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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

Al Ain Zoo celebrates birth of five Arabian Sand Gazelles

Posted on 22/03/2012

Al Ain Zoo is now embracing newly born five Arabian Sand Gazelles, known as Arabian Goitered Gazelle, which were born on March 18 under the auspices and supervision of the Veterinary Department in the zoo. Three of them are males, while two are females. The Arabian Sand Gazelles live only in the Arabian Peninsula. The numbers of this species decline due to the illegal hunting, expansion of agriculture, competition for food with livestock and fragmentation of habitat due to development ...  >>MORE

Lion king who talks to animals

Posted on 18/03/2012

Tao was kept in a tiny cage and starved for the first nine months of his life. As a result, he has a hunched back, a limp leg and permanent shackle marks where his legs were bound. The two-year-old lion would probably have been put down if it were not for the Dr Doolittle of Ras Al Khaimah. Tao is now "the friendliest lion" at Ras Al Khaimah Wildlife Park, said Jasim Ali Salim, an Emirati trader who began collecting unwanted wild animals from local families 15 years ago. "He was ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo celebrates birth of White Rhinoceros calf

Posted on 15/03/2012

Al Ain Zoo is celebrating the birth of its first Southern-white Rhinoceros within its collection of African wildlife. Until the calf can go out on exhibit, it will be cared for by the zoo's animal keepers in the back-of-house facility adjacent to the African Mixed Exhibit, and be monitored closely by the veterinarian team. The White Rhino is considered the most social of all rhino species and is the world's largest land mammal after the elephant. Despite their size, they are fast and ...  >>MORE

Houbara bustards released into the wild in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 06/03/2012

The humans gathered to release about 85 houbara bustards into the early morning skies were much more excited about the prospect than the birds. The houbara sat quietly in their cages, not knowing that their life-long captivity was about to end. On Sunday evening, the bustards were caught and placed in the large plastic cages. Before daybreak yesterday, they were loaded on to pickup trucks and left the National Avian Research Centre (Narc) in Sweihan, near Al Ain. They had been born at the ...  >>MORE

Injured 'Spud' to run like a gazelle

Posted on 04/03/2012

A badly injured baby gazelle is recovering at a veterinary hospital after a resident found it in a precarious condition by the roadside in Dubai. The fawn, whom the vets nicknamed "Spud", was about a week old and weighed 1kg when she was found in late January with head injuries in Nad Al Sheba, near the Meydan Racecourse. "She had some bite marks," said Dr Giulio Russo, an Italian vet at Nad Al Sheba Veterinary Hospital. "The wounds suggest they were inflicted perhaps by a stray cat or a ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo to offer "Zoo Safaris" for children

Posted on 01/03/2012

Al Ain Zoo will be offering children exciting and stimulating experiences in its fun-packed Zoo Safaris this spring. Organised by the Education Centre, the Zoo Safaris give children the opportunity to explore and learn about wildlife and nature in the beautiful setting of Al Ain Zoo. The first Spring Safari will take place from March 25th to 29th, while the second will be held from April 1st to 5th. Children will engage with their team mates in a collection of rewarding and ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi conservation efforts receive praise from global forum

Posted on 27/02/2012

Experts have warned an estimated one in every seven species of bird, one in every four species of mammal and one in every three amphibian species are globally threatened with extinction. Many species in the UAE are also threatened with extinction including the Socotra cormorant, Arabian tahr, Arabian Oryx, Arabian leopard, dugongs, hawksbill turtles, as well as many other species of reptiles, fishes, amphibians, and invertebrates, they said. They were speaking during a six-day conference ...  >>MORE

Wildlife abounds in UAE

Posted on 27/02/2012

The desert sands and coastal ecosystems of the UAE harbour a rich unique life, said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak at a six-day conference on global species conservation in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The UAE is home to antelope that require hardly any drinking water, reptiles with specially adapted feet for hot desert sands, coral reef that are able to withstand temperatures of 40°C, migrating birds, and the recently discovered insects in Wadi Wurayah. The late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan ...  >>MORE

IFHC announces hatching of first Asian Houbara Chick of the Season

Posted on 23/02/2012

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) has announced the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the season, at the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan. This chick is one of thousands to be produced in the UAE this year as part of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's strategy to protect and conserve the Houbara. - Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

Habitat loss threatens only kingfisher species in UAE

Posted on 20/02/2012

The population of Kalbaensis, the sole species of kingfisher found in the UAE, is declining due to habitat destruction, a recent survey reveals. As the Kalba Mangroves in Khor Kalba — the bird's natural habitat — along the Gulf of Oman face several threats, the numbers of these beautiful and rare birds are falling swiftly. The blue-green coloured bird with a white belly is considered one of the rarest in the world and has lived in isolation from other kingfisher species found in South and ...  >>MORE

Monkeying around with a crocodile at Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 16/02/2012

In search of fun, the monkeys swing down from their ropes and tweak the croc's tail, before an almost imperceptible movement sends them scurrying away. If one of the monkeys were to get close enough to the reptile's powerful jaws, it would be in a position to observe that they contain about 65 large and very sharp teeth. The monkey might also discover that, while it is more agile at seeking out its prey in water, even on dry land the croc can reach a surprisingly nifty 14kph in pursuit of ...  >>MORE

New zoo in the offing in Dubai

Posted on 13/02/2012

Dubai municipality is studying a project to build a new world-class zoo in the emirate. The survey of the proposed project is expected to be finished in two months and according to the municipality the old animals will be shifted once the new zoo is ready. Eng. Hussian Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said the municipality has appointed a consultant and action team to come up with the final concept of the project, including the selection of suitable site, required area ...  >>MORE

Four eland antelopes make their debut at Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 09/02/2012

Animal lovers are in for a treat after Al Ain Zoo took delivery of four eland antelopes from east and southern Africa. Eland antelopes are considered to be among the slowest in the species but they make up for their sluggish nature with a remarkable ability to jump up to heights of 2.5 metres. "We are delighted to announce the addition of four eland antelopes to the diverse array of African wildlife in the African Mixed Exhibit," an Al Ain Zoo spokesperson said. Eland antelopes are ...  >>MORE

Ruler of Sharjah urges desert preservation

Posted on 07/02/2012

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Monday released a large number of wild animals into Al Dhaleema Natural Reserve to ensure biodiversity in the emirate. The wild species released by Dr Sheikh Sultan included Arabian Oryx, deer, snakes, monkeys, wild hares, rodents and lizards as part of efforts to release the species into their natural habitats. Meanwhile, Dr Sheikh Sultan attended the launch of the 13th edition of ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo becomes hub of conservation efforts

Posted on 29/01/2012

Development projects, climate change and human encroachment into animal habitats are trampling on several species and putting them at risk of extinction. Protection of wildlife may be on the backburner during an economic downturn, but Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, or simply the Al Ain Zoo, hopes some talking points will put the spotlight back on endangered animals across the world. Last week, the zoo hosted the third annual workshop of the International Union for Conservation and Nature's ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo draws up awareness programmes

Posted on 25/01/2012

Al Ain Zoo has announced plans to organise a ‘Walk for Wildlife' along with a host of other activities to mark the 15th National Environment Day next week. The events are aimed at raising awareness about UAE wildlife and the preservation of desert species in the country. The activities, called the Living Desert, will be organised on February 4, Muna Al Daheri, manager of the Education Centre at Al Ain Zoo, said yesterday. The zoo, she said, is a great place to celebrate environment day as ...  >>MORE

Rescued cormorant set for release

Posted on 17/01/2012

Lucky was the last word an onlooker might use to describe the starving, oil-coated seabird lying helplessly on the sand. Its inky legs were bound tightly by a fishing line, a hook had grazed its grey throat, and its charcoal feathers were infested with fleas and mites. Despite all that, the rare socotra cormorant had not run out of luck completely: a gaping, camera-clicking crowd gathered around it on January 2 on the beach in front of the looming towers of Jumeirah Beach Residence. The ...  >>MORE

Enhancing guidelines for Al Ain zoo

Posted on 17/01/2012

As part of its commitment towards conserving wildlife and endangered species, Al Ain Zoo will be hosting the third annual workshop of the International Union for Conservation and Nature's (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Task Force from Tuesday to Thursday. This task force combines the expertise of the Re-introduction and Invasive Species Specialist Groups to develop revised guidelines for the reintroduction of plants and animals into the wild and other deliberate movements for ...  >>MORE

Improved husbandry for animals at Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 16/01/2012

Wild beasts in captivity at Al Ain Zoo have been made to go through an enrichment programme in order to make them more suitable for interaction with human beings. The programme is part of an enrichment drive initiated by the Animal Collection Department of Al Ain Zoo in 2010. "The practice has enhanced our husbandry routine as well as our guests' experience," a zoo official said. Animal enrichment generally refers to any changes in the animal's environment that helps ensures improved ...  >>MORE

International Fund for Houbara Conservation highlights its efforts

Posted on 18/12/2011

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation, in two lectures, highlighted its efforts to preserve the endangered bird in the wild. The two lectures which were organised during the current Third International Festival of Falconry gave detailed information on the Fund's future plans to increase the bird's population though it captive breeding programme, according to the Fund's director general Mohammed Saleh Al-Baidhani. The aim of Fund is to secure a wild population of Houbara bustard ...  >>MORE

Fund to promote role of houbaras in local culture

Posted on 15/12/2011

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) has yesterday announced to promote the crucial role of the houbara bustard in ensuring the culture and traditions of falconry at the falconry festival in Al Ain. The fund will present on Saturday (December 17) an overview of the IFHC and falconry in the Middle East, and the scientific ecological findings and the knowledge of falconers. "Although the focus of the festival is on falconry, we need to recognise the role of the houbara in ...  >>MORE

Rare kingfisher threatened by demise of mangroves

Posted on 11/12/2011

While it does not receive the same attention as the Arabian oryx, dugong or marine turtle, the straits that the collared kingfisher finds itself in are no less dire. Put simply, if the mangroves it calls home completely vanish, so does this beautiful bird. Vesela Todorova reports It hides in mangrove forests, weighs less than 100 grams and is considered an essential part of the UAE's natural heritage. But the blue-and-white collared kingfisher, which does not have the conservation status of ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo goes social to name orphaned baby gazelle

Posted on 15/11/2011

In celebration of the recently-born Mhorr gazelle, Al Ain Zoo has launched a competition on Facebook and Twitter inviting fans and followers to submit their unique and creative ideas to name the newest addition to the zoo's world renowned antelope '&' gazelle collection. Only two-months old, the orphaned gazelle has been hand-reared by Al Ain Zoo's professional zookeepers and team of veterinary experts after its mother passed away only hours after giving birth. Dr. Arshad Toosy, Manager ...  >>MORE

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

Posted on 19/10/2011

With the recent return of the Greater Flamingo after a ten-year absence at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said that protection of vital ecosystems and habitats was critical to ensuring a sustainable future for Abu Dhabi Emirate. The third episode of The Environment Show, with Ask Ali' highlights EAD's conservation efforts to protect the Greater flamingo, which is a species native to Bu Tinah Island. ...  >>MORE

Vets save endangered gazelle orphaned at birth

Posted on 18/10/2011

Veterinarians at Al Ain Zoo have saved a new-born Mhorr gazelle, a critically endangered species, that was rendered helpless by his mother's death soon after birth. Belonging to a rare breed of gazelle, the orphaned calf was hand-reared by professional zookeepers, ensuring the gazelle grows up to be healthy and strong and can easily be re-integrated into the herd at a later stage, said a spokesperson of the zoo. Mhorr gazelle, a western sub-species of the Dama gazelle, once lived in the ...  >>MORE

Sea Turtle Conservation is tantamount to preservation of UAE's National Identity, Secretary General EAD

Posted on 05/10/2011

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), has said that conservation programmes such as EAD's Sea Turtle Conservation programme are intrinsically linked to sustainable development and preserving cultural identity. "Our marine environment is a treasured part of our heritage, our past, our present and our future. It also holds an emotional value to us. By studying, monitoring and protecting marine endangered species, we are helping to preserve a key ...  >>MORE

UAE's NARC 500 houbara bustards released in Algeria

Posted on 02/10/2011

500 captive-bred houbara bustards were released last week in the wild Algeria by Abu Dhabi-based National Avian Research Centre (NARC). Present at the release ceremony in Al Abyadh Sidi Al Sheikh in Al Beidh province were Juan Al Khaiili Director of NARC, Dr. Nigel Collar, representative of BirdLife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations working together for the world's birds and people, officials of the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and ...  >>MORE

New species found at Wadi Wurayah

Posted on 28/09/2011

After four years, several hundred insect traps and dozens of international researchers, the secrets of Wadi Wurayah are making a buzz with the latest discovery of another 55 new species of which 25 are new to science. Since 2008 Antonius Van Harten, 65, an entomologist from Holland who previously lived in Sharjah started recording insects and species in the UAE under the patronage of Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. Van Harten completed four volumes ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo offers new activities during Eid

Posted on 23/08/2011

Visitors at the Al Ain Zoo can get a chance to come up-close and personal with the sanctuary's animal residents through two activities scheduled to start from the first day of Eid Al Fitr holidays. A Giraffe Feeding station, set beside the Reptile House, will open its gates to let both children and adults feed the long-necked creatures on their own. The venue will also feature a petting zoo, titled ‘Elezba', which has been designed as a local farm where visitors can interact with farm animals ...  >>MORE

First Arabian cobra born in Sharjah

Posted on 08/08/2011

In a scientific breakthrough, researchers at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife (BCEAW), part of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Government of Sharjah, have bred the Arabian Cobra in captivity for the first time in the world. A female cobra has laid down 19 eggs which were placed by researchers on an incubator so as to monitor and collect data on temperature, humidity and growth of embryos. After 59 days, 16 babies were hatched out for the first time in ...  >>MORE

UAE wildlife to star in homegrown TV series: The Last Wilderness

Posted on 31/07/2011

A production company is talking with potential backers about making the series, to be called The Last Wilderness of the United Arab Emirates. Wild Planet Productions says the growing interest in natural history in the region makes this the perfect time to produce such a programme. The company's managing director, Jonathan Ali Khan, says this interest is reflected in the success of the National Geographic Abu Dhabi TV channel and the BBC's decision to produce a series called Wild Arabia. Wild ...  >>MORE

The ‘Greater Flamingo' returns to Al Wathba to breed following a 10-year absence

Posted on 21/07/2011

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) revealed that the Greater flamingo has once again started breeding in Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi. The findings were confirmed by an EAD team of scientists in what is considered the first occurrence of successful breeding on this site in almost a decade. Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1998 and is currently managed by EAD. At present, nearly 1,600 Greater flamingos are present in Al ...  >>MORE

Wetlands protection warning sounded

Posted on 14/07/2011

The UAE must give protected status to wetlands and provide carefully planned public access to them to preserve the nation's waterbirds, experts say. The warning came after an announcement on Tuesday that four of the country's six most important wetlands were facing pressure from coastal development. The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (Ead) released the report after the national annual waterbirds census was carried out by 23 experts from government and non-government organisations in ...  >>MORE

Campaign to help sustain birds through summer

Posted on 13/07/2011

The Emirates Animal Care Society has launched its first bird care summer campaign for 2011 in cooperation with Emirates Dog Breeders Society and Environment Friends Society. Nasser Lakhraibani Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Emirates Animal Care Society, said that the Juvenile Welfare Centre in Abu Dhabi Police's Punitive and Correctional Establishment has also embraced the campaign. Al Nuaimi said that the centre would distribute the tools necessary for the success of the campaign to ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo's Arabian Caracal on path to recovery after successful surgery

Posted on 11/07/2011

Al Ain Zoo has successfully completed a surgery on one of its Arabian caracals, a species declining in the wild throughout Arabia, to restore the animal's health following a mystery illness. Following concerns over the caracal losing weight despite a healthy appetite, an exploratory laparotomy was conducted to examine the caracal's stomach and digestive system. After conducting an initial diagnostic procedure, the zoo's team of experienced veterinarians, assisted by Dr. Muzhar Iqbal, an ...  >>MORE

Family nights at Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 07/07/2011

Wednesdays will be ‘Family Nights' at the Al Ain Zoo, where families can enjoy fun-packed evenings. The zoo will entertain families and children with various summer activities, it was announced on Tuesday. Cartoon movies, children's games and a bouncy castle will ensure a fun-packed Wednesday night out for the whole family. Saif Aldhaheri, Section Head of Guest Relations at the zoo, said: "A visit to the zoo is not only learning about the animals but also enjoying, being active and spending ...  >>MORE

Discovery Islands turn a safe haven for winged wonders

Posted on 04/07/2011

When a turtle starts nesting on the beaches of Discovery Islands, the activity is detected by a GPS (Global Positioning System) device of the conservation teams who act immediately. They wipe away the turtle prints leading to and from the nest to prevent illegal poachers from finding the nests. The six uninhabited islands of incredible beauty have been assessed as very important breeding zones and they are protected from illegal poachers, fishermen and campers. The islands with lovely ...  >>MORE

Desert watering hole tempts migrant birds

Posted on 23/06/2011

Waterbirds are living and breeding in the middle of the desert thanks to a conservation project that has created two lakes amid the dunes. Although the lakes at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve were completed only eight months ago, they have already attracted breeding pairs of two types of waterbird: the black-wing stilt and the little ring plover. "We saw the plovers' chicks a month-and-a-half ago, and the black-wing stilts have also hatched," said Greg Simkins, the reserve's ...  >>MORE

Cool activities for a hot summer at Al Ain Zoo

Posted on 13/06/2011

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) announced yesterday some of its exciting programmes for the summer including educational activities, fun and games for the whole family, and great value offers as part of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority's (ADTA) ‘Summer in Abu Dhabi' promotion. The Education Centre at the zoo will be keeping children entertained and informed about nature and conservation with two action-packed tours. The Amazing Animals programme includes activities based on the wide ...  >>MORE

Cheetah owner has violated three UAE laws

Posted on 02/06/2011

The cheetah found on an Abu Dhabi street on Sunday proves that the menace of wildlife smuggling is like drug trafficking — however hard the governments try to stop it, the smugglers find a new way, a senior official has told Gulf News. The owner of the cheetah has violated at least three federal laws — the law prohibiting import of dangerous animals, the law related to Cites (Convention on the Illegal Trade of Endangered Species) for illegally importing or trading endangered animals and a law ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park unveils summer schedule

Posted on 24/05/2011

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) has announced evening hours for visitors taking into consideration the soaring daytime temperatures. "The summer season at AWPR gives families an amazing opportunity to watch the animals enjoy the cooler evenings as they would naturally in the wild," an AWPR spokesperson said. All exhibits will remain open to visitors in the evenings, including the mixed African and Arabian enclosures. Various feeding times are also scheduled throughout the evening ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Al Ain Zoo celebrates birth of five Arabian Sand Gazelles


Lion king who talks to animals


Al Ain Zoo celebrates birth of White Rhinoceros calf


Houbara bustards released into the wild in Abu Dhabi


Injured 'Spud' to run like a gazelle


Al Ain Zoo to offer "Zoo Safaris" for children


Abu Dhabi conservation efforts receive praise from global forum


Wildlife abounds in UAE


IFHC announces hatching of first Asian Houbara Chick of the Season


Habitat loss threatens only kingfisher species in UAE


Monkeying around with a crocodile at Al Ain Zoo


New zoo in the offing in Dubai


Four eland antelopes make their debut at Al Ain Zoo


Ruler of Sharjah urges desert preservation


Al Ain Zoo becomes hub of conservation efforts


Al Ain Zoo draws up awareness programmes


Rescued cormorant set for release


Enhancing guidelines for Al Ain zoo


Improved husbandry for animals at Al Ain Zoo


International Fund for Houbara Conservation highlights its efforts


Fund to promote role of houbaras in local culture


Rare kingfisher threatened by demise of mangroves


Al Ain Zoo goes social to name orphaned baby gazelle


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


Vets save endangered gazelle orphaned at birth


Sea Turtle Conservation is tantamount to preservation of UAE's National Identity, Secretary General EAD


UAE's NARC 500 houbara bustards released in Algeria


New species found at Wadi Wurayah


Al Ain Zoo offers new activities during Eid


First Arabian cobra born in Sharjah


UAE wildlife to star in homegrown TV series: The Last Wilderness


The ‘Greater Flamingo' returns to Al Wathba to breed following a 10-year absence


Wetlands protection warning sounded


Campaign to help sustain birds through summer


Al Ain Zoo's Arabian Caracal on path to recovery after successful surgery


Family nights at Al Ain Zoo


Discovery Islands turn a safe haven for winged wonders


Desert watering hole tempts migrant birds


Cool activities for a hot summer at Al Ain Zoo


Cheetah owner has violated three UAE laws


Al Ain Wildlife Park unveils summer schedule