New park in United Arab Emirates to protect rare mammals

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
April 28, 2009





With only 2,500 individuals in the wild, the Arabian tahr is certainly in need of the sanctuary just established by the United Arab Emirates. The country’s first mountain reserve, Wadi Wurayah Fujairah covers 129 square kilometers (80 square miles).

Listed as endangered by the IUCN red list, the Arabian tahr is the smallest tahr species in the world. Tahrs are relatives of wild goats. Researchers also hold-out hope that the new park remains home to the Arabian leopard. Listed as critically-endangered and perhaps extinct in the United Arab Emirates, the Arabian leopard is a smaller subspecies of the leopard. Both species are threatened by overhunting and development.

“Wadi Wurayah is of considerable ecological significance allowing among the rarest species found in the UAE, Arabian Peninsular and the world to survive this harsh climate,” said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF), which helped with the park creation. “Over the past 3 years, we have revealed the presence of 12 species of mammals, 73 species of birds, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and one species of fish and 74 invertebrate families, of which 11 are new species for science.” In addition, 300 species of plants have been discovered in the park.

The park was established by a decree from His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, following a three years survey of the area by EWS-WWF and the Fujairah Municipality. According to a poll, the park’s creation was significantly supported by locals.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (April 28, 2009).

New park in United Arab Emirates to protect rare mammals.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0428-hance_uae.html