This rare species has been spotted in the wild

Experts have logged a rare sighting of a local animal that’s not been spotted in the emirate for more than three decades.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) recorded the sighting of the Arabian caracal at Jebel Hafeet National Park in Al Ain.

The last recorded sighting of the wild cat in the emirate was in 1984.

Footage of the caracal, which is known for its sand-coloured fur and elongated, tufted black ears, was captured by a remote camera installed as part of a long-term monitoring programme to support threatened species within protected areas across Abu Dhabi.

Sightings of the species have been increasingly rare and the Arabian caracal was even considered ‘extinct in the wild’ in the UAE due to illegal hunting and habitat destruction.

Further monitoring by EAD will help to determine the population size and assess how
to support the species so that it may thrive.

“The rediscovery of the Arabian caracal in Abu Dhabi highlights not only the importance of the preservation of vital habitats in the emirate, but also sheds light on the advanced research tools and methods we apply to learn more about our environment and all that it encompasses,” said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD acting secretary general.

She continued, saying that the efforts being made by the agency will help in protecting the environment for future generations and encouraged the community to get involved to do their part.

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