Exhibition to focus on Houbara conservation - GulfToday

Exhibition to focus on Houbara conservation


The event will take place from Aug.27-31 in Abu Dhabi.

The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), the global leader in pre-emptive species conservation, will shine the spotlight on the overwhelming success of its breeding and release programme, continued efforts to educate the next generation of conservationists and engage falconers on the importance of sustainable hunting at Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) 2019.

Over the course of the five-day exhibition, which runs from Aug.27-31 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), visitors to the interactive IFHC’s stand No.9. A30, will gain invaluable, in-depth insight into the work of IFHC including its world-leading scientific research, which is used to preserve the emblematic Houbara Bustard in countries right across the migratory ranges of the Asian and North African Houbara, from Mongolia in the east to Morocco in the west.

The interactive wall and globe will provide detailed information on IFHC’s ecology in a host of countries and major milestones in the breeding and release programme, which has resulted in the hatching of more than 400,000 captive-bred Houbara, contributed to safeguarding the genetic purity of the species and helped balance wild houbara populations.

“The International Fund for Houbara Conservation is committed to preserving heritage and conserving the future, and ADIHEX offers the perfect platform to engage with our primary audience, the falconry community on the importance of sustaining a future for the environment and the region’s emblematic species keeping traditions and heritage sports alive,” said Majid Al Mansouri, Managing Director of IFHC.

“Furthermore, the exhibition enables us to start dialogue with future falconers, the next generation who really can make a difference as our conservation leaders of tomorrow. We look forward to an interesting exhibition, exploring potential partnerships and forming new, long-lasting relationships and hope visitors to our stand will be both informed and entertained.”

During the five-day event, IFHC will also highlight the progress of “The Conservation Education: The Houbara Model,” a three-pillared, cross-curricular education programme, which was implemented in the UAE national school curriculum last year and is already supported by more than 40 schools across the seven emirates in just over seven months. During the exhibition, IFHC will honour the winners of an inter-school bag design competition.

Other elements at the IFHC’s stand include the preview screening of “The Houbara Story” – a documentary on the fund’s conservation efforts – and interactive activities including solving a puzzle to “free” a trapped Houbara.

IFHC officials will also be on hand to share details of the Fund’s internship programme and engage falconers on the importance of sourcing Houbara from legitimate sources for training purposes.

IFHC is an official sponsor of ADIHEX 2019.

Initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed, Abu Dhabi undertook a programme to restore the endangered houbara bustard.

A global conservation strategy was developed and then implemented over the past forty years with the objective of ensuring the species has a sustainable future in the wild through effective and appropriate conservation programmes and management plans.

From 1995, the conservation strategy adopted, which consisted of an integrated approach combining sound ecology, protection measures in the wild, conservation breeding and reinforcement programmers.

IHFC was created in 2006 to take the original programme further by managing international assets and securing partnerships across the range of the houbara that encourage sustainable practices to ensure the conservation of houbara.

Recently, WAM reported that eleven Asian Houbara rescued in January after a failed smuggling attempt on the UAE’s border with Oman have been successfully released back into the wild by the International Fund for Houbara Conservation.

Following extensive medical examinations to assess potential contagious diseases and 8 weeks of rehabilitation at IFHC quarantine in Abu Dhabi, the houbara were released in two groups in the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan on March 22. All 11 birds have been fitted with GPS trackers to monitor their movement.

The first group of five female Asian Houbara were released in Rahimyar approximately 120 kilometres from the country’s eastern border with India, while a second group comprising five females and a single male were released approximately 40 kilometres south of the city of Khanpur. Three weeks since their release, the bustards’ GPS trackers indicate all 11 houbara are alive and well after rejoining the species’ annual migratory route north.


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