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Endangered animals in the UAE. Extinction is one of the features associated with living creatures millions of years ago, especially animals. Species of them became extinct and others remained. The greatest example of these were the different types of dinosaurs, which fossils discovered by biologists and geologists tell us about. Countries to reduce this phenomenon and preserve rare and endangered species in their areas and nature reserves, and this applies to the United Arab Emirates, and in our article today on the reference website we will learn about what are the most endangered animals in the Emirates and how they are protected from this phenomenon.

The concept of endangered animals

Endangered animals is a sub-term of a larger comprehensive term, which is the endangered species that includes all living organisms, and both terms refer to a different species or species that can disappear due to several factors that contribute to its annihilation without leaving a successor or heir to it, and extinction is a real danger threatening The environment and the ecosystem. For example, let us imagine that the insects that transmit pollen to flowers for fertilization become extinct. Then a large part of the vegetation cover will be destroyed, and this is an environmental disaster. Plants are the main element in the food chain, and they are a natural source of the oxygen we breathe.[1]

When is an animal in danger of extinction?

The reasons for the extinction of animals

In general, the causes of animal extinction are either natural or unnatural made by humans, and each of them has several causes, namely:

  • Natural causes: They are the reasons related to changes in the general climate or the presence of weak breeds of animals so that they cannot adapt in different environments or the introduction of new species that erase the existence of the original species, in addition to predation by other animals or lack of food, whether it is a plant or animal cover and the outbreak of diseases environmental pollution, water scarcity, etc.
  • Abnormal causes: They are human-made causes, such as cutting down forest trees that are the original habitat of animals, in addition to overfishing, especially in fisheries, or the hybridization of new species, and the search for underground resources or in mining mines leads to extinction resulting from pollution. The environment due to the materials used and emitted from the extraction processes.

types of extinction

There are two types of extinction:

  • Typical or pseudo-extinction: one species may disappear, leaving behind another species of the same lineage that is more developed and adapted to the new environment.
  • Final Extinction: The species disappears completely without leaving behind an ancestor or heir, and this type of extinction either occurs individually for only one species, or collectively for several species in the same environment.

Endangered animals in the UAE

The regions of the Arabian Peninsula, in general, are famous for the presence of types of authentic Arab animals that do not exist in other environments, such as the Arab leopard, the Arabian Oryx and other animals that are the basis of the food chain in the Arabian desert. Some of them are predators and some are prey, but these animals Not all of them are survivors of the danger of extinction, and below we will learn about the most important of these species and the reasons that make them fall into the circle of this danger, in addition to other species that live in other habitats such as the waters of the Arabian Gulf off the coast of the Emirates.[2]

Wild animals threatened with extinction in the UAE

Wild animals in the deserts and plains of the Emirates are part of the authentic Bedouin culture and heritage of this desert region, and some of them are linked to the authenticity of ancient species that exist only in the regions of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula and the United Arab Emirates, including those who are survivors and those below the line of extinction.

  • The Arabian Oryx: It is one of the most famous animals of the desert and steppes in the Emirates and the Gulf countries that was classified as extinct and was rescued and protected in zoos and private reserves. However, these deer remain endangered after they were returned to the wild in the eighties of the last century.
  • Sand deer: They are very distinctive deer in terms of their adaptation to the desert environment, and what distinguishes them is that they can live without water for very long periods and may extend for the length of life, and replace it with the water in the plants they eat, and the biggest threat to their life is predation and lack of food.
  • Mountain Gazelle: This animal prefers mountainous habitats or hills in light forests and desert plateaus. It is a skilled and agile climber. The main factor in the possibility of its extinction is predation by Arab tigers or poaching.
  • Arabian tahr: It is one of the unique species for which the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates are particularly famous, and the remaining number is estimated at about 5,000 animals only. The intense competition between livestock, illegal hunting and habitat degradation through human development have caused the severe extinction of this species.
  • The Arab tiger: It is one of the smallest of the fifteen tiger species found throughout the Arabian Peninsula, and its decline began since the beginning of the nineteenth century by about 90%, and its remaining numbers have been estimated at about 250 tigers only. Prey such as mountain deer and Arab purity.
  • Wild hare: They are desert wild animals par excellence and possess all the necessary specifications to adapt to this environment and the appropriate fur for the color of sand that helps them in camouflage. its extinction.
  • The Arab wolf: The Arab wolf belongs to the genus of wolves, but it differs from it by its high adaptation to the desert environment.
  • Rare Rubble’s Fox: They are small animals and do not exceed half a meter in length. They are also considered mysterious animals, so there are not enough studies about them, and with regard to extinction, although they are not actually classified in the list of animals potentially endangered internationally, local experts warn of the consequences of their extinction. gradual and fast.
  • Hedgehog: The hedgehog or apothecary, as the locals call it, is also considered one of the burrowing animals in the desert and is threatened with extinction, not only because of predation, but also because of human overhunting, as its meat is delicious and expensive.
  • Sand dune cats: These cats live only in sandy deserts, and they are distinguished by their ability to withstand heat and take mechanisms to protect themselves from them, such as digging burrows.

Endangered reptiles in the UAE

Reptiles are among the things that distinguish the desert environment that dominates the majority of the land in the Emirates and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, and they are hunted and preyed upon by birds of prey in that region, in addition to hunting by humans.

  • Spiny-tailed lizard: It is also known by several names such as a lizard, a desert fish, a dragon or a small dinosaur, and its original home is the Emirates and other regions such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. and consume it with food.
  • Abu Dhabi chameleon: It is one of the species that is found in abundance in the Abu Dhabi desert, and was named by this name after it, and what threatens it with extinction is the predation of other animals close to its areas.
  • Sand chameleon: This chameleon is distinguished by its ability to take the color of desert sands, so that it is almost deceived that it exists in the first place. This small reptile constitutes a main food for other reptiles such as desert snakes.

Endangered marine and amphibian animals

The waters of the Arabian Gulf are warm waters, which attract strange and beautiful types of fish, ranging from small fish to large sharks. The biggest threat to this fish is the oil spill from the extraction areas in the Arabian Gulf and overfishing.

  • Dugongs: Also known as the dugong, the largest numbers of these marine animals are found in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of the Emirates, but they are also threatened with extinction due to pollution from the oil spill, which directly affects their habitats.
  • Hawksbill turtle: It lives especially on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, which is a regular nesting place for it. Its number has decreased for several reasons, such as hunting and using its shield in the manufacture of ornaments and jewelry, in addition to the decrease in its nesting sites, lack of nutrition, and the killing of its eggs by other animals.
  • Green turtle: Like its predecessor, this turtle suffers from the same causes that threaten its extinction, especially the few remaining sites for these turtles to nest, feed and breed on the beaches, due to tourism development in addition to their permanent migration paths to search for safe habitats.
  • Hammerhead shark: The length of these sharks is approximately 4.5 meters, and what distinguishes them from other hammerhead sharks is the presence of large fins on their back, and this is what made them endangered. These fins are sold in Asian markets as a popular and popular Asian dish for everyone.
  • Green sawfish: These fish were abundant and abundant in the Gulf waters, and the beginning of a decline in their numbers was not noticed until the early eighties of the last century, due to predation, overfishing and oil pollution.
  • Coral reef shark: It is called the black crest reef shark, and the UAE takes care of this beautiful, graceful and shy species of sharks with great care, due to its scarcity and the possibility of its large lending due to illegal fishing and the use of its fins and organs for commercial purposes.
  • Whale shark: Despite its large size, it is classified as a shark and not a whale, and the whale shark feeds on fish and animal remains in the sea.

endangered birds

In general, birds in the Arabian Peninsula, and especially in the Emirates, are part of the cultural history of these areas, and their name has always been associated with sand, hunting, picnics in the desert and ancient Bedouin activities, which are still followed until now as part of the revival of the authentic Bedouin heritage.

  • Houbara bird: It is one of the most famous species used by the inhabitants of the peninsula as prey to hunt falcons, and this is the first reason for the possibility of its extinction despite the fact that its numbers exceed 110,000 birds, and the tourism development has exacerbated the possibility of extinction, and it is mentioned that this bird is linked to the Emirati and Gulf heritage in general. .
  • The Socotra Sea Crow: Or what is known as the Socotra Cormorant, and this type of bird breeds on islands off the coast of the Arabian Gulf, and although their numbers exceed one hundred thousand pairs, they are in very severe decline and are threatened with extinction, due to the tourism development in the islands that It breeds in them, forcing them to escape and leave their eggs to the gulls, in addition to the pollution caused by the oil spill.

The UAE’s efforts to protect endangered animals

Over the decades after its unification, the UAE witnessed urbanization, urbanization, development and expansion in all urban areas, infrastructure, institutions and others, and all of this had an impact on the natural environment and biodiversity within the country, and this is what prompted the UAE to take several measures and enact strict laws to prevent Deterioration of normal life on land, sea and air.[3]

Diversity Conservation Actions

The UAE has enacted legislation that protects biodiversity and monitors its implementation, establishes and expands protected areas, protects the reproduction of animal species within them, and reintroduces endangered species into their natural environments. The UAE National Biodiversity Strategy has been developed, which includes 5 strategic guidelines and 21 national goals. These guidelines and objectives have been formulated in line with the UAE Vision 2021.

Develop a city biodiversity index for Abu Dhabi

The City Biodiversity Index is a self-assessment tool for cities. This indicator helps to:

  • Measuring biodiversity conservation efforts
  • Assessment of progress in reducing the rate of biodiversity loss in urban ecosystems.
  • Measuring the ecological footprint of cities.

Preservation of vegetation

In order to preserve biodiversity and protect and restore the natural habitats of animals, the native plants that endangered animals feed on must be preserved in their habitats. Its endangered species.

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Protecting the aquatic environment in the Arabian Gulf

One of the most dangerous threats to the water environment in the Arabian Gulf is the waste dumped in the Gulf from oil tankers, ships, oil leaks, etc. Therefore, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in cooperation with its partners in the public and private sectors, continues to work to increase the protection of the marine and coastal environment and preserve its role Several laws have been enacted prohibiting the dumping of waste and pollutants from ships and any similar manifestations.

Increase natural reserves

The establishment of nature reserves aims to improve the environment and protect wildlife in the UAE, in addition to promoting eco-tourism, which helps protect endangered animals and ensure their safe breeding under close monitoring by environmental specialists.

Environmental regulations and policies

Environmental protection is the main objective of the development policies of the UAE, including increasing green spaces, developing water resources, protecting the marine environment from pollution, preserving fish wealth and developing strategies to protect biodiversity. Several legislations have been enacted within the country for this and can be viewed “from here” It has also signed many international and regional agreements, which can be found “from here”.

Promote environmental awareness

Spreading awareness and developing the community’s culture regarding the environment and enhancing the environmental behavior of individuals helps in preserving and managing natural resources properly. Therefore, the Ministry of Education was keen to integrate the environmental dimension into school curricula at all stages, and the UAE launched the Environmental Schools Initiative, a global initiative led by The Emirates Wildlife Society in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature aims to encourage environmental action in schools.

In this way, we come to the end of our article, which was titled Animals Endangered with Extinction in the Emirates, through which we got acquainted with the concept of extinction, its causes and types, as well as about endangered animals and the efforts of the UAE to protect animals from this phenomenon.


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