RIYADH: The joint efforts of the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority and the National Center for Wildlife Development have resulted in the births of 27 wild animals this year.
They include 19 Rhim gazelles, seven ibex, and one Arabian oryx, the authority said.
As part of the programs to resettle endangered species in their natural habitats, a variety of animals have been released in three primary conservation areas of the reserve — Al-Khunfah, Al-Tubayq and Harrat Al-Harra.
The births in various areas of the reserve represent a significant environmental achievement. They contribute to maintaining the balance of the environment, enriching biodiversity, and preserving their species.
Covering an area of 130,700 sq. km, the Kingdom’s largest reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife including 350 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Among prominent species found in the reserve are Arabian sand gazelles, Arabian wolves and foxes, wildcats, sand cats, wild rabbits, bustards, golden eagles, owls and curlews.
The reserve has intensified its efforts in response to the significant decline in the numbers of these species in the region over the past few decades, attributed to various environmental pressures, overhunting, and loss of vegetation.
The authority works to protect and encourage wildlife by conserving biodiversity and reintroducing endangered species back into their natural habitats.
Fahad Al-Shuwaier, director general of communications at the authority, said joint cooperation and integration between the responsible authorities in the Kingdom, aimed at protecting and conserving species threatened by extinction, was at the forefront of measures being taken.
“The King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority and the National Center for Wildlife Development are repopulating these species by adopting the best scientific practices and standards, as well as conducting species-specific studies,” he said.
“This cooperation allows these species to have access to the best opportunities available for their natural survival, reproduction, and ensures their continuity by increasing their numbers in their natural habitats.”
After an absence of 90 years from its natural environment in the north of Saudi Arabia, the reserve celebrated the first-ever birth of a wild Arabian Oryx in June 2022.
Situated near to the border with Jordan, it was recently added to the World Database on Protected Areas, becoming the first Saudi reserve to be registered on the site. The database serves as the official source for statistics on protected land and is used by government agencies and international organizations.
The authority has also made extensive efforts to maintain the environmental balance. More than 900,000 seedlings have been planted in various areas of the reserve.