King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority to protect griffon vultures
RIYADH: The King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority is working to protect endangered griffon vultures at its sites in the Kingdom.
Covering an area of 130,700 square kilometres, the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve is the largest nature reserve in the Middle East and also comprises three other major reserves in the north and north-west of the Kingdom: Al-Tubaiq Reserve, Al-Khanfa Reserve and Al-Khanfa Reserve. Hooray Al-Hooray.
The site is home to a variety of archaeological monuments, terrain, natural resources, and habitats.
Several months ago, the reserve monitored a large number of griffon vulture nesting sites. Griffon vulture numbers are reported to be declining in the Arabian Peninsula. However, the griffon vulture is not in danger of extinction globally, according to the Red List classification of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The griffon vulture, which normally weighs between six and 11 kilograms with a wingspan of 2.2 to 2.55 meters and a length of between 90 and 150 centimeters, inhabits the central and southern regions of the Kingdom.
The species lives in cliffs, rock crevices, and caves, building nests from dead wood.
Afnan Al-Anazi, a media official with the reserve’s development authority, told Arab News that officials are creating permanent protection programs by creating an environment “to house, monitor and assess them (griffon vultures) through the use of satellites, which would help track their behavior. , population and feeding areas, in addition to protecting them from hunting, collision and electrocution”.
Al-Anazi added that the reserve has launched a bird field survey project to estimate the number of populations and classify groups into resident, migratory or visiting species. The survey will also help researchers understand migration routes and engage in ongoing monitoring and follow-up programs.
The reserve also plans to develop bird watching tourism programs. “There is a special initiative to raise awareness among the local community about the importance of birds in general… and the importance of eagles and their role in providing very important services to the ecosystem,” Al-Anazi said.
The griffon vulture plays an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem by feeding on the carcasses of dead animals, such as camels, sheep, goats, ibex and deer, which it detects when flying high.
Al-Anazi said that the corpse-feeding process prevents the spread of disease and infection, “preventing and protecting us from many diseases caused by these corpses.”
The King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve’s efforts, Al-Anazi said, are focused on helping birds reproduce “achieving a sustainable ecological balance by protecting biodiversity, especially endangered species.”
The female griffon vulture usually lays one egg a year. She cares for the chick during an incubation period of 48 to 54 days.
The National Center for Wildlife Development and the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority previously signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at enhancing cooperation in wildlife development, biodiversity and sustainability.
The agreement also seeks to work on the resettlement of native animals in danger of extinction in the reserve through the center’s farms, and to carry out monitoring and joint environmental studies to exchange information, knowledge and experiences.