ABU DHABI // Fifteen female Arabian oryx have been relocated from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi's breeding centre to an open area in the Liwa desert, officials announced today.
The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and the environment agency moved the animals, which are part of an endangered species, to a secure enclosure in an area near the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara development, the TDIC announced.
Additionally, five 5 male oryx will be moved to the enclosure in the future. The animals will remain there for a year before they are released back into the wild. The relocation is part of the Government of Abu Dhabi's larger plan to release more native species from breeding centres back into their natural habitats.
The oryx will be monitored to ensure they become accustomed to their new environment and remain healthy in their new home, officials said.
"We have succeeded in re-introducing this symbolic species back into their natural habitat after being extinct from the wild for such a long time," said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, deputy executive director of the biodiversity management sector at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD). "This has been made possible thanks to the far-sighted vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who launched the Arabian oryx's first conservation initiative by establishing a breeding programme in 1968 in Al Ain Zoo.
"EAD is committed to supporting and facilitating Arabian oryx initiatives and re-introduction programmes in partnership with other entities and agencies in the emirate, such as TDIC, as well as with other countries in the region."