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Mohammed releases 170 houbara bustards

(Wam) / 1 January 2011

Shaikh Mohammed releases 170 captive-bred Asian Houbara bustards at the Al Maha desert sanctuary in the emirate on Friday.

DUBAI - His Highness Shaikh 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 of the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation at the Al Maha desert sanctuary in the emirate.

Twenty of the released birds were tagged so that they can be tracked by satellites.

The release of the birds is part of  the support by Shaikh Mohammed to the strategy of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to increase the birdís population and relocate them in the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Peninsula and to protect the environment.

Explaining the reasons for choosing the Al-Maha sanctuary for releasing the birds, Director-General of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation Mohammed Saleh Al-Baidhani said the area provides food, suitable weather conditions and habitat for the birds.

He also explained the breeding techniques, tracking of the tagged birds and the use of data for future releases.

Present at the release ceremony were Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Lt-General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and officials from the International Fund for Houbara Conservation.

As many as 882 Asian houbara bustards were released in 2010 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of a programme to relocate the birds in the UAE which is a natural habitat for large numbers of this species.

 
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