Abu Dhabi: Sir Bani Yas Island, the award-winning nature reserve developed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), witnessed the birth of an endangered Arabian tahr, bringing the total population of the species at the wildlife reserve to four.
TDIC has celebrated the milestone and attributed this achievement to the cooperation between the environment and protection teams based on the island. TDIC also commended the commitment shown by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, as well as the environmental life and forests workshop in overseeing the care of wildlife on the island.
The gestation period for the newborn female tahr was 4.5 months. The newborn tahr will remain under the care of its mother for three to four months, following which the tahr begins to fend for itself and forage on its own at the age of two years old.
This new addition to the park’s tahr family, which now consists of two males and two females, is a result of a comprehensive environment strategy that was spearheaded by the TDIC team in line with international standards in order to achieve the goals set out for its breeding and resettlement program.
TDIC acquired the animals from Al Bustan Zoological Centre in Sharjah – a non-profit wildlife preserve. As part of the agreement between the two institutions, the tahr would live in an environment similar to their natural habitat that would prepare the animals for their return to the wild for breeding.
“Protecting the environment is one of the top priorities for TDIC. As an institution that makes significant contributions towards the preservation of land and marine wildlife in Abu Dhabi and its reserves, we are proud of this achievement, which was made possible through our close cooperation with our partners, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi as well as our talented staff,” TDIC in a statement said.
“This success was made possible due to the vision of the nation’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who sought to provide a suitable environment for preserving rare and endangered local fauna and flora. Our wildlife breeding and resettlement program has already facilitated an increase in the numbers of specimens among endangered species in Bani Yas Island.”
The breeding of Arabian tahr began for the first time on Sir Bani Yas Island in the 1990s as part of a campaign to reintroduce indigenous Arabian animals to the wild, and was launched by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Arabian tahr is one of the indigenous species of the Al Hajar mountains range, which is located between the United Arab Emirates and Oman. It is a horned mammal with a short, full body, and has been listed on the Red List of Threatened Species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.