Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Greater Flamingo numbers in the UAE are also considered healthy, although many of its wetland habitats are under threat from development.
Greater Flamingo numbers in the UAE are also considered healthy, although many of its wetland habitats are under threat from development.

Patter of tiny flamingo feet in Abu Dhabi for first time in a decade

Greater Flamingos are breeding again in an Abu Dhabi wetland reserve for the first time in a decade.

ABU DHABI // Flamingos are breeding in Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve for the first time in almost a decade.

Established in 1998, the protected area is home to almost 1,600 Greater Flamingos.

In routine monitoring of the reserve, scientists at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (Ead) recorded the presence of 90 chicks.

More are expected to hatch in the coming days, the agency said yesterday.

The Greater Flamingo is the largest of all flamingo species, standing up to 150cm tall.

It has a long, slender neck and plumage that goes from white to pinkish in colour. The pink colour of the plumage comes from substances in their food.

In contrast to their brightly coloured parents, the chicks are usually grey.

Because of its broad distribution, the Greater Flamingo is not considered threatened globally. Its numbers in the UAE are also considered healthy, although many of its wetland habitats are under threat from development.

"The breeding by flamingos in this reserve is further evidence that protecting such areas is crucial in the preservation of our biodiversity," said Razan Al Mubarak, the secretary general of Ead.

Flamingos are known to breed in Shahama and in Bul Sayeef, a protected area. Both are in Abu Dhabi but the colonies also depend on wetlands in Dubai, Ras al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain to survive. Flamingos travel the length of the coastline in search of food.

Ead reported last week that four of the country's most important wetlands are under threat from development: Bul Sayeef in Abu Dhabi; Ras al Khor in Dubai; Khor al Beidah in Umm al Qaiwain; and Khor al Khawair in Ras al Khaimah. They are all important feeding grounds for the Greater Flamingo and many other species of waterbirds.

vtodorova@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National