Following this week’s news that the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s National Aquarium have joined forces to launch a wildlife rehabilitation facility, we take a look at the Gulf’s at-risk and extinct wildlife.
Saudi dorcas gazelles
The Saudi gazelle, now an extinct species, used to be found in the Arabian Peninsula. Gazelles are some of the most frequently depicted animals in petroglyphs found in Saudi Arabia.
Green sea turtles
Native to the UAE’s shores, these turtles are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The turtle is large and heavy with a smooth, heart-shaped shell.
According to the Saudi Wildlife Authority, lions became extinct in Saudi Arabia in the 19th century.
Cheetahs used to be found in Saudi Arabia, but the Saudi Wildlife Authority now lists them as “probably extinct at present.”
The leopard subspecies are believed to be endangered. In 2006, fewer than 200 wild individuals were estimated to be alive.
The Arabian Oryx
The Arabian Oryx became extinct in the wild in the 1970s, according to the Saudi Wildlife Authority, but it was saved in zoos and private preserves and was reintroduced into the wild in 1980.