Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

Twelve Houbara birds smuggled into UAE in car tyre

Customs officers discovered the endangered birds alive and well

Twelve Houbara birds were found alive inside a tyre at the border with Oman
Twelve Houbara birds were found alive inside a tyre at the border with Oman

Customs officers in Ras Al Khaimah have foiled an attempt to smuggle 12 live Houbara birds into the UAE inside a car tyre.

The endangered birds were placed inside small plastic bags in pairs before being tucked into the ripped wall of a spare wheel.

The houbara bustard, which falconers have traditionally hunted throughout the Gulf region, is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

For years their numbers had been in decline due to poaching and unregulated hunting, but over the last decade various conservation projects have helped increase their population.

______________

Read more:

European falconers recall charm of Sheikh Zayed: 'If there was a room, he filled it'

UAE's hunters agree that endangered wildlife must be protected

How illegal bird hunting in the Arab world could drive species to extinction

______________

Customs officers in RAK are understood to have discovered the birds in a vehicle at the Al Darah border crossing with Oman.

The spare tyre which the birds were hidden in is thought to have been in the vehicle's boot.

Smuggling Houbara birds is illegal under UAE law and is punishable by a maximum jail term of six months as well as a fine of up to Dh50,000.

Over the past 40 years, the Emirates has been involved in a number of projects aimed at restoring their population in the region.

Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father of the UAE, initiated a breeding programme in 1982 and around 350,000 chicks have since been bred and released.

In 2006, the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) was set up by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to accelerate the country’s conservation efforts.

Updated: January 28, 2019 01:31 PM

SHARE

SHARE