Largest population of the Indian Ocean humpback dolphins found in Abu Dhabi.
The Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi has released their half-year report on sea and land flora and fauna for 2020 and the results appear positive. UAE seems to illustrate a strong wildlife and plant population that is striving in the region’s conditions. For instance, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi earlier this year was home to 876 new flamingo chicks while the capital’s shores saw a total of 52 nesting sites for Hawksbill turtles.
The most interesting detail is how Abu Dhabi is now home to the largest population of Indian Ocean Humpback dolphins in the world. This is a testament to a healthy marine quality in UAE as dolphins are known to be apex predators who bio-accumulate marine toxins. It also indicates that humpback dolphins are more shallow-water species. The Abu Dhabi waters have both the humpback and bottle nose dolphins splashing around in sizeable numbers.
The large population of these intelligent mammals have sparked international interest into the conservation techniques that the UAE government is enforcing to ensure the protection of these species. This comes in tandem with concern about the living conditions of the dolphins as there have been sightings of cuts and injuries on them on account of external dangers that are being studied to remedy. As a result, researchers are urging the need for more comprehensive research to devise effective strategies in place to safeguard the different dolphin species as well as understanding the areas they frequent to ensure that they are protected too.
One among the many measures by the authorities to be more ecologically conscious is the announcement earlier this year to slowly move toward a single-use plastic policy by 2021.The UAE aims to reduce plastic usage across the region, thereby clearing the land and waters in the areas of any plastic waste that could be harmful to the local ecosystem, like the endangered humpback dolphins.
For more information on the wildlife work in the UAE and research being undertaken, visit www.ead.gov.ae