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Global Gathering of Scientists Learn about UAE’s Success in Conservation of Endangered Wildlife

Date : 24/04/2018

Description :

Over 100 of the world’s experts in migratory bird species meeting in Abu Dhabi

 

Abu Dhabi, 24 April 2018: The UAE’s efforts in saving endangered species was the centrepiece of the opening of a major conservation conference in Abu Dhabi. Yesterday, more than 100 of the world’s leading experts heard from His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and His Excellency Majid Al Mansouri, Managing Director, International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), at a gala dinner at the Park Hyatt hotel, which signified the opening of the BirdLife International ‘Summit For the Flyways’.

The summit brings together some of the world's greatest bird scientists, conservationists, donors and policy influencers under one roof. Participants will hear the latest expert analysis and opinion on migratory birds and the efforts to conserve them and their habitats. The summit is taking place from 24 to 26 April at Yas Island Rotana.

Commenting on the importance of conservation to the UAE, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, “Our commitment to conserving the environment has been a constant theme throughout the history of our nation. This emanates from the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose firmly held belief was that it was essential to preserve it for succeeding generations.

“Due to its geographical location, the UAE is considered one of the most important routes for bird migration and reproduction. The country represents a refuge for a variety of migratory birds, terrestrial and marine, which arrive to the UAE annually, benefiting from the warm weather and the availability of food sources. Around 443 species of birds have been reported in the country, with 240 native and 135 are rare or accidental. Events like the BirdLife summit provide an opportunity for the UAE to share its experience and expertise in conservation, such as the Houbara and the falcon programmes, with the international community”, His Excellency Dr. Thani added.

Abu Dhabi’s IFHC is the host sponsor of the summit and the bustards will be the focus of attention on day 1. IFHC scientists will be presenting the main conservation achievements on the iconic Houbara bustard. His Excellency Majid Al Mansouri, said, “Over the past forty years, Abu Dhabi’s Houbara programme has grown into a major conservation programme, pioneering captive breeding techniques and building a greater understanding of this enigmatic bird. IFHC is proud to be hosting such a global gathering of experts on migratory birds to discuss the most important issues effecting the species survival. The range of the Houbara means that international cooperation is critical if we are to achieve our collective goal of restoring wild populations of the vulnerable Houbara, which is why this summit is so important.”

IFHC manages breeding facilities in three countries (Kazakhstan, Morocco and the UAE), which are now capable of breeding over 50,000 Houbara (of both Asian and North African species) every year. Some of the birds bred in captivity are released to replenish wild populations of the Houbara across its vast range from Morocco to Mongolia. So far, IFHC has released birds in 14 different countries within the Houbara range.

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