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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

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

Wildlife paradise on Sir Bu Nair island

Posted on 23/05/2011

To pearl divers, it is known as the pearl-shaped island. Marine environmentalists call it turtle island. To Emirati poets it is the "tear-drop" island that fell into the waters of the Arabian Gulf. These three descriptions are understandable, considering the island's unusual shape. Most of it is round, stretching four kilometres across with an additional kilometre of land extending out like a tail. The island offers a wealth of untouched nature: behind a row of small sandcastle-like ...  >>MORE

Rare black-headed gull sighted in Fujairah

Posted on 22/05/2011

A black-headed gull had birdwatchers in disbelief last week, after it turned out to be a rare and almost unheard of visitor to the Middle East. The Franklin's Gull was spotted, or twitched in birder-speak, by Reza Khan, Specialist, Wildlife and Zoo Management, Public Parks and Horticulture Department from Dubai Municipality, during one of his routine field surveys. His sighting is the first record of a Franklin's Gull in the UAE. Typically this bird is known to live and breed in the central ...  >>MORE

Dubai to dedicate 10% of land to wildlife

Posted on 17/05/2011

Ten per cent of the total land area of Dubai, about 411 square kilometres, will be dedicated to nature conservation by 2014. The total protected area currently accounts for approximately 7.3 per cent of Dubai's 4114 square kilometres, according to Mohammed Abdul Rahman Hassan, head of the Marine Environment and Wildlife Section at Dubai Municipality. After his speech at the United Nations-backed World Migratory Birds Day yesterday, Mr Hassan said the 10 per cent target had been set by the ...  >>MORE

Tawny Lion cubs celebrate their new names at Al Ain Wildlife Park

Posted on 10/05/2011

Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort (AWPR) announced yesterday the new names for two tawny lions, following a hugely popular naming contest open to the community launched in January after the birth of the cubs. During the tough decision-making process, the judges reviewed hundreds of creative names and finally chose the Arabic names "Dana" (meaning large pearl) for the female cub and "Laith" (meaning lion) for the male. The names were suggested by three and a half year-old Laith Qattmeer, a ...  >>MORE

Website launched to promote UAE's Natural Heritage

Posted on 17/04/2011

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has teamed up with the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) and ARKive- the world's leading collection of wildlife films and photographs- to launch a "Jewels of the UAE' website and photo exhibition. The unique website dedicated to the UAE's wildlife is now live, and a photo exhibition has been set up at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort. The initiative aims to promote the UAE's natural heritage, which embraces a stunning variety of habitats, ...  >>MORE

Al Ain zoo welcomes white tigers

Posted on 28/02/2011

Two white tigers, donated by Shaikha Latifa bint Rashid bin Khalifa bin Saeed Al Maktoum, . The nearly two-year old siblings (a female and a male) are said to be in good health and seemed quite happy in their new home. They were named Sugar and Spice by Shaikha Latifa when they were just three-months old cubs. "After long consideration, I decided to donate Sugar and Spice to Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort as I know it will take good care of them. The zoo has a great reputation for its ...  >>MORE

Bustard breeding network takes wing

Posted on 15/02/2011

The emirate will further step up its efforts to protect populations of the endangered houbara bustard at home and abroad, a senior official said yesterday. Thousands of the birds are already being bred in captivity in Sweihan in the UAE, in Morocco and in Kazakhstan, under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi-based International Fund for Houbara Conservation. Now the fund plans to open two new centres this year while searching for locations for several more, said Mohammed al Baidani, Director ...  >>MORE

Balls of fluff get ready for life in rough

Posted on 14/02/2011

Three eagle owlets are the first recruits for a programme to release owls and falcons at the Banyan Tree al Wadi resort. At six weeks old the owl triplets weigh about 600 grams each and are little more than balls of sand-coloured feathers and down. The triplets are in good company at the Banyan Tree, home to 10 falcons, two eagles and two harris hawks. Most of the birds, including the owlets, come from Sheikh Butti Al Maktoum, a renowned Dubai falconer. Unlike their neighbours, the owls ...  >>MORE

Breeding Programme for endangered species unveiled

Posted on 13/02/2011

The President's Private Department is currently implementing an ambitious programme for breeding of several endangered species, including llama, vicuna, African Oryx, Arabian Tahr, blue sheep, wild goat and different species of gazelle, according to the Department's Chairman Mubarak Saeed Al Ahbabi. Speaking during the First International Symposium on Conservation and Propagation of Endangered Species of Birds, which concluded today at Emirates Palace hotel, Al Ahbabi said the programme was ...  >>MORE

Experts discuss techniques for observation and propagation of endangered species of birds

Posted on 10/02/2011

A wide range of important topics pertaining to the preservation and expansion of the populations of bird species continued to be discussed at the "1st Symposium on Conservation and Propagation of Endangered Species of Birds" held at the capital for the duration of 3 days from February 8-10 2011 by the Department of President's Affairs-Management of Nature Conservation. Attracting 65 noted scientists and experts in the field, the conference has brought to light many important researches and ...  >>MORE

Hamdan bin Zayed attends launching of international conference on endangered birds

Posted on 09/02/2011

A conference addressing new technologies for propagating the houbara and other endangered species of birds was inaugurated yesterday by H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) in the presence of H. H Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister and His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort announces great success of its Desert Carnivore Conservation

Posted on 09/02/2011

Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort (AWPR) yesterday announced that the zoo's six African wild dog pups are now ready to leave the den where they were cared for by their mother since their birth in November 2010. All six pups are out on exhibit together with their parents and other pack members - a truly enjoyable and fascinating time for visitors as they can watch the mature dogs teaching the pups how to hunt. Farshid Mehrdadfar, Manager of the Animal Collection department at AWPR said "The ...  >>MORE

UAE to announce scientific breakthrough on bird conservation

Posted on 07/02/2011

Over 40 ornithologists, environmentalists and wildlife and nature defenders and researchers will descend on Abu Dhabi on Tuesday for the first international symposium on conservation and breeding of endangered birds species. Mubarak Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the President's Business Department, organisers of the three-day event, will reveal to the local, regional and international gathering findings of the world first-ever scientific breakthrough project which the Department's Natural Reserves ...  >>MORE

Zoo holds contest for lion cub names

Posted on 03/02/2011

Two newborn African lion cubs have everything they need, except a name. That is about to change, however, with the launch of a competition designed to draw attention to the male and female siblings, each weighing in at 1.6 kg at birth. "Tawny lions are rapidly decreasing in number over the last two decades, mainly due to habitat loss, and activities such as the naming contest are a creative and entertaining way to raise awareness for the much-needed preservation of this threatened species," ...  >>MORE

Future main entry of Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort takes shape

Posted on 31/01/2011

Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort (AWPR) today announced that the construction of its ambitious project development is progressing with the new Main Entry landscape taking shape. During an official ceremony, which was attended by Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Managing Director of AWPR, Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General of AWPR, and other Senior Executives, the first nine trees were planted at the Main Entry. The Main Entry is located in a 340,000 square metre landscaped area including Oryx ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Zoo shows off desert babies

Posted on 27/01/2011

The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is celebrating its new arrivals with Zoo Babies, an exhibit showing off its newborns including African lion cubs, a giraffe calf and flamingo chicks. The educational event will run from tomorrow until February 26 and will include keeper tours, talking visitors through the breeding and rearing process. Other animals featured will include mongoose, penguins, corn snakes and various desert antelopes and gazelles such as the Arabian Oryx, Addax and Mhorr ...  >>MORE

2010 best year for antelope, gazelle births in Al Ain park

Posted on 10/01/2011

The year 2010 saw a record number of desert antelopes born at the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR). The highly-threatened group of animals are a key part of conservation work and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead in AWPR. The year 2010 marked one of AWPR's best recorded year for antelope births, with a record number of young antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned Oryx, 27 Arabian Oryx, 10 Beisa Oryx, four Addax, three Chad dama gazelles, six Mhorr ...  >>MORE

Sheikh Mohammed releases 170 Houbara bustards

Posted on 02/01/2011

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday released 170 captive-bred Asian Houbara bustards produced at the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation at the Al-Maha desert sanctuary in Dubai. Twenty of the released birds were tagged so they can be tracked by satellites. The release of the birds is part of the support by Sheikh Mohammed to the strategy of the ...  >>MORE

EAD tags twelve Flamingo at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

Posted on 30/12/2010

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has tagged yet another Greater Flamingo named "Yasmeena" as part of its ongoing work to track and monitor birds at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. The total number of flamingos tagged by EAD has now reached 15 of which 9 are still being tracked. The capture and tagging of flamingos is part of the Satellite Tracking Programme, which EAD initiated in 2005. This programme is helping EAD to better understand migration routes and stopover sites used by the ...  >>MORE

Giraffes moved to lush habitat

Posted on 08/12/2010

The gentle giants of Sir Bani Yas have got a new residential area, which not only looks comfortable for them, but comes with improved visitor facilities. There are over 50 giraffes on the island and the majority, females and calves, have been moved to a new lush habitat, in order to control their population. On an average, between four and eight giraffes are born on Sir Bani Yas every year, some of them now being over 25 years old. Giraffes were introduced on Sir Bani Yas, now an ...  >>MORE

Mongooses make merry in Al Ain

Posted on 06/10/2010

The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort's animal collection has grown larger with the addition of 20 banded mongooses. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, they are well accustomed to the desert heat of Al Ain. The sociable animals live in mixed sex groups of seven to 40 members. The average group has 20 members. Weighing up to two kilograms and reaching up to 40cm long, banded mongooses, known as Mungos mungo, have similar features to weasels, with dark bands across their brown or grey fur. Their ...  >>MORE

UK Coastline changes shape to create new London Gateway Wildlife Reserve

Posted on 06/07/2010

DP World is today creating a new wetland 30 times the size of Trafalgar Square by breaching part of the Essex coast's flood defence wall. The new wildlife reserve will provide feeding areas for thousands of birds flying south for the winter. New habitats will also be created for adders, newts, lizards and water voles, which are being re-homed as part of the development works for the new deep sea container port. Monday, July 5 saw the culmination of two years of preparations for this complex ...  >>MORE

Flamingo flies high as top bird

Posted on 21/06/2010

The Greater Flamingo is the most abundant waterbird species in the nation, according to a new study, the country's first contribution to a global census of waterbirds in more than a decade. More than 15,000 flamingos were recorded at 15 sites during the research undertaken by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD). The International Waterbird Census is taken annually and focuses on nearly 150 species, 82 of which were spotted in the UAE during the census. Collecting data from multiple ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park to increase genetic diversity of world's captive sand cat population

Posted on 16/06/2010

The Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort (AWPR) is increasing the genetic diversity of the world's captive Sand cat population by using an assistive reproduction technique called In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET) to breed Sand cats from collections in the United States to those at AWPR. This marks another important step forward in the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort's program to conserve threatened cat species and other arid land carnivores such as the Arabian leopard. Over ...  >>MORE

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi leads Damascus meeting to present regional Arabian Oryx conservation strategy

Posted on 10/06/2010

Representatives of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) will meet fellow counterparts from around the region at a meeting in Damascus on Thursday to present and agree a collective strategy aimed at re-establishing a population of wild Arabian Oryx in the region. The Coordinating Committee for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx (CCCAO), chaired by Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD, is comprised of Bahrain, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria, United Arab ...  >>MORE

Temperature’s rising but it’s cool for cats

Posted on 08/06/2010

While the pace slows for most of the country during the summer, things are speeding up at Dubai Zoo as keepers try to keep its 950 inhabitants cool and comfortable. The hot season is the busiest period of the year as staff employ a cooling system perfected by Dr Mohammed Ali Reza Khan, the zoo's wildlife and management specialist, during the two decades he has worked there. As the temperature crept towards 36°C yesterday, staff sprayed the cage floors with water for the second time that ...  >>MORE

Caracals donated to the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort

Posted on 03/06/2010

Two caracals recently joined the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort's (AWPR) growing family of arid land carnivores. Perhaps the last of the medium-sized cat species surviving in the UAE, the caracal is a special conservation concern of AWPR's arid land carnivore conservation program. Caracals, widespread in Africa and parts of Asia, are also indigenous to the mountain areas of the UAE, where they are severely threatened by human persecution and habitat destruction. In February 2010, reports ...  >>MORE

Chance to name baby giraffe and win prizes

Posted on 27/05/2010

If you had the chance to name a baby giraffe, what would you call it? The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) is offering residents an opportunity to name their latest addition. The male Nubian Giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis), standing around six feet tall, was born in February this year and is currently housed with 25 of its kind at the resort. In celebration of the new member's arrival, an ideal name will be selected on June 20 and the winner will receive six exclusive ...  >>MORE

Sand cat pair at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort

Posted on 17/05/2010

A sand cat kitten, born as a result of the first-ever successful species-specific in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer procedure, is now on exhibit with her mother at the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort (AWPR). The Sand cat, native to the UAE, Middle East, and parts of North Africa, is listed as ‘near threatened' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Its wild population is declining as a result of habitat destruction and declining prey base. The kitten was born ...  >>MORE

Dubai Municipality to observe World Migratory Bird Day

Posted on 10/05/2010

Dubai Municipality's Environment Department will organise a seminar tomorrow at the Municipality Staff Club in connection with World Migratory Bird Day, which is being celebrated during 8-9 May this year. World Migratory Bird Day is a global initiative devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for promoting actions for their conservation worldwide. It is being organized by the Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Water bird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species ...  >>MORE

Al Ain wildlife park open for visitors during night

Posted on 02/05/2010

The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort yesterday launched Wild Nights, the night time zoo. It is open to visitors until September 30. The Zoo will be open from 4pm to midnight from Saturdays to Thursdays and 10am on Fridays, Wild Nights creates a fun and exciting night experience for visitors, said an official of the Resort. The park has a range of family activities and entertainment planned for the summer months. Crocodiles, penguins, and the animals in the Arabian and mixed Africa exhibits ...  >>MORE

Discovery of new species

Posted on 27/04/2010

The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) has recently discovered six new species. These include two varieties of birds, a reptile species, two species of insects and an additional plant species. They were discovered in the last six months due to the conservation team's continuous surveys of DDCR's flora and fauna. The species include: * Bluethroat bird (Luscinia svecica), a small migratory songbird, similar in size to the European Robin. It is brown, with a distinctive black tail and ...  >>MORE

UAE President's Private Department announces producing world's first houbara from domesticated chicken egg

Posted on 26/04/2010

Two years of constant efforts and diligent work at the Research Centre affiliated with the Natural Reserves Management at the Private Department of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan have at long last culminated in the world's first successful bid to produce a houbara bustard bird from a domesticated chicken egg. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan hailed the unprecedented scientific breakthrough by the Centre which works in line with the UAE's ...  >>MORE

Endangered green sea turtle rescued by petrol station employee

Posted on 22/04/2010

An endangered sea turtle was rescued in Abu Dhabi yesterday after being spotted by an eagle-eyed member of staff at a petrol station in Mussaffah. The giant green sea turtle, weighing over 100kg, was found in a distressed state and transferred to Ghantoot Nature Reserve and then the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Dubai. Major Ali Al Suwaidi, founder and manager of the Emirates Marine Environment Group (EMEG), said: "It is a female green turtle and she is about 25 years old. She is ...  >>MORE

Al Ain zoo makes room for luxury

Posted on 19/04/2010

Graceful giraffes will graze on the sun-shading trees busy with chattering monkeys. White lions will patrol the plains looking for prey. Welcome to the latest luxury desert development: a wildlife park with a difference. In Al Ain, work is in progress on the multibillion-dirham resort, which will include luxury lodges, a five-star, 200-room hotel and 1,000 villas. The centrepiece will be a wildlife park in the 900-hectare project, which will be split into zones: a north Kenyan park; a ...  >>MORE

Rare turtles home on Bu Tinah

Posted on 18/04/2010

At least five new nesting sites for endangered hawksbill turtles were recorded by researchers with the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) last week on the white banks of Bu Tinah Island, 130km west of the capital. The tiny, protected archipelago, which is part of a core area of the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, is one of 28 finalists in a contest to name seven of the world's natural wonders. Abu Dhabi plans to spend Dh28 million (US$7.6m) to promote Bu Tinah, which the EAD described as ...  >>MORE

Family of Black-backed jackals at Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort

Posted on 17/04/2010

A pack of six Black-backed jackals (2 males and 4 females) are now on exhibit at the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort. This is the first time at AWPR that this species is presented to the public. As the name suggests the Black-backed Jackal's most distinctive feature is the mantle of black hair on the back that contrasts with its rust-coloured body. Indigenous to the Southern and Eastern regions of Africa, the Black-backed Jackal is one of the few animals that mate for life. While they are not ...  >>MORE

Scores of wild animals released in RAK reserve

Posted on 14/04/2010

Scores of wild animals have been released into the 60-hectare nature reserve of the Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah's (RAK) latest and most exclusive resort. The first set of animals to be received in this nature reserve area consists of 18 Arabian gazelles, eight Reem gazelles and four Arabian Oryx. During the inauguration of this milestone event, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, son of the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah said, "We are very pleased to open a nature ...  >>MORE

Cheetah cubs born on Sir Bani Yas Island

Posted on 06/04/2010

As its mission of wildlife and nature conservation continues to evolve, Sir Bani Yas Island, part of Abu Dhabi's Desert Islands destination, welcomed four cheetah cubs as a result of a successful breeding programme. As the cheetah is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as extinct in the UAE, and vulnerable worldwide, the births are of particular significance to the continuation of the species globally and locally. Following the birth of the first ever ...  >>MORE

Rescued lion cubs show huge improvement

Posted on 06/04/2010

Stronger and mobile, the young rescued African lion cubs are walking around, curious to look behind every door and corner. After 10 days of veterinary care, the two cubs — which were for sale on the black market and were offered to Gulf News despite their ill-health — are able to stand, walk and even run. These lions are a threatened, but not endangered species, whose trade is only allowed if it is closely regulated and monitored by international laws such as the Convention on International ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Al Ain Wildlife Park unveils summer schedule


Wildlife paradise on Sir Bu Nair island


Rare black-headed gull sighted in Fujairah


Dubai to dedicate 10% of land to wildlife


Tawny Lion cubs celebrate their new names at Al Ain Wildlife Park


Website launched to promote UAE's Natural Heritage


Al Ain zoo welcomes white tigers


Bustard breeding network takes wing


Balls of fluff get ready for life in rough


Breeding Programme for endangered species unveiled


Experts discuss techniques for observation and propagation of endangered species of birds


Hamdan bin Zayed attends launching of international conference on endangered birds


Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort announces great success of its Desert Carnivore Conservation


UAE to announce scientific breakthrough on bird conservation


Zoo holds contest for lion cub names


Future main entry of Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort takes shape


Al Ain Zoo shows off desert babies


2010 best year for antelope, gazelle births in Al Ain park


Sheikh Mohammed releases 170 Houbara bustards


EAD tags twelve Flamingo at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve


Giraffes moved to lush habitat


Mongooses make merry in Al Ain


UK Coastline changes shape to create new London Gateway Wildlife Reserve


Flamingo flies high as top bird


Al Ain Wildlife Park to increase genetic diversity of world's captive sand cat population


Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi leads Damascus meeting to present regional Arabian Oryx conservation strategy


Temperature’s rising but it’s cool for cats


Caracals donated to the Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort


Chance to name baby giraffe and win prizes


Sand cat pair at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort


Dubai Municipality to observe World Migratory Bird Day


Al Ain wildlife park open for visitors during night


Discovery of new species


UAE President's Private Department announces producing world's first houbara from domesticated chicken egg


Endangered green sea turtle rescued by petrol station employee


Al Ain zoo makes room for luxury


Rare turtles home on Bu Tinah


Family of Black-backed jackals at Al Ain Wildlife Park '&' Resort


Scores of wild animals released in RAK reserve


Cheetah cubs born on Sir Bani Yas Island


Rescued lion cubs show huge improvement