RIYADH: Members of the Saudi Falcons Club recently released several birds of prey in Kyrgyzstan’s mountains as part of an ongoing scheme to reintroduce the threatened species into their native habitats.
The birds were set free under the Hadad program in collaboration with officials from the Central Asian country’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Technical Supervision.
It was the first time the club had released birds into the wild outside of the Kingdom.
The initiative in Kyrgyzstan will involve providing healthcare for the falcons, the implementation of a rehabilitation program, and continuous satellite monitoring.
As part of Saudi efforts to protect the Kingdom’s wildlife and natural environment, the project aims to help boost the falcon population while studying the birds’ behavior and ability to adapt in the wild.
The Saudi Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Ibrahim Radi Al-Radi attended a project launch ceremony in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, welcoming the visiting delegation from the Saudi Falcons Club.
The envoy told Arab News: “There is no doubt that through the cooperation and coordination between the Saudi Falcons Club and the Kyrgyz authorities in the resettlement of these birds that they will receive special care and attention.”
Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries and goes back thousands of years.
Falcons can fly as speeds of more than 300 km (186 miles) an hour but are recognized internationally as endangered. Countries have varying regulations governing their sale, capture, breeding, and hunting activities.
Al-Radi noted that the Saudi Embassy in Kyrgyzstan was keen to help promote falconry and said that more releases were planned for the future.