 25. The birth represents the first of the second generation birth for these endangered Arabian leopards in Sharjah as the mother herself was born at the same Breeding Centre in 1999. At the same time, the two cubs represent the first third generation birth for the international breeding ...  >>MORE

Dubai zoo to be relocated in 2003

Posted on 06/07/2002

The Dubai Municipality has appointed a consultant for its project to relocated and redevelop the Dubai Zoo. Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the project comes in line with the directives of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence, to make the emirate more attractive to residents and tourists. The designs for the new zoo have been finalised. The multi-million dirham project will be developed in a phased manner by ...  >>MORE

Flamingo population on the rise in Dubai

Posted on 02/07/2002

The flamingo population in Dubai has been growing over the years but it still needed to be left undisturbed if it had to proliferate and become a tourist attraction over the years, according to environmentalist Kevin Hyland of the Wildlife Protection Office in Dubai. One of the disturbances to the flamingos is the construction activity on the nearby roundabout which was expected to be completed soon, he said, while describing the graceful and long-legged birds species as the "Greater Flamingo" ...  >>MORE

Western region emerges as key wildlife reserve

Posted on 30/06/2002

Massive investment ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in afforestation projects has turned the Western region into a fertile spot and one of the biggest wildlife reserves in the Arabian Peninsula. A report by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, which oversees development projects in the Western region, said an afforestation drive launched more than two decades ago had resulted in the greening of nearly 210,000 square hectares and more areas would be covered in new ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Rare gazelle released into the wild


Giraffe gives birth to female baby at Dubai Zoo


Giraffes, apes draw crowds to zoo


Critically injured Hawksbill rescued from Jebel Ali beach


UAE vows to protect falcons, houbaras


Dubai to get Dh 610m zoo


Gang of traders in Houbara birds held


UAE will always be ready to share its expertise in breeding houbara bustards: Hamdan bin Zayed


Naturalists spot 22 new bird species in UAE


A lone swan finds its rightful place among flock of flamingos


Ministry moves to preserve rare plant species


Space limitations finally force Dubai Zoo to relocate


Confiscated houbaras released


Flamingo habitat set for clean-up


Houbara Bustard set to take centre stage at Riyadh meet


New-born genet causes a sensation at Dubai Zoo


Greater flamingos make Shahama Lake their home


Oryx finds safe haven in UAE


Avian centre breeds 116 Houbara bustards in captivity


Preliminary studies for new Dubai zoo underway


Dubai centre helps revive UK desert owl breeding


Two rare wildcats sent to Prague


UAE becomes a major bird sanctuary


Public awareness key to protecting Arabian leopard


Nubian giraffe born in Al Ain zoo


Third cama born in Dubai


Zayed endorses GCC wildlife protection pact


Dh87m project to develop Al Ain Zoo


Sharjah wildlife centre to display rare hedgehogs


New Dubai Zoo aims to be among the best


4 Cheetah cubs born at Sharjah wildlife centre


Ban lifted on trade in endangered wildlife


Asian Houbara Bustard faces extinction


Conserving island wildlife


New wildlife reserves planned: Hamdan


Dubai Zoo receives rare animals


Cabinet clears draft law on endangered species


Rare Arabian leopard born in Sharjah


Dubai zoo to be relocated in 2003


Flamingo population on the rise in Dubai


Western region emerges as key wildlife reserve