Narratiive Tags - Khaleej Times Desktop

UAE Releases 20 Oryx in Jordan’s Wadi Rum

Filed on August 1, 2009

ABU DHABI — The UAE has released 20 Arabian Oryx, eight males and 12 females, on Wednesday in the Wadi Rum Protected Area of Jordan.

The release on Wednesday was part of the initiative of General Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to reintroduce the Arabian Oryx to its natural habitat in Jordan.

The project began when the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), which chairs the Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx, and Al Aqaba Special Economic Zone signed a sponsorship agreement in April 2007. Under this agreement, EAD sponsors the $1.1million three-year project which includes reintroducing Arabian Oryx to the Wadi Rum Protected Area, rehabilitating the habitat and helping local residents to improve their living standards.

The animals were transferred earlier this year to Jordan after Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort administered the necessary medical checkups and vaccinations. The 20 animals, which are the first herd to be released in Wadi Rum, were placed in enclosures to give them the opportunity to adapt to the desert habitat. The released animals will be monitored by satellite to track their movement and behaviour to ensure their safety. Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi, Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD, said as part of the country’s long-term commitment to conserve its precious biodiversity, the Arabian Oryx received a large share of the UAE wildlife protection and sustainable development strategy. “In the early 1960s, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, directed the capture of two breeding pairs of the Arabian Oryx for the nucleus of a captive-breeding programme in Al Ain. Hunting and habitat destruction were the main reasons behind the oryx’s disappearance after it had once roamed the Arabian Peninsula,” he added.

Al Bowardi stressed that reintroducing the Arabian Oryx to its natural habitats in Jordan is part of the UAE’s efforts to conserve this species. The species is not only endangered but also an important part of the Arabian Peninsula’s heritage. As part of this initiative, a similar programme is being developed to reintroduce this extinct species to its natural habitats in Iraq.

Today, the UAE hosts the largest group of Arabian Oryx in the world with more than 4,000. The oryx release, which came after eight decades of its extinction in Jordan, was attended by Al Bowardi, Ali Mohammad bin Hammad Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, and Majid Mansouri, EAD’s Secretary-General.

Hosni Abu Ghida, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, and representatives of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as dignitaries and heads of tribes in the Wadi Rum region were also present.

Oryx Factsheet

There are five species of Oryx: Scimitar-horned Oryx, Arabian oryx, and Gemsbock, Addax and Bisa Oryx. The Arabian oryx is the only oryx that exists in this region while the other four species are in Africa

Arabian oryx was officially declared extinct in the wild in 1972 in its last location in Jiddat Al Harasis in Oman.

  • Its long thin horns, which curve backwards slightly, may reach upto 90 cm
  • Its hooves are adapted naturally towards living in sandy areas
  • Expected to live 13-19 years
  • It feeds on grasses and young shoots of shrubs
  • They are able to derive their nutritional water needs from themorning dew on desert plants
  • Herds are led by a dominant female; bachelor males usually lead asolitary life on the fringe of the main herd.

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=KT&date=20100522&category=ARTICLE&lopenr=305229886&Ref=AR&profile=1002 macro_action: article, macro_profile: , macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery