Did you Know?
  • The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) calves are born a sandy brown colour and only change to their adult white at about six months of age

Macqueen’s Bustard Re-introduction

Aims

In a project done in conjunction with the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) and the office of HH Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Macqueen’s Bustard are to be re-introduced into Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Goals

  • To supplement the wild population, which migrate through the UAE, of this species that is classified, on the IUCN Red Data List, as vulnerable through rapid population decline.

Methodology

  • Macqueen’s Bustards are captive bred in the National Avian Research Centre and reared to adulthood, before being transported to the DDCR.
  • The bustards are release into the DDCR by one of two methods;
    • Soft Release: The bustards are allowed to acclimatize to the area for one month in specially built cages before being released.
    • Hard Release: The Bustards are released directly into the desert.
  • Satellite tracked bustards are monitored via regular downloads and records kept of their movements.

Progress to Date

  • 29 Macqueen’s bustards were released into the DDCR on the 25 February 2010. 15 bustards, including three with satellite tracking, were hard released directly into the desert in the South of the DDCR. While a further 14, including three with satellite tracking, were soft released near Tawi Ruwayyan after spending one month in cages erected on the release site.
  • Of the satellite tracked birds, one has stayed permanently in the DDCR, three have left the DDCR but later returned and are all currently within the DDCR and the final two birds have stopped transmitting their locations after leaving the DDCR.
  • Regular sightings of Macqueen’s bustards without satellite tracking are report by the DDCR staff, including a male doing a mating display.