The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced the completion of phase one of the UAE National Red List project. Once completed, the list will provide updated information on the conservation status and distribution of flora and fauna in the UAE.
Phase one involved assessment of marine and terrestrial mammals, as well as herpetofauna: amphibians and terrestrial reptiles, sea snakes and marine turtles.
The list indicated that the UAE is home to 78 species of mammals, of those 59 are terrestrial and 19 marine. Moreover, the red list index for the mammals of the UAE saw a 2.97 percent decrease in regional extinction risk between 1996 and 2018. As for herpetofauna, the red list index scored is 0.92. This score indicates that the herpetofauna are much less threatened than mammals, both globally and in the UAE.
The decrease is attributed to the ongoing expansion of protected areas and reintroduction programs for threatened animal species.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: "Our commitment to safeguarding biodiversity has been steadfast. It has been cemented by the government’s endeavors to ensure the sustainability of the rich local biodiversity through an array of integrated legislations and strategies designed to achieve the goals of the National Biodiversity Strategy 2021 and aligned with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)."
He added: "We are pleased to see that there is a drop in the extinction risk of mammals. It reaffirms the importance of our conservation efforts. The list will serve to further enhance and inform these efforts through targeted policies and plans."
Phase two of the project will include assessment of indigenous bird and plant species. The public can access the list via the MOCCAE website, www.moccae.gov.ae
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