Crown Prince launches Sharaan Nature Reserve in AlUla governorate

February 10, 2019

AL-ULA – Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier, minister of defense and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) launched on Sunday the Sharaan Nature Reserve in AlUla governorate, as part of a series of major strategic projects being carried out by the RCU, Saudi Press Agency said.

Governor of RCU and Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Al Saud: “The beautiful canyon area of Sharaan is now a designated Nature Reserve, setting a new standard in the region for re-balancing ecosystems and reflecting Saudi Arabia’s commitment to protecting the natural environment of AlUla. The Sharaan Nature Reserve initiative includes the establishment of a global fund for the protection and reproduction of the Arabian leopard.”

By launching The Global Fund for the Arabian Leopard, the RCU aims to make it the biggest fund of its kind. The fund will enable Sharaan Nature Reserve, in addition to other sites, to become a suitable area for releasing and reintroducing the Arabian Leopard in future.

The development of the nature reserve focuses on the rehabilitation of the region’s natural ecosystem, development of vegetation by planting indigenous acacia trees and reintroduction of wild species into the reserve based on global standards, specifically as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature Reintroduction Guidelines.

During the event, local park rangers trained by the Saudi Wildlife Authority together with the Mweka Wildlife College in Tanzania released 10 Nubian ibexes, 10 red-necked ostriches and 20 idmi gazelles into the reserve. These species face numerous threats in the wild, and their numbers have been declining rapidly.

Muhammad Sulayem, Head of Nature at the Royal Commission, stated: “Rehabilitating the natural habitat and reintroducing endangered species into a nature reserve, has immense impact on the biodiversity of the region. We’re excited to be working with global experts, our adept team at RCU, and the community of AlUla to restore Sharaan’s natural ecosystem.”

The launch of the Sharaan Nature Reserve is one of the key strategic projects of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), as AlUla is a place of spectacular natural beauty and has animals threatened with extinction, apart from a number of archaeological treasures and ancient cities, with evidence of major civilizations including most notably the Dadan/Lihyan and the Nabataean kingdoms. Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the prominent southern capital of the Nabataeans.

February 10, 2019
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