Al Ain Zoo leads efforts to develop Dama gazelle conservation strategy

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Mohamed Nass - - Al Ain Zoo has participated in developing and publishing the Dama Gazelle Conservation Strategy 2019-2028, following its hosting of a conservation planning workshop back in 2018.

Delegates from government agencies, NGO’s research institutes and representatives from ex situ community (off-site conservation community) participated in the workshop for the first time.

The workshop mainly aimed to review and update the objectives of the Dama gazelle conservation review published in 2014. In addition to identify and agree on actions to reduce the extinction risk of Dama Gazelle in situ and ex situ.

It saw the introduction of a series of recommendations, the most important of which was updating the latest information about the Dama gazelle’s numbers and location in its natural habitat and procedures from range countries to protect the species from extinction.

The workshop also saw discussions on the opportunities for reintroduction, the potential locations identified for the release and the results of the latest genetic research studies.

Workshop attendees looked into the training requirements and specialised technical courses required by participants in the areas of field research, animal relocation and veterinary research.

Hessa Ahmed Al Qahtani, Unit Head Conservation Programmes Development, said, "Following the steps and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of Al Ain Zoo, we strive to protect one of the most endangered antelope species in the world by participating and leading in various strategies together with local, regional and global partners that will contribute to saving this species from extinction."

There are currently over 80 Dama gazelle in Al Ain Zoo, of two sub-species the Addra and Mhorr. The Dama Gazelle is critically endangered and less than 100 remain in the wild.

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