Houbara Conservation celebrates the UAE National Day by releasing 47 birds into the wild

ABU DHABI, 27th November, 2018 (WAM) — In celebration of the upcoming 47th UAE National Day, students from schools in Al Ain today released 47 Houbara bustards produced by the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. Forty students from local schools released the birds, which were fitted with special UAE-coloured rings to commemorate the occasion, at the Telal Resort.

Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, Director-General of IFHC said, “As well as celebrating our National Day, this year we are also honouring the late Sheikh Zayed. As the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Zayed was the protector of our heritage and our environment. The lessons we learnt from him remain with us and continue to be our guide today. By releasing the iconic Houbara today, we both commemorate Sheikh Zayed and leave a legacy that future generations will continue to see this species in the wild.”

For the first time, officials from the Ministry of Education, MoE, also attended the release. This follows the recent launch of a new initiative between the two parties, which has seen the Houbara added to the UAE education curriculum. Conservation education using the Houbara as a flagship species is available to all UAE schools. A specially designed handbook and website have been created to provide teachers with the tools to teach multiple subjects across all age groups in school system. Al Baidani added, “From primary to K-12 every child in the UAE will now get to learn about our environment and the need to protect it and the other species we share the planet with. We hope to inspire the next generation of conservationists.”

The birds released were bred in captivity at IFHC’s centres in Abu Dhabi – the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan and Sheikh Khalifa Houbara Breeding Centre in Saih Al Salam – as part of IFHC’s conservation programme. Since the initiative began, over 400,000 Houbara have been bred of which more than 300,000 have been provided as support for conservation efforts.