The 2nd of December – World Wildlife Conservation Day
Several organisations and initiatives in the UAE are active to protect the original Wildlife and the imported Wildlife in this country.
Wildlife in the UAE
Although a desert with really high temperatures in summer, many kinds of wildlife habitat in the UAE.
Mammals like bats, rodents, carnivores and ungulates live in the desert or mountains. Its seas are home to a large population of dugongs, whales and dolphins
Over 54 species of reptile, like lizards and snakes, are known to occur here. The waters of the UAE are home to big populations of marine turtles which breed on the sandy beaches.
Over 100 species of birds breed here, and huge numbers of migration birds visit the UAE on their way from Europe to Asia and Africa. In total over 450 bird species have been spotted.
Over 500 species of Marine fish have been recorded through the years off the coast of the UAE, including 29 species of sharks.
And of course, thousands of species of insects, spiders, scorpions and other arthropods live in the desert, the mountains and our gardens.
Wildlife conservation in the UAE
Protection of wildlife and endangered species has and needs global attention. In the UAE there are several organisations active in keeping the local wildlife species alive. These are some of them:
Born out of the need to protect biodiversity in the main regions across the UAE, to raise awareness on the high Ecological Footprint of the UAE and to address environmental issues.
One of their many initiatives is, for instance, Gulf Green Turtle Conservation. Read more about this: http://uae.panda.org/what_we_do/conserving_biodiversity/gulf_green_turtle_conservation/
Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is an exciting development that facilitates growth in Al Ain and preserves the heritage and natural wildlife in the UAE from impending extinction. The core Zoo includes a children’s Zoo and the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, showcasing the conservation efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed. The centre serves to raise awareness of sustainable living in a desert environment. Aside from the natural habitats the wildlife park includes animal safaris, displaying the desert and arid zones of Africa, Arabia and Asia.
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve with Al Maha Desert Reserve and Spa at its centre is UAE’s first National Park. It cares for and nurtures for nearly 5% of Dubai’s total Land Area and conserves the remaining wildlife of Dubai. It is known for re-introducing free roaming herds of the endangered oryx and other desert wildlife.
Founded in 2013, the Middle East Animal Foundation (MEAF) is the first formally registered non-profit animal welfare organisation in Dubai, UAE.
MEAF was set up to improve public awareness towards the importance of animal welfare, help prevent animal cruelty and abuse, help prevent illegal trade of rare and domestic animals, urge competent authorities to initiate and enforce wildlife protection laws and to provide support and guidance plans.
Development of new strategy on Animal Welfare, by better controlling import and developing stronger rules against keeping of endangered species and wildlife. Increasing protection of original UAE livestock heritage, both on land and in the sea. Ensuring respect in dealing with animals of all sorts and animal wellbeing in general at all times.