Kalba centre organises a ‘Journey to Discovery’ - GulfToday

Kalba centre organises a ‘Journey to Discovery’


A milestone in environmental work, the Centre seeks to preserve the rare birds in the region.

The Environment and Protected Areas Authority’s (EPAA) Kalba Bird of Prey Centre organised a ‘Journey to Discovery’ recently. Comprising recreational and awareness-raising activities, the programme is aimed at students in youth centres.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “The Journey to Discovery programme includes outstanding activities and events. We aim to raise their awareness about the importance of our centres, the role that Protected Areas play in preserving the environment, birds’ importance to the food chain, and ways to protect them from the daily hazards to which they are exposed in their natural habitat. We also seek to educate the students about the centres’ role in protecting wildlife, and to strengthen this role through community participation.”

The Journey to Discovery programme includes a series of meaningful and interesting educational activities and events, such as visiting the kitchen and identifying the types of food given to the birds, watching a documentary about birds, a day of entertainment and motivational contests, the Young Guide Day, lessons by a bird trainer on how to interact with birds at the Centre and several daily workshops. On the last day of the programme, there will be a ceremony to honour the participating students.

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated Kalba Bird of Prey Centre in January 2014. The first of its kind in the region, the Centre gives visitors the opportunity to learn about these birds. It aims to educate society about the environmental and cultural importance of the birds and to provide an environment suitable for the protection and preservation of birds of prey.

A milestone in environmental work, the Centre seeks to preserve the rare birds in the region and to provide them with the ideal habitat, while offering entertainment. Visitors are offered a unique experience with live performances by birds of prey such as white owls, snake eagles, Shaheen eagles, greater spotted eagles and griffon vultures. Guides take visitors on a journey to discover the world of birds of prey and to learn about their types, species and distinguishing features such as their ways of life, breeding habits and threats to their survival.

Last month, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, hosted the Felid Taxon Advisory Group, TAG, mid-year meetings, to preserve feline species in the Arabian Peninsula.

The meetings were held from 8th to 10th March, in association with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, EAZA.

Taking place at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, the workshops brought together European specialists tasked with the preservation and analysis of feline captive population management and conservation around the world and discuss practical and effective ways to preserve the feline species, especially those that are vulnerable, or in other words close to endangered.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi said, “In line with the vision and directives of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, we are very pleased to be supporting this important annual EAZA meeting, it is very important to preserve and protect wildlife in general, especially when you consider such indigenous specimens that are native to the region such as the Arabian leopard Asiatic cheetah, Asiatic caracal and sand cat.”

Day one of the event focused on detailed discussions and presentations relating to the management and conservation of the wide range of global small and medium sized cat species. Members of the panel at the workshop discussed each species, talking about the current status of the species, the breeding registration, the population count, and the limiting factors based on habitat and any other external features.

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