DOHA: Qatar’s Rawdat Al Faras Houbara Breeding Centre has received 1,065 Asian Houbaras from the International Fund for Houbara Conservation’s (IFHC) captive breeding programme in order to establish a full breeding flock in the country.
The 1,065 Asian Houbaras are in addition to an initial 334 provided to Qatar in March 2013. As a result the 1,399 birds will form a significant initial breeding flock, from which to produce Houbara chicks for future breeding and release. Last year IFHC also gave 1,000 Asian Houbara to Qatar for release into protected zones.
Mohamed Saleh Al Baidani, Director General of IFHC said: “IFHC’s Houbara programme is at the cutting-edge of conservation. As a result of the great success we have achieved in breeding the Houbara in captivity, we are able to share our unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the Houbara with other conservation projects in the bird’s range, which, subsequently, increase the chances of ensuring we reach our ultimate objective for wild populations of the Houbara to thrive in the future.”
The provision of the birds to another country for captive breeding represents a considerable expansion of the President of the UAE, H H Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s strategy to ensure that there are sustainable, wild populations of the iconic bird across its entire range.
Mohamed Al Bowardi, Deputy Chairman of the IFHC Board, said: “This is a ground-breaking move in the history of Houbara conservation. The leadership and commitment of Sheikh Khalifa ensures that Abu Dhabi continues to build upon over thirty years of experience and expertise, which enables us lead the way in this important endeavour. I want to express my thanks to the Government and people of Qatar in helping us spread the effort to conserve the Houbara.”