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First Houbara Chick Welcome in the Year of Zayed

Date : 15/02/2018

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The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), one of the world’s leading conservation programmes, has today announced the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the 2018 breeding season. The chick hatched on 27 January at the National Avian Research Centre, in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on the occasion, Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, Director-General of IFHC, said, “Each season we warmly welcome the first Houbara chick into the world, but this year it is very special, as it has arrived during the Year of Zayed. It is only because of Sheikh Zayed that Abu Dhabi has a programme to restore the Houbara. So the first chick to be hatched in the UAE this particular year has a unique place in our hearts.”

The first ever chick to be produced through captive breeding hatched in 1982 and, by 2016, the number of chicks produced annually by the Fund surpassed 50,000. Since its inception, over 350,000 Houbara chicks have been produced in its state-of-the-art facilities. Many of the chicks bred at IFHC’s facilities arereleased into the wild as part of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Houbara Reintroduction Project to restore and support the species in the wild.

Abu Dhabi’s Houbara breeding programme was initiated over forty years ago by the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, and is dedicated to restoring sustainable wild populations of the iconic Houbara bustard across the species’ range. It is responsible for many ground breaking scientific findings, which are incorporated into the breeding and release programme thus ensuring it is one of the world’s most advanced and complete conservation solutions. IFHC also works closely with partners across the Houbara range – which stretches from Morocco to Mongolia – to provide the best chance for future survival of the species, which is central to Arabic culture and heritage.

About The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC)

IFHC was established in 2006 and reorganised by Royal Decree no. 7, 2014 issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The Fund aims to increase wild Houbara populations through its captive breeding and release programme, with on-going monitoring to ensure long-term preservation and genetic variation of the species. IFHC also aims to foster ties with international and regional, governmental and non-governmental bodies to encourage sustainable practices to ensure the conservation of Houbara.

IFHC oversees the management of an international network of specialisedHoubara breeding centers aiming to maintain and increase the birds’ numbers in their natural habitats in range areas. These are:

  • National Avian Research Centre (NARC) –Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP), Kingdom of Morocco
  • Sheikh KhalifaHoubara Breeding Centre (SKHBC-KZ), Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Sheikh KhalifaHoubara Breeding Centre (SKHBC-AD), Abu Dhabi, UAE

 

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