Delegates from several Arab countries gathered in Oman to discuss ways to protect their Arabian Oryx populations.
The Oman observer daily reports that members of the Coordinating Committee for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx in the Gulf States are discussing ways to exchange information, resolve cross-border conservation issues and provide suitable Oryx stock for breeding and reintroduction. They also discussed eradicating trans-boundary trade, ways to protect the animals as well as monitoring projects and solving problems such as hunting.
Delegates came from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, the UAE and Oman to participate. Oman is considered a specialist in this field because of its history of dealing with Oryx conservation. The Sultanate became the first country in the region to reintroduce the Oryx into the wild in 1982. The population of this animal had greatly deteriorated because of poaching. But since the authorities addressed this issue, the population rebounded and today there are 150 Arabian Oryx in Oman, primarily in the wild.
Three years ago, the UAE also began a reintroduction program. Today, the country has 1,000 of these animals and the largest captive-bred population. Although poaching is not a problem, the government plans to discourage it through education, monitoring and laws. Saudi Arabia began also began releasing Oryx into the wild in 1994. There are roughly 1,200 Oryx, half in the wild.
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