RAK's first wetland nature reserve to be established

Wildlife sanctuary to be recognised after decree issued by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah

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A wildlife spot offering vital sanctuary to an endangered species is to be established as Ras Al Khaimah's first protected wetland nature reserve.

The three square kilometre area in Khor Mazahmi is to be recognised thanks to a decree issued by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of RAK.

The conservation spot is home to a host of wildlife, including flamingo's and the critically endangered green turtle, which features in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

The decree was issued to protect the environment and to strike a balance between nature and development in the emirate.

The move coincided with the UAE's hosting of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

On Sunday, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, a global conservation agreement, recognised Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary as a globally significant site.

It's a home to more than 500 marine species, including the endangered mottled eagle ray and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

Hawksbill turtles nest on its sandy beaches, where 30 nests were recorded last year. Its seagrass beds are fishing nurseries and feeding grounds for endangered green turtles and vulnerable dugongs.

There are more than 2,200 sites recognised by the international convention and eight are now in the UAE.


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