Endangered geckos discovered in UAE

A six-man expedition to the UAE’s east coast was able to find 52 Emirati leaf-footed geckos. This is a species that is found only in the UAE and is on the verge of extinction. Due to the shrinking habitat caused by the rapid pace of technological advancement, the gecko population has been reduced to a minimum. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has been forced to list the species as endangered.

A two-week expedition funded by the Sheikh Zayed Species Conservation Foundation last summer aimed to find and preserve individuals of this rare species. It was the culmination of years of effort by experts from around the world.

“Restoring an endangered species is inspiring and gives hope to everyone who cares about nature and its diversity, because it keeps our planet alive,” explained Nicholas Herd, interim head of the Species Conservation Foundation. The foundation has already supported more than 2.6 thousand such projects worldwide.

Johannes Els, a representative of the Sharjah Environmental Authority’s Centre for Saving Arabia’s Unique Wildlife, who also participated in the expedition, said he hoped that the discovery of the geckos would be taken into account in future development plans for the region. It is particularly important to note that some of the habitats of this species are already protected areas.

Experts also expect that the discovered population will allow the International Union for Conservation of Nature to remove the Emirati leaf-footed gecko, an endemic of the UAE, from the list of endangered species.

It should be recalled that thanks to the careful attitude to nature, the UAE has already managed to cope with the extinction of the Arabian oryx. In the early 1970s, this species of sand gazelle was almost completely exterminated in the wild, and survived only in captivity. It now numbers more than 1,000 individuals in the UAE.

Source: The National

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