Jebel Hafeet Reserve: A unique mountain environment rich in biodiversity
AL AIN -- The Jebel Hafeet Reserve, in Al Ain region, part of the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network, is valued as a unique mountain environment in Abu Dhabi, with an area of 81-square kilometres that remains well-known for its rich biodiversity.
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Acting Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, said the reserve was established in 2017 upon an Emiri decree, and is considered a national park based on the standards established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN.
The agency has taken over the management of the reserve, in cooperation with its partners from various public and private authorities, using observers and modern technologies to monitor animal species that are difficult to track, in ordinary circumstances, as they appear at night in mountainous areas, he added.
Al Hashmi also pointed out that the agency has launched numerous programmes aimed at restoring and preserving vegetation and protecting endangered plants, stressing that it aims to plant 10,000 acacia trees in an area of 18 hectares within the reserve.
The reserve’s future programmes include projects related to environmental tourism and promoting its importance to the community, he added.
Ali Khamis Al Shamsi, Director of the Reserve, stated that the reserve is a key national site, in terms of biodiversity, as it is a welcoming environment for many animals and plants, noting that it contains 42 percent of known plant species in Abu Dhabi and 25 percent of known plants in the country. He added that 13 species of mammals live in the reserve, as well as 140 species of birds and 13 species of reptiles