Online platform to boost Arabian Oryx conservation efforts

ABU DHABI: The General Secretariat for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx, hosted by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, has launched its website, in a bid to enhance cooperation efforts across the region to help protect the species.

The website aims to provide researchers, members of the General Secretariat and the general public with a platform to connect on matters related to the Arabian Oryx.

The bi-lingual website features the latest Arabian Oryx statistics, history, physical characteristics, diet, behaviour, habitat, and distribution range and conservation initiatives in the region. Its interactive blogs and forums allow users to engage and contribute to discussions about this iconic species.

Dr. Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, Director of Terrestrial Biodiversity at EAD, said, “The U.A.E. considers restoring Arabian Oryx herds to their native habitats a priority that is in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed s Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Project which was launched in 2007. We are proud to host the General Secretariat and to support the Government of Abu Dhabi s conservation efforts of this vulnerable species.

This region is the only native habitat of the Arabian Oryx. This unique antelope species used to roam freely in the plains and deserts and is capable of adapting to the unique and arid environment.” The General Secretariat for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx was established in 2001 following the International Abu Dhabi Conference for the Arabian Oryx hosted by the United Arab Emirates. It is a regional initiative aimed at coordinating and unifying the conservation efforts of the Arabian Oryx in the Arabian Peninsula.

So far, the region s conservation efforts have achieved international recognition and have resulted in a major success for the species, when its threat category was changed from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011.