Arabian Oryx are thriving in Abu Dhabi, conservation efforts pay off

The numbers of Arabian oryx had increased by 22 per cent since the last aerial survey in March 2017. Courtesy, Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi

Arabian Oryx are thriving in Abu Dhabi as UAE’s largest nature reserve increased by more than a fifth in less than four years. This is following the efforts of Mohamed bin Zayed Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Programme.

Environment Agency Abu Dhabi carried out an aerial survey of the 6,000-square-kilometre Al Dhafra reserve to assess the success of ongoing conservation efforts.

The desert antelope had been hunted to verge of extinction in the 1970s.

“Arabian oryx is an iconic species of the desert landscape and a symbol of our cultural heritage, and was almost hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 1970s and only survived in captivity,” said Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, secretary general of the EAD.

“Thanks to extensive captive breeding of the species undertaken by the late Sheikh Zayed, the species was saved.This project has become an example to be followed across the world and represents great success for protection and captive-breeding programmes,” she added.

Chronic Multi-tasker | Born and raised in UAE