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02 December 2023

Dubai Municipality to nest birds at Al Marmoum Reserve


Dubai Municipality is currently studying birds that breed in the Al Marmoum Desert Conservation Reserve to identify breeding species and important breeding areas in the reserve, to nest and protect them during the breeding season.

"We also want to provide necessary guidance to visitors and create awareness among them about the site, which is a protected nature reserve that provides a fertile and safe environment for wildlife," said Alia Al Harmoudi, Director of the Environment Department in Dubai Municipality.

"Despite the high temperatures and burning sand, summer is an exceptional season for breeding birds throughout the Dubai and at the Al Marmoum Desert Conservation Reserve, in particular, which has gained importance with its diverse natural environments and vast expansion to become the largest non-fenced natural reserve in the UAE," she said.

She added that the reserve provides a natural refuge, safe for multiple species, especially during the breeding season, which is an important stage in the proliferation and survival of the species to ensure continuity and conservation from extinction. This is particularly for birds that breed and build their nests on the ground because they face many risks, either natural or anthropogenic.

"Among the most important species that are currently being protected are the Houbara Bustard, which is increasing annually due to the protection and conservation programmes of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and his continuous instructions to provide favourable conditions for the breeding and stability of birds," said Aisha Al Murr Al Muhery, Head of the Natural Resources Protection Section.

She noted that the species of birds that breed in the reserve and are increasing annually include wading water birds, passerines, terrestrial birds and water birds. This reflects the success of the plans and site development to suit both conservation programmes and sustainable tourism.

"Despite the ability of birds to camouflage themselves within the local environment and hide their nests in places that are difficult to find, or to lay eggs that are the same colour as the surrounding environment and soil, natural predators also have the skill to detect nest sites, in addition to easily reach the nests, compared to birds that build their nests in trees. Due to this, several species, such as lapwings and ducks, lay their eggs on islands inside the lakes to avoid threats and reduce the risk of hunting by predators, such as foxes, cats, dogs and mice, but predator birds can overcome this trick," she said.