Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Wetland Reserve to be temporarily shut for bird nesting season


Encouraging safe bird nesting season, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, one of Abu Dhabi’s largest wetlands is going to remain shut for the upcoming months, starting from next month.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) made the announcement of Thursday stating that Al Watbha Wetland Reserve will be temporarily closed from March 31 to November 2021, due to the birds nesting season.

The eight-month temporary closure is said to help in the protection of nesting birds, without any public interference. The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is one of the largest wetlands in the region that attracts a large number of flamingos. Apart from flamingos, thousands of birds migrate to the reserve from central Asia each year to enjoy the warm winter, with over 4,000 staying for the full 12 months.

A huge attraction point for the flamingos, other migratory birds like Kentish Plover, Black-Winged Stilt, Red-Wattled Lapwing, Ring Plover and White-Tailed Lapwing have also started nesting on the reserve.

According to the Reserve, early nesting of these birds was seen on the ground close to the roads and around the lakes. Expressing happiness on the scenario, Ahmed Alhashmi, Acting Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at EAD shared, “We were extremely happy to witness the early flamingo nesting season, which started last month and to ensure that the nesting season continues successfully, we have decided to close Al Watbha Wetland Reserve, as part of our commitment towards the conservation of our bird species and the reserve’s biodiversity.”

The social media page also encouraged sightseers to visit the Reserve before the closing. “Have you visited Al Wathba Wetlands Reserve yet? What are you waiting for? The reserve is receiving guests until Tuesday, 30th March and will remain closed until November for nesting season. Don’t forget to share shots of your visit to the reserve by tagging us at @environmentabudhabi,” read their Instagram post.

The five-square-kilometre conservation site, established in the year 1998 by Sheikh Zayed, founder of the UAE, has natural and man-made water bodies, salt flats, fossilised sands and dunes, which are heavily packed with a variety of animal and plant species. The Reserve also has designated walking trails, gauging 1.5km and 3km, which allow visitors to closely observe its natural habitats and wildlife.

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