Group lauds Al Ain centre's conservation model for Arabian tahr.
Al Ain's Management of Nature Conservation (MNC), operating under the Department of the President's Affairs, was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany in recognition of its dedicated contribution towards saving the Arabian tahr from extinction.
Abdul Jaleel Abdul Rahman Al Blouki, MNC director-general, received the recognition on behalf of Eng Mubarak Sa'ad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of the President's Affairs. The award was given after a two-day independent audit of the centre's system and processes conducted earlier this month.
The Arabian tahr (Arabitragus jayakari) is endemic to northern Oman and the UAE. It is listed as endangered due to a small population size fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, and is considered as possibly extinct in the UAE.
MNC started the cause of protecting the Arabian tahr in 2002 and started its breeding programme the same year. The centre achieved great strides in 2006 when 334 young Arabian tahr were born.
In 2011, MNC made a breakthrough by successfully producing the first ever Arabian tahr through artificial insemination. The centre's current birth rate for the Arabian tahr is pegged at 80 per cent.
During the independent audit, the Review Committee from Germany led by Dr Heribert Hofer assessed the centre's detailed programmes for the Arabian tahr, its state-of-the-art research and diagnostic laboratories, and veterinary division.
Willie Labuschagne, MNC deputy director, said the Review Committee was unanimous in saying that the particular conservation model MNC uses for the conservation of the endangered Arabian tahr should be used worldwide as an example for the conservation of endangered species.
"We wanted an independent audit to check if we're on the right track. And the Review Committee affirmed that the centre is on the right track after a very, very thorough investigation," Labuschagne told Gulf News.
"The team feels incredibly happy because there was no textbook reference for the centre and its programmes here. We created this ourselves so it feels very rewarding," he added.
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|Publication:||Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)|
|Date:||Jul 30, 2013|
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