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Preserving Arabian leopard: Big leap by Taif

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Taif has completed 60 percent of a project to establish a large sanctuary, with 20 enclosures to isolate the male Arabian leopard.
The remaining 40 percent will be completed by the beginning of next year, Ahmad Al-Boug, general-director of the NWRC, said.
The project is part of an operational plan approved for the implementation of a number of construction and future expansion projects to maintain Arabian leopards.
Al-Boug said: “The objective behind constructing a larger fenced-in area than what was available before is to make space for more tiger cubs when leopards start mating and breeding. And when there are incidences of pregnancies in females, the male leopard must be isolated.”
He said that the circular sanctuary, with a diameter of 40 square meters, was divided into several smaller enclosures in the form of triangles, some of which are smaller in size for young leopards and some a little bigger. He also said that work was underway at the National Wildlife Research Center in Taif to expand the infrastructure for breeding programs for the Arabian leopard. He pointed out that the Saudi Wildlife Commission was continuing to implement a national strategy to preserve the Arabian leopard, work on animal breeding, wildlife research studies and environmental awareness.
“Breeding programs for hunting reserves for animals such as the Alilla (a type of lizard), or birds such as ostriches, were very good. We are now getting ready to prepare for the upcoming winter season with the resettlement of groups of animals such as the Arabian Oryx (Al-Maha) in protected areas.”

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