size. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of the genus Oryx, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. The release is part of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Programme, which aims to release the Arabian Oryx back into their natural habitat, within large reserves. Overall, currently Arabian oryx are classified as Vulnerable (VU) but their numbers today remain stable. Operation Oryx started in 1962 to save this special desert grazer. [8][9], The initial plan of the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society was to establish a herd in Kenya where another species of oryx already lived and flourished. This 2,244 km2 (866 sq mi) fenced reserve is home to reintroduced oryx, gazelle and the houbara bustard. It became first species of animal to revert to ‘vulnerable’ status after previously being extinct in the wild. The Arabian oryx, which had all but disappeared from the wild in the late 1950s and early 1960s, has successfully been reintroduced to its native habitat thanks to captive breeding programmes, such as one at the Shahaniya Oryx Centre on the outskirts of Doha, Qatar, where the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is taking place. Under this agreement, EAD is sponsoring the million three-year project which includes reintroduction of the Arabian oryx into the Wadi Rum Protected Area, rehabilitating the habitat, and helping local residents to improve their living standards. your own Pins on Pinterest The Arabian oryx was known to be in decline since the early 1900s in the Arabian Peninsula. In 1962, the fledging Phoenix Zoo joined with the Fauna Preservation Society (now named Fauna and Flora International)(FFI) and others to play a significant role in rescuing this magnificent animal from the brink of extinction and, ultimately, reintroducing it back into the wild in Oman. [6] In 1960, Lee Talbot reported that Arabian oryx appeared to be extinct in its former range along the southern edge of Ar-Rub' al-Khali. [5], A free ranging herd was established in the newly created Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area in 1989. Some of these are in large fenced enclosures (free-roaming), including those in Syria (Al Talila), Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE. The captive breeding programme is undoubtedly one of the greatest conservation success stories ever. [15] In 2012, GSCAO carried out an Arabian Oryx Disease Survey which was funded by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in the range states. [14], Due to an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis (bovine tuberculosis) in the founder generation, a "buffer generation" was introduced in the herd. These oryx became the core of the Oman herd in the wild, though there were several other releases of captive bred animals over the next two decades. The Kenyan plan was dropped because of an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease, and the oryx destined for Kenya were shipped to the Phoenix Zoo instead. The reintroduction project for Jordan began when the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Al Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority signed a sponsorship agreement in April 2007. Status. - Acheter cette photo libre de droit et découvrir des images similaires sur Adobe Stock There are now fewer than four breeding pairs left on the site. Since then, calves produced by the founder herd are removed from their dam immediately after birth and hand-reared. In 1986, the Arabian Oryx is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and in 2011, it was the first animal to revert to vulnerable status after previously being listed as extinct in the wild. At one time extinct in the wild, this desert antelope (Oryx leucoryx) can once again be seen wandering the dry Arabian Peninsula.The Arabian oryx is an antelope that is highly specialized for its harsh desert environment. In his 1960 publication for the Fauna Preservation Society (FFI) “A Look at Threatened Species,” Dr. Lee Talbot, a renowned ecologist, noted that the Arabian oryx appeared to be extinct throughout all of its former range except for the southern region of the Rub-al –Khali desert. The Arabian oryx used to range throughout the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula extending to the Syrian Desert. [2], There were originally four individuals captured and seven donated for this project. As of 2009 there have been reintroductions in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. [4] As of 2009 there have been reintroductions in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, and as of 2013 the IUCN Red List classifies the species as vulnerable.[5]. The recovery of Arabian oryx is the first time that a mammal previously extinct in the wild has been recovered to the point where they were delisted – another great testament to the success of Operation Oryx. In June 2011, the Arabian oryx was re-listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. It is a mammal. Arabian oryx: Reproduction and behavior. Arabian oryx are most active during the morning and evening. The animals that were reintroduced came from the San … [15] As of 2009, the IUCN Red List estimates the oryx population on this reserve at about 800 individuals. This large white antelope, with its long, pointed horns, is an icon of Arabia and is thought to be the origin of the mythical unicorn. In 1960, it was hunted extensively for food and for the presumed magical powers of its horn. Arabian oryx Arabian Oryx at a sanctuary in Umm al-Zamool, United Arab Emirates. These adaptations allow the animal to remain at a comfortable temperature in its habitat. In the early 1960s, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan directed the capture of two breeding pairs of the oryx for the nucleus of a captive-breeding program in Al Ain, which would lead to the formation of the city's zoo. The current total population of Arabian oryxes is estimated at approximately 1,000:  An estimated 6,000-7,000 animals are held in managed care worldwide, mostly within the region. Well-adapted to the conditions of their hot, arid habitats, these antelopes can live as long as 20 years. On June 28, 2007, Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was the first site to be removed from the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Related: "Most Captive-Born Predators Die If Released." [13], Organized captive breeding of the Arabian oryx in Saudi Arabia began in April 1986, when 57 oryx from the farm of the late King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz in Ath-Thumamah (now the King Khalid Wildlife Research Center or KKWRC) were brought to the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) near At-Ta'if. The bright white coat reflects the sun’s rays and the hooves are splayed and shovel-like, providing a large surface area with which to walk on the sandy ground. ", Five Arabian oryx were delivered to the Phoenix Zoo in 1963 (four in June and one in September). Home Blog Zoo News Saving Species: Arabian Oryx. Discover (and save!) The zoos used a Species Survival Plan to choose which animals to breed, based on their genetic variability, or the least related animals. The last wild Arabian Oryx was shot in 1972. References. While some questions have been raised about the long-term success of a joint Emirati-Jordanian project to reintroduce endangered Arabian oryx into the wild, experts have defended the conservation efforts. Did you know the Phoenix Zoo helped save the Arabian Oryx from extinction? The Arabian oryx is in many zoos in this country and around the world now, but that wasn’t always the case. However, this species remains under threat from poaching, overgrazing, and droughts. At this time, populations in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan are still not considered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List wild oryx count. [5] As part of this initiative, a similar program is being developed to reintroduce this extinct species into its natural habitats in Yemen and Iraq. During the day, the Arabian oryx usually hides from the heat and rests until it’s night time which is when it begins to move around in order to perform its daily routine. The reserve covers about 12,000 km2 (4,600 sq mi) at the western edge of the Rubʿ al-Khali desert or "Empty Quarter". Their defense is to lower their head to point their sharp horns forward. The smaller Arabian oryx is overall whiter with largely dark legs. description . He believed that any oryx still existing would be exterminated within the next few years and recommended that a captive breeding program be started to save the species. The Arabian oryx is highly specialized for its environment; its white fur reflects light and its hooves have adapted to withstand the desert heat. In 2011 the Arabian oryx was reclassified from ‘endangered’ species to ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). To the people of Oman, the Arabian oryx was a mythical symbol, and though the practice of excessive hunting had led to the extinction of the oryx, they were still revered in the culture and their return to the wild was a significant achievement. Interesting fact about Arabian Oryx. Dubai (CNN) -- Forty years ago the Arabian oryx was extinct in the wild. desert. This species is also known by the following name(s): White Oryx. This antelope of the Arabian Peninsula and Sinai Desert became extinct in the wild by the late 1960s. The London Zoo agreed to supply a young female oryx, King Saud of Saudi Arabia provided two males and two females, and a female was donated from the private collection of H.E. [16] In 2007 the United Arab Emirates started releasing animals into Umm Al Zumul. Arabian oryx became classified as “Extinct In The Wild” in 1972 and were first reintroduced in Oman with 10 animals in 1982, followed by reintroductions in Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan. Share. Overgrazing has reduced the quality of their habitat, posing a threat to their survival as well. [14], Reintroduction of a wild population began in 1995 in the 'Uruq Bani Ma'arid Protected Area. It had been hunted since ancient times, but with the advent of motorized vehicles and high-powered weapons, its numbers drastically declined in the 1940s and 50s. In 1972, our first Arabian oryx arrived as part of Operation Oryx, an effort to save this species from extinction. Endangered Status. Arabian Oryx were once widespread in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Jordan and throughout the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas, but were exterminated in the wild by 1972 from uncontrolled hunting by locals. [5], By 1980 the number of Arabian oryx in captivity had increased to the point that reintroduction to Oman was attempted from the San Diego Wild Animal Park to Jaaluni in the Jiddat al-Harasis. Fun Facts for Kids Oryx are alert, wary, and have keen sight. One species that occurred on the Arabian Peninsula was exterminated recently but has now been reintroduced into the wild from captive stock. The Arabian Oryx is whitish-cream with a shoulder bump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. Its rare fauna includes the first free-ranging herd of Arabian oryx since the global extinction of the species in the wild in 1972 and its reintroduction here in 1982. Why are they endangered? Over the course of the next few days, the team managed to capture three wild oryxes: two males and one female. Creature Profile. One male from this group later died of capture stress. The endangered houbara bustard breeds in the wild only at sites within the sanctuary. The oryx were initially kept in large pens outdoors, but were released to the wild on January 31, 1982, in the Omani Central Desert and Coastal Hills.[2]. The Arabian oryx was reintroduced once again into the wild. “The oryx is what we call a flagship species,” said Dan Subaitis, director of animal management at the Phoenix Zoo. "If you take these oryx, we started already in 1960s and in 2011 these animals are still endangered," he said. 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