Arabian oryx now no longer endangered species

ABU DHABI: A U.A.E. paper has said that the once endangered Arabian oryx in the U.A.E. is now no longer so, thanks to the untiring efforts of the Al Ain Zoo.

“The classification of this animal endemic to the region has been changed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature s, IUCN, Red List for threatened species from extinct in the wild to near threatened as a result of the Zoo’s efforts,” said Gulf News in its editorial on Monday.

This is a big triumph for the U.A.E. as, the challenge to stem the tide of extinction of a species in the wild is an onerous one and in undertaking it to such a successful degree, the country has demonstrated its commitment to preserving its flora and fauna.

The Arabian oryx has been on the endangered species list for many decades and in the 1970s, when their numbers in the U.A.E. reached alarmingly dismal numbers there were an estimated five or seven oryx left, the directives of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, spurred the country to devise vigorous propagation programmes for the oryx.

“The degree of commitment to this cause today speaks in impressive numbers, 5,000 oryx have been released by the Al Ain Zoo into the wild,” added the paper.