Endangered goat to be focus of conservation programme at Sir Bani Yas

A breeding programme for the endangered Arabian Tahr is set to get under way at Sir Bani Yas nature and wildlife reserve.

ABU DHABI // Sir Bani Yas nature and wildlife reserve has welcomed a new addition – the endangered Arabian tahr, a medium-sized goat that usually inhabits mountainous areas.

The objective of the conservation effort is to establish a dedicated breeding programme on the island, as well as to ensure that the animals adapt to the habitat on Sir Bani Yas.

The animals, from Al Bustan Zoological Centre, will be monitored closely over the coming months to ensure that they have settled in comfortably.

“We are privileged to initiate this programme that represents our approach towards conservation of UAE’s natural and historic heritage and the sustainable vision of our future,” said Ahmed Abdul Jalil, owner of Al Bustan Zoological Centre in Sharjah.

“This project represents the beginning of a new era where Sir Bani Yas and its partners will work with these animals and also collaborate with other national and international organisations to ensure the future of the Arabian tahr for generations to come,” said Marius Prinsloo, general manager of Sir Bani Yas corporate operations.

Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, the executive director of terrestrial and marine biodiversity at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, said she hoped the tahr would breed successfully “and so provide us with an opportunity to reintroduce them into the wild in the future, thus improving their current status”.

“Also, the conservation introduction to Sir Bani Yas and back into their natural habitat will award conservationists the opportunity to learn more about the Arabian tahr, study their behaviour and ecology, which will be used as a model for future releases in different areas of the Emirates,” Dr Al Dhaheri said.