The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), earlier this month, successfully completed the transfer of a Nubian Ibex herd to Wadi Rum nature reserve, where the herd will remain in a controlled environment that will allow them to adapt to the new habitat before their final release into the wild.

The transfer came following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between EAD and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) earlier in 2014, with respect to HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s Nubian Ibex Reintroduction and Release Programme at the Wadi Rum nature reserve in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The release programme supports the UAE’s efforts in encouraging the conservation of wild species in their natural habitats.

In the last century, Nubian Ibex has become an endangered species in Jordan. Only a limited number remain in the mountainous areas of the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum due to irresponsible human practices including illegal poaching and the destruction of the species’ natural habitats. EAD’s terrestrial biodiversity team worked closely with the team at Wadi Rum nature reserve to transfer 100 Nubian Ibex (70 females and 30 males) to a dedicated, protect area. The transfer relied on the participation of Wadi Rum’s local community, who praised EAD’s efforts in protecting and conserving the region’s wildlife and natural heritage.

The project is managed by EAD in collaboration with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority represented by the Wadi Rum nature reserve, in addition to the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature. The project will also see the implementation of four set objectives which includes ensuring the herd’s sustainability within its natural habitat, and implementing awareness programmes designed to educate the local community and respective authorities on the importance and impact of the project