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20 Houbara Bustards join Bani Yas Island.

Classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, the birds have been currently placed near the Arabian Wildlife Park.

Abu Dhabi -- Sir Bani Yas, the award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's western region, has welcomed 20 Houbara Bustards (Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii) to its thrilling wildlife population.

The introduction of these unique birds is the result of joint efforts led by the Department of Presidential Affairs, the Sir Bani Yas Conservation Team and Barari Forest Management -- which manages the fauna and flora on the island on behalf of TDIC. Classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, the birds have been currently placed near the Arabian Wildlife Park.

"We're proud that Sir Bani Yas' strong conservation record has set it apart as a place to implement successful wildlife initiatives, building on the vision that the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had for the island. We are also pleased to be a part of the efforts being undertaken to save the Houbara, which are an important bird species in the UAE. The flock will be strictly monitored and we hope the birds will begin to breed, which would be a great achievement for all involved in this important project," said Marius Prinsloo, general manager of Sir Bani Yas corporate operations.

Houbara Bustards can be identified by their mottled brown top and white underside, with black stripes along their neck.

Malik Rapaie, Manager Wildlife and Conservation Services for Barari Forrest Management, said: "Releasing a species into the wild requires the involvement of multi-phased procedures and conditioning to train it to survive in such environments. To ensure they are successfully re-wilded, the birds have been placed in a well-designed area where they will be trained to acquire the vital skills for their survival. Afterwards, the flock will be released into the Arabian Wildlife Park to establish their own breeding sites. Currently, the birds are being vigilantly monitored by wildlife biologists and veterinarians from the Barari Conservation Team to assess their adaptation to the Island's climate."

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 13, 2015
Words:362
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