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Wetland Reserve Represents Pristine Site with Complex Ecosystems in Al Wusta.

Mahut, Jan 20 (ONA) --- The Wetland Reserve in the Wilayat of Mahut in the Governorate of Al Wusta (declared by the Royal Decree No. 51/2014), is a pristine site with complex ecosystems and unique biodiversity that make it one of the world's rare reference sites for the study of biodiversity and the sustainable use of wetlands between intertidal zone. It is ranked as one of the top 25 sites of international importance for migratory birds in the Middle East during the winter in the migration route of Asia and East Africa, with an area of CiCi2621 square kilometers.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs is currently coordinating with the relevant authorities to the study declaring the reserve as the second site after the Natural Qurm Reserve in the Governorate of Muscat, which was previously declared as the first site under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in the Sultanate. Work is underway to complete the registration procedures of the site by filling the nomination form. The Sultanate has officially acceded to this agreement under Royal Decree No. 64/2012.

The Wetlands Reserve in the Wilayat of Mahut is a tourist resort for nature lovers, bird watchers and wildlife lovers. It can contribute to the development and growth of the national economy by focusing on determining the economic value of the services and the direct and indirect values CiCiit contains that are related to the sustainability of natural resources.

Bar Al Hakman peninsula forms the largest part of the Wetlands Reserve, consisting of coastal and inland plains of salt, mud flats and some salt-water lakes of unique natural and geological importance overlooking the west coast of Masirah Island.

It enjoys unique natural components. It contains a range of islands, estuaries, Avicennia, nesting and feeding of sea turtles, feeding and mating marine mammals, including rare and endangered Arabian humpback whales, and a range of coral reefs, seagrasses and a number of endemic species that do not exist in other parts of the world, such as (Oman Clown, Carnaval corals, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Green Turtles, Common and Red Sandpiper, vulture, cedar bird and the Curlew bird.

Since the mid-1980s, Bar Al Hakman has become a centre for the study and enumeration of a number of water birds in the Sultanate, which are carried out by volunteers and experts from international organisations. It is concluded from this information that the area with large landfills and salt present therein are of great scientific importance in the migration of birds as one of the major stations in the Middle East during the winter period for thousands of aquatic birds for feeding, rest and reproduction, such as seagulls, sycamores and pterosaurs.

Recent field surveys carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, in cooperation with international experts, revealed an increase in the number of migratory birds visiting the reserve annually, with more than half a million birds during the winter period, and 18 varieties of birds were classified in the species that go beyond (1%) of migratory birds using the migratory route of Asia and Eastern Africa, including Crab Plover, Haematopoidea, Pluvialis apricaria and others.

Bar Al Hakman area also includes the largest natural gathering of Avicennia in the Sultanate along the coast of Mahut Island in Ghubat Hashish. The total area of CiCithese trees is about 162 hectares. There are also two species of marine grass in the Wetlands Reserve in Al Wusta. They represent an important source of production where it is responsible for the ecological and chemical balance of coastal waters and is used by many species of fish, crustaceans and marine grasses in breeding and food.

--- Ends/MN/KH

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Publication:Oman News Agency
Date:Jan 20, 2018
Words:625
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