x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Bustard hatchling is first of the season in Abu Dhabi

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) announces the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the season.

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) announces the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the season, which hatched on February 6 at the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan.
The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) announces the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the season, which hatched on February 6 at the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan.

The first captive-bred houbara bustard hatched this season on February 6 in Abu Dhabi, said the International Fund for Houbara Conservation.

The houbara bustard chick hatched at the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan, one of several facilities supported by the Abu Dhabi-based fund.

This year, the goal of the centre is to produce 12,000 Asian houbara bustards, some of which will then be released into the wild.

Between October 2011 to March last year the centre released 1,400 birds in the UAE.

Before release, many of the bustards are fitted with radio or satellite transmitters so that researchers can track their movements and learn about the birds' behaviour.

Besides its work in the UAE, the fund has centres in Morocco and Kazakhstan where the rare birds are also bred and released.

In the wild, houbara bustards live in steppes, desert and semi-desert areas in Central Asia and North Africa. Its shy predisposition and camouflaged sandy coloured plumage make it difficult to spot in the wild.

It has long been prized as a game bird by falconers, and has come under pressure in the Arabian Gulf and other parts of the world.

vtodorova@thenational.ae