Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Environment Authority in Abu Dhabi .. The Environment Agency, in cooperation with the Municipality of Al Dhafra Region, launched a new group of Arabian Oryx in the Houbara Reserve managed by the Authority. In Al Dhafra region, it extends over a total area of 774 square kilometers, and this group is considered the first among 100 heads that will be launched in stages within the reserve.
This release represents an important step for the resettlement of the Arabian oryx and enhancing their numbers in the wild, and it is part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s program for the resettlement of the Arabian Oryx, which is supervised by the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi and aims to release the Arabian Oryx in its natural habitats within vast reserves within the areas in which it previously lived. And the formation of growing herds capable of self-reliance and free roaming in their natural habitats under effective management and a long-term protection plan.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan affirmed that the release of the Arabian Oryx into the wild is a moment of pride for us as the emirate is committed to preserving wildlife and endangered species, noting that efforts to resettle the Arabian Oryx began in Al Ain in 1968 when the late deceased was issued. The father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, “may God rest his soul,” has instructed him to set up programs to protect the Arabian Oryx and to breed them in captivity to protect them from extinction and to resettle them in captivity, which continued with the launch of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces For the resettlement of the Arabian Oryx in 2007, which is part of the Abu Dhabi government’s vision to establish a regional herd that will supplement all programs for the resettlement of the Arabian Oryx in the countries of expansion.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, “During the past years, the UAE, specifically Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s program to resettle the Arabian Oryx, has played a pivotal role in protecting the Arabian Oryx, preserving it from extinction and enhancing its numbers in the wild, which resulted in changing its status in the Red List of the World Conservation Union. Nature from “endangered” to “endangered” in 2011, which is considered one of the most important achievements in the field of reintroduction of species at the global level. “
Her Excellency Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi, said that within the framework of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s program for the resettlement of the Arabian Oryx, the Authority has over the past years implemented a reproduction and re-release program for the Arabian Oryx in the UAE, where the oryx was released in the Arabian Oryx Reserve, which includes Today, more than 800 heads live freely within the borders of the reserve.
She added, “Groups of Arabian Oryx were also launched in Qasr Al Sarab Reserve, and today the program is one of the most successful species preservation programs in the world as it contributed to increasing their numbers in areas of its spread, including increasing its numbers in the UAE, which today hosts more than 10,000 head of 5000.” One of them is in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is the largest group of Arabian Oryx in the world.
Dr. Sheikha Al Dhaheri affirmed that the authority is committed to preserving the Arabian oryx at the regional level, as the implementation of the plan for the reproduction and relaunch of the Arabian Oryx was not limited to the UAE, but extended to reach the Sultanate of Oman and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where hundreds of them were released within its natural and historical spread.
She indicated that within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Commission and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature regarding a project to develop a vital herd of Arabian Oryx in the Shumary Wildlife Reserve – the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 60 heads of Arabian Oryx will be released into the Shomary Wildlife Reserve, and to ensure their adaptation to the region’s environment. The authority hosts the General Secretariat for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx, which was established in 2001 as a regional initiative emanating from the Coordinating Committee for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx. Its goal is to coordinate and unify efforts to conserve the Arabian oryx in the countries of expansion in the Arabian Peninsula through the implementation of a regional strategy to create sustainable groups of Arabian oryx free and free within Its historical range of spread.
She emphasized that the authority is keen to provide high genetic diversity within the launch group, as it has taken the necessary steps to establish a “global herd” for the Arabian Oryx at the Dalija Wildlife Management Center in Abu Dhabi to ensure the sustainability and continuity of future generations of the Arabian Oryx and to protect its numbers from the negative effects of inbreeding in the long run.