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.
(04/22/2009) War-wearied Afghanis received uplifting news on Earth Day this year. Their nation has announced the creation of the nation’s first national park, Band-e-Amir, protecting a one-of-a-kind landscape encompassing six sky-blue lakes separated by natural dams. Announced by Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) at a ceremony in the FAO Building at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Kabul this morning, key funding for the park was provided by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
(11/17/2008) This week almost 500 mosques around the Malaysian state of Terengganu will present sermons on turtle conservation, reported the New Strait Times.