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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WILDLIFE

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

Rescued lion cubs find their feet with better health

Posted on 01/04/2010

Timidly back on four paws after just five days in a veterinary clinic, the two rescued male lion cubs are still waiting to hear their fate after the Ministry of Environment and Water intervened last week and removed them from their owner after finding them in a pitiful health condition. When found, both cubs were unable to stand, with their hind legs immobile from a bad diet and lack of exercise. Malnourished and dehydrated, constipated and under severe stress, the cubs were brought to the ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre offers to rehome rescued lion cubs

Posted on 30/03/2010

The Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre, which rehabilitates big cats, has offered to re-home the two lion cubs rescued by animal welfare officials from a travelling circus that had apparently neglected their health. However, the fate of the lion cubs is uncertain as animal welfare authorities are currently investigating their owner's entry permits for the cubs, and licences to put on a circus show in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. Sultan Abdullah Sultan Bin Alwan, executive director for agriculture and ...  >>MORE

EAD and China's State Forestry Administration sign agreement to conserve houbara bustard

Posted on 22/03/2010

An agreement was signed yesterday between the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China to enhance cooperation between the two parties regarding the protection, breeding, and release of Houbara Bustard. The agreement was signed by H.E Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate, Managing Director of EAD and Deputy Chairman of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) , ...  >>MORE

Plastic waste endangers wildlife

Posted on 01/03/2010

One in two camels die from swallowing plastic waste dumped in the UAE deserts as most plastic bags take over 400 years to biodegrade, according to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO). Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year in the UAE when animals mistakenly swallow them for food. ADMA-OPCO organised an "Open Environment Day” to mark the UAE National Environment Day, which fell on February 4. This year's theme is ‘The UAE free of ...  >>MORE

Solar-powered plants to desalt water for animals

Posted on 27/02/2010

Thirty small-scale solar-powered desalination plants will be operational in the next 15 months to provide animals with watering holes in Abu Dhabi's desert environment. Two of the plants are already in use desalting brackish water from underground aquifers into fresh potable water, said a water resources expert from the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD). However the cost of using solar power for bigger desalination plants that produce millions of litres of fresh water for mass human ...  >>MORE

American bird arrives in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 17/02/2010

Last month, a new bird species was discovered at Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Wilson's Phalarope, Steganopus tricolor, a small wader, is the first ever record of this species in the United Arab Emirates. This is a remarkable new find because this bird is generally found only in the America. The species has only been recorded on four previous occasions in the Middle East, in Oman (twice) and in Turkey (twice in the 1980s). The species is well known for its far-flung wanderings, and ...  >>MORE

Hyena cubs born in UAE's Sir Bani Yas Island

Posted on 03/02/2010

Two striped hyena cubs have been born on Sir Bani Yas Island following a breeding programme that is part of Abu Dhabi's Desert Islands Destination campaign. The births, announced on Tuesday, are of particular significance to the UAE as the striped hyena is extinct in the UAE and is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as 'near threatened' worldwide. IUCN is the official body who monitor the status of nature and wildlife across the world. These are the ...  >>MORE

Al Ain zoo has reason to purr after birth of two sand cats

Posted on 27/01/2010

Two sand cat kittens have been born in Al Ain. The mother and litter are in good health in the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) but the sex of the kittens are yet to be ascertained. The litter was produced by in-vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer at AWPR, which is home to almost 20 per cent of the world's captive sand cats. The 34 sand cats at AWPR make up the largest and most genetically significant captive population of sand cats in any zoological institution. AWPR ...  >>MORE

70 captive-bred houbara released in the Western Region

Posted on 17/01/2010

As part of Abu Dhabi's efforts to protect Houbara bustards and its comprehensive global strategy of producing over 50,000 houbara bustards to increase the bird's population in their natural habitats in its geographic distribution in Asia and North Africa, 70 captive-bred Houbara bustards produced at the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation were released today by H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western ...  >>MORE

Al Ain aims to help save white lions

Posted on 06/01/2010

The recent arrival of two white lions at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will raise awareness about protecting the endangered species, the park hopes. The brother and sister lions are among the last of their kind, and the park is calling the pair "conservation ambassadors”. . There are believed to have been 450,000 lions in the wild 50 years ago, but the number has dwindled to about 20,000. There are only a few white lions in captivity and they are believed to be extinct in the wild. ...  >>MORE

Designated camp sites planned

Posted on 30/12/2009

The authorities plan to launch designated camping sites across the country to protect the desert and its wildlife, it was revealed on Tuesday. "Our target is to create a strategy and carry out the plan in preserving the desert. Earlier in the year we created a department specifically for that purpose, and part of our plan is to introduce designated camping sites," said Saif Al Shara, Executive Director of Water Resources and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Water. However, ...  >>MORE

Rare vultures comfortably perched at Al Ain zoo

Posted on 22/12/2009

Two rare vulture species have been added to the rich variety of wildlife at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort. The new additions will boost the 4,300-strong animal family at the zoo. The birds have been put on display for the very first time since the zoo opened 40 years ago, said a spokesperson of the zoo. The vultures have been housed at the birds of prey aviary. "The aviary, which also houses seven Steppe eagles and two Imperial eagles, will now be home to a white-headed vulture and two ...  >>MORE

Endangered addax's birth boosts conservation efforts

Posted on 15/12/2009

A critically endangered addax has given birth to a baby at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, bringing happiness to a zoo administration that regards it as an achievement in conservation efforts. The African addax antelope, a member of the desert antelope family, has been facing a drastic decline in its population over the past 21 years. An estimated 80 per cent reduction has been recorded due to uncontrolled hunting, drought and habitat loss. "There are now less than 300 addax existing in ...  >>MORE

Officials foil bid to smuggle houbaras into UAE

Posted on 04/12/2009

Immigration inspectors at the Ras Al Darah Border Checkpoint foiled an attempt by an Omani national to smuggle Houbara Bustards into the UAE on Tuesday. The suspect, driving a pick-up, was arrested, his vehicle impounded and the birds seized. The entire case was referred to the RAK law enforcement authorities for further investigation and for legal measures to be taken. The Omani pick-up driver assumed that the border station between the UAE and Oman was extremely busy during the Eid Al Adha ...  >>MORE

Al Ain's oryx may hold key to breeding programme

Posted on 04/12/2009

Experts are confident that the population of scimitar horned oryx at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be able to repopulate areas where this now near-extinct antelope used to roam. Genetics will play a big part to determine whether the large herd of 200 scimitar-horned oryx in Al Ain will be able to provide fresh lineage to mix with a smaller herd in Tunisia which will eventually be released into the wild in southern Sahara. Tim Wacher, a wildlife biologist with the Zoological Society ...  >>MORE

Scientists discover rare wild cat in Fujairah wadi

Posted on 25/11/2009

A never-before-seen wild cat has been captured on film by ecologists working in the protected zone of Wadi Wurayah on the East Coast. Camera traps set up in the mountainous area of Fujairah have captured an image of a rare breed of wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica) whose presence was, until now, just assumed thanks to some elusive tracks. The species is threatened by genetic pollution with escaped domestic cats to a point that scientists believe the UAE population of wild cats might not be ...  >>MORE

Al Ain helps return rare Oryx to wild

Posted on 25/11/2009

Once, there were hundreds of thousands of scimitar-horned Oryx living freely across North Africa. Now there are no more than 9,000 in the world, none of which live in the wild. That may be about to change, though, as a plan involving experts from seven countries to reintroduce the species to its natural habitat takes shape in Al Ain. The collaboration involves Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) and the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), which have teamed up with the Sahara Conservation ...  >>MORE

Ecologists get together to save Oryx

Posted on 17/11/2009

Several of the world's top conservation experts gather in Al Ain this week to develop a conservation road map for the Scimitar-horned Oryx, now believed to be extinct in the wild. Specialists from the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) will be joined by ecologists from more than 15 world's top conservation organisations and research institutes, including the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Oxford. "They will attempt to guarantee the long-term survival of the animal in ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi plans desert lakes to save wildlife

Posted on 16/10/2009

The word "oasis” is about to be given a new meaning by Abu Dhabi, which is building 30 artificial lakes in the surrounding desert area. No one expects the new landscape to rival the Serengeti, but it ought to provide indigenous animals with a habitat – even if rather unnatural. If all goes well it will also boost environmental tourism and act as a model for solving problems of water scarcity, officials said yesterday. The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) plans to construct the lakes in ...  >>MORE

EAD Discovers the Largest Breeding Colony of Greater Flamingo in the South of Arabian Gulf

Posted on 14/09/2009

A new breeding colony of the Greater Flamingo was recently discovered by a team of biologists from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD). The colony was discovered within the 'Bu Al Siaief' Marine Protected Area, during a routine monitoring survey of the coastal areas west of Abu Dhabi Emirate. EAD regularly monitors important sites and key species such as flamingo to keep collecting data, to assess the current situation, and to develop a strategic plan to identify priorities for ...  >>MORE

New hope for survival of Arabian Oryx in wild

Posted on 06/09/2009

While some questions have been raised about the long-term success of a joint Emirati-Jordanian project to reintroduce endangered Arabian Oryx into the wild, experts have defended the conservation efforts. The project in Jordan's Wadi Rum is the latest in a series of schemes to reintroduce the animal into the wild. The small ungulate variety was once populous across the Arabian peninsula but became officially extinct in the wild in 1972 as a result of over-hunting and the destruction of its ...  >>MORE

Centre helps traumatised big cats

Posted on 29/08/2009

The past still haunts two tigers at Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC). They are afraid of entering their small feeding area in the corner of their spacious enclosure. "It seems they fear being caught in a cramped cage again, from where they were rescued. So & they go without food for two or three days, being reluctant to enter the feeding area," Rone'l Barcellos, the manager of the centre told Gulf News. The centre is located near Al Watbha, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city. Barcellos ...  >>MORE

Al Ain Wildlife Park launches all night zoo during Ramadan

Posted on 27/08/2009

For the first time in its 40-year history, Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort has launched an all night zoo and has invited people to observe the nocturnal behaviour of animals. The park will open its gates from 9pm to 2am during Ramadan, giving an opportunity to the public to watch a demonstration where penguins are fed. There will be other demonstrations at the Arabian and African mixed exhibits, said an official of the park yesterday. The visitors will also be able to see birds of prey in ...  >>MORE

Dubai Zoo's unrelenting efforts pay off with birth of rare baby giraffe

Posted on 08/08/2009

A rare baby giraffe was born at Dubai Zoo on Thursday. The latest arrival at the Beach Road enclosure is due to the efforts of the zoo team, which is administrated by Dubai Municipality's Public Parks and Agricultural Department. Saleh Al Najar, deputy director of the Dubai Zoo, said this type of giraffe rarely ever reproduces in captivity. He said: "This giraffe inhibits savannas and grasslands in Africa and the southern desert. However, the efforts of the zoo team in providing a [more] ...  >>MORE

UAE releasess 20 Arabian Oryx in Jordan's Wadi Rum

Posted on 31/07/2009

Twenty Arabian Oryx (8 males and 12 females) were released yesterday (Wednesday July 29, 2009) by the United Arab Emirates in the Wadi Rum Protected Area of Jordan. The release is part of HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces' initiative to reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitat in Jordan. The project began when the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), which chairs the Coordinating Committee for ...  >>MORE

20 Arabian Oryx released in Jordan

Posted on 30/07/2009

The UAE released twenty Arabian Oryx in the Wadi Rum Protected Area in Jordan. According to a statement from the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), eight males and 12 females were reintroduced into their natural habitat in Hashemite Kingdom. The Oryx release came after eight decades of extinction in Jordan. The animals will be monitored by satellite, tracking their movement and behaviour. A similar programme is being developed to reintroduce the species into Iraq. – Gulf News ...  >>MORE

Great deserts at your doorstep

Posted on 21/06/2009

An ambitious project is under way here to transform a traditional zoo into a wildlife park that will replicate the world's great deserts. It would be the largest wildlife park in the Middle East and the only one of its kind in the world. "It's the hottest thing going on in the zoo world,” says Mike Maunder, director of collections, conservation, horticulture and education at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, formerly known as Al Ain Zoo. `The project promises to display the animals, plants ...  >>MORE

UAE regulates import of live livestock from blue tongue-affected countries

Posted on 18/05/2009

UAE Minister of Environment and Water H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad issued yesterday a resolution to regulate import of live animals and their by-products from countries which reporting cases of the blue tongue disease. The ministerial resolution sets conditions for import of live animals, sperm, ova, and embryos according to regulations laid down by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The resolution followed reports issued by the OIE on appearance of the disease in live animals ...  >>MORE

IFHC signs agreement with Iraq's Environment Ministry

Posted on 06/05/2009

The international Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) yesterday signed an agreement with Iraqi Environment Ministry on preservation, monitoring and breeding in captivity of Houbara bustards in Iraq. The agreement is in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to boost population of Houbara bustard in the region and across areas of their spread. It is also part of the UAE's efforts to preserve the dwindling Houbara population in the wild due to ...  >>MORE

UAE, Yemen join hands to conserve wildlife

Posted on 05/05/2009

The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AAWLPR) announced on Monday the signing of a partnership agreement with Taiz Zoo in the Republic of Yemen to conserve wildlife. The agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi by Majid Al Mansouri, managing director of AAWLPR, and Abdul Hakim Mohamed Ahmed Seif, general executive manager of Taiz Zoo. Majid Al Mansouri said the agreement with Taiz Zoo has been finalised to reinforce AAWPR's commitment to partnering with conservation organisations both ...  >>MORE

Sharjah centre finds success with captive breeding programmes

Posted on 02/05/2009

Captive breeding programmes at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife at Sharjah Desert Park have ensured that animals extinct in the wild are being kept alive. The Arabian Oryx is extinct in the wild but through extensive breeding programmes the captive population has bounced back to more than 5,000. Paul Vercammen, Operations Manager at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife at Sharjah Desert Park works to educate visitors on natural habitats. "If you go in the ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre to open doors to public

Posted on 11/04/2009

Cheetahs Jeanie and Bolt suffered from malnutrition, stress and dehydration when they were first found with an owner who kept them as home-pets, the third cheetah died before it could be rescued. The newly born cheetahs were treated at the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC) after being smuggled into the UAE; even though Jeanie was close to dying, she and her brother Bolt were medically treated and given a second chance to survive. The cheetahs currently share a spacious cage with an option to ...  >>MORE

Bird-watchers rally to support winged friends

Posted on 28/03/2009

During the winter migration period, the UAE has always featured as a stopover for thousands of birds thanks to the warm climate it offers, but the development boom is resulting in fewer areas for the birds to land. Dubai's Ras Al Khor bird sanctuary is home to up to 153 bird species spotted by members of the well-established bird watching community. "It's the only area sign-posted," Tommy Pedersen, a pilot and official bird recorder of the Emirates Bird Recording Committee, said. "But ...  >>MORE

Flock of Houbara Bustards released into the wild

Posted on 12/03/2009

A flock of 209 houbaras bred in captivity at the Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP) in Missour, Morocco has been released to the wild in Libya. The initiative carried out as per directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and follow up from General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces comes within the framework of reintroducing the endangered species into the wild. Deputy ...  >>MORE

Sheikh Hamdan hints about plans to restore sustainable houbara population

Posted on 07/03/2009

Deputy Prime Minister HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the International Fund for Houbara Conservation is about to evolve a comprehensive global strategy for producing over 50,000 houbara bustards with an aim of increasing the bird's population in their natural habitats, which stretch from North Africa to Central Asia. The International Fund for Houbara Conservation was set up last year as an initiative of the Abu Dhabi government. Sheikh Hamdan spoke about the Fund's future ...  >>MORE

Flamingos flock to Al Nujoom Islands in Sharjah

Posted on 01/03/2009

Various birds and marine animals have started gathering at Al Nujoom Islands after reclamation works on the project were completed and breakwaters, which form the outline of the floating islands, were put in place. The existence and proliferation of animals in a place is proof that the environment is sound and healthy. At Al Hanoo, we want to develop projects that support animal life, without any present or future consequences to the environment, claimed Said Sheik Abdullah bin Fahid Al ...  >>MORE

Development endangers birdlife

Posted on 11/02/2009

Rare birds are in harm's way as many wetlands in the Middle East face encroaching development, scientists and environmentalists warned yesterday. Scientists from across the region and overseas gathered in Sharjah as part of a three-day event organised by the emirate's Environment and Protected Areas Authority to discuss the status of local shorebirds. For the past 10 years, the Conservation Workshop for the Fauna of Arabia has been held annually to address the conservation status of various ...  >>MORE

Insect discoveries create a buzz

Posted on 08/02/2009

The discovery of mayflies, parasitic wasps and fruit flies may not mean much to most people. But to specialists working in the field of conservation, finding 85 previously unknown insect species in the UAE is a landmark breakthrough in efforts to better understand the country's unique biodiversity. The insects play a vital role in distinctive ecosystems across the country, such as that at Wadi Wurayah. Tucked into the hills close to Fujairah, the wadi has pools, streams and waterfalls bursting ...  >>MORE

Endangered Arabian leopard’s hopes of survival get a boost

Posted on 25/01/2009

Crouching behind a rock, Hector, a four-year-old Arabian leopard, eyes onlookers suspiciously. Three months after arriving at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, he is still a little shy around visitors. Hector was born in captivity at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah. So far, his contact with humans has mostly been limited to a keeper and veterinary staff. If he settles well in Al Ain, Hector's caretakers plan to bring in a female leopard from another centre in ...  >>MORE

Ministry bans importation of live birds from South Africa, ruminants from Madagascar

Posted on 23/01/2009

All live birds from South Africa and ruminants from Madagascar will not be allowed into the UAE. The Minister of Environment and Water, Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd has issued a ministerial decree banning the importation of all live birds and ruminants, their products and wastes from the two African countries. The decree called on the ministry's Department of Animal Resources and all related administrative units to coordinate with the concerned bodies in the country to effect the implementation ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Rescued lion cubs show huge improvement


Rescued lion cubs find their feet with better health


Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre offers to rehome rescued lion cubs


EAD and China's State Forestry Administration sign agreement to conserve houbara bustard


Plastic waste endangers wildlife


Solar-powered plants to desalt water for animals


American bird arrives in Abu Dhabi


Hyena cubs born in UAE's Sir Bani Yas Island


Al Ain zoo has reason to purr after birth of two sand cats


70 captive-bred houbara released in the Western Region


Al Ain aims to help save white lions


Designated camp sites planned


Rare vultures comfortably perched at Al Ain zoo


Endangered addax's birth boosts conservation efforts


Officials foil bid to smuggle houbaras into UAE


Al Ain's oryx may hold key to breeding programme


Scientists discover rare wild cat in Fujairah wadi


Al Ain helps return rare Oryx to wild


Ecologists get together to save Oryx


Abu Dhabi plans desert lakes to save wildlife


EAD Discovers the Largest Breeding Colony of Greater Flamingo in the South of Arabian Gulf


New hope for survival of Arabian Oryx in wild


Centre helps traumatised big cats


Al Ain Wildlife Park launches all night zoo during Ramadan


Dubai Zoo's unrelenting efforts pay off with birth of rare baby giraffe


UAE releasess 20 Arabian Oryx in Jordan's Wadi Rum


20 Arabian Oryx released in Jordan


Great deserts at your doorstep


UAE regulates import of live livestock from blue tongue-affected countries


IFHC signs agreement with Iraq's Environment Ministry


UAE, Yemen join hands to conserve wildlife


Sharjah centre finds success with captive breeding programmes


Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre to open doors to public


Bird-watchers rally to support winged friends


Flock of Houbara Bustards released into the wild


Sheikh Hamdan hints about plans to restore sustainable houbara population


Flamingos flock to Al Nujoom Islands in Sharjah


Development endangers birdlife


Insect discoveries create a buzz


Endangered Arabian leopard’s hopes of survival get a boost


Ministry bans importation of live birds from South Africa, ruminants from Madagascar