Abu Dhabi records biggest flamingo hatch, with 876 chicks spotted
Abu Dhabi - The tall, wading birds have been regularly breeding at Al Wathba Reserve since 2011.
Some 876 fluffy flamingo chicks have been spotted wading in the waters of Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Reserve. It was the biggest hatch ever sighted in the sanctuary, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has said.
Flamingos began building their nests at the reserve around March 15, when EAD observers saw the first egg. The current breeding season started nearly two weeks earlier than the usual period.
The tall, wading birds have been breeding in Al Wathba regularly since 2011 but this year's hatch has been the biggest so far. In 2019, 714 chicks were successfully raised from the same colony.
"The continued breeding of flamingos in Al Wathba is a significant milestone in our efforts to protect our emirate's biodiversity. The news of the record numbers during the Covid-19 movement restrictions is a positive indicator, especially when several activities have come to a standstill," said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, secretary-general of EAD.
The record-breaking flamingo breeding activity in Abu Dhabi serves as another example of how wildlife flourished when human activity was put on pause in the time of Covid-19, she said. It adds to the increased wildlife sightings that have been reported from around the world.
"Flamingos are the flagship species of Al Wathba Reserve and their breeding is followed closely by people in the region. At the same time, breeding during the past decade has seen growing interest both from the public and wildlife scientists monitoring their breeding patterns," Dr Al Dhaheri said.
Al Wathba Wetland is the only site in the Arabian Peninsula where flamingos have bred more than once. It was declared as a reserve in 1998 by the country's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and established as a protected area after the first successful breeding of flamingos.