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Abu Dhabi rolls out red list of wildlife species

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Abu Dhabi - A total of 244 species were assessed, including 101 plants, 49 birds, nine marine species, 32 terrestrial mammals, 25 invertebrates, 26 reptiles and two amphibians

By Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 21 Sep 2021, 4:12 PM

The first ever Abu Dhabi Red List of Wildlife Species, (AD-RLS) has been brought out by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD). It is an assessment of the threat status of the emirate’s terrestrial and marine species.

The list is the outcome of a project undertaken by the agency to understand and assess the risk faced by groups of species found in Abu Dhabi.

A total of 244 species were assessed, including 101 plants, 49 birds, nine marine species, 32 terrestrial mammals, 25 invertebrates, 26 reptiles and 2 amphibians. Out of the 244 species assessed, 74 are under different threat categories, such as critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable.

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Dr Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD's secretary-general, said: “The Abu Dhabi Red List is a welcome addition to our knowledge on the threat status of species found in Abu Dhabi. The list is based on the internationally recognised Red List Criteria, developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the assessments of threat status have gone through extensive external review from a team of experts from the IUCN, the Red List Authority, and independent experts.

‘‘Abu Dhabi has a rich diversity of species and has some of the most important species. Their populations are effectively protected by the agency through managing the largest network in the region of protected areas to conserve endangered species and their natural habitats. However, understanding the risk and evaluating the threats faced by them as well as other species, will help us better protect them.’’

Ahmed Al Hashmi, acting executive director, terrestrial and marine biodiversity sector, said: ‘‘The list has been long overdue, and it is an important addition to our understanding of the threats to the species in line with the global standards of IUCN.

“The list also complements the National Red List development. undertaken by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and is consistent with the development of such lists at local, national and regional levels.”

Dr Salim Javed, acting director, terrestrial biodiversity and manager of the Red List Project at EAD, said: “The list is the outcome of the evaluation of extinction risk of over 244 species, based on quantitative criteria. It is an important first step towards understanding the conservation status of Abu Dhabi’s biodiversity.

“With 30 per cent of the total assessed species classified as threatened, the Abu Dhabi Red List will help the agency prioritise conservation actions for some of the most threatened species in the emirate, which may include developing more systematic monitoring as well specie-specific conservation action plans in order to protect them Dr Javed added.”


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