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Flamingos flock to Qatar for annual migration stopover

November 25, 2020 Middle East News No Comments

Hundreds of flamingos and other migratory birds have been spotted at Al Thakira Mangroves in the North East of Qatar, using the country as their favourite stopover.

From visiting flamingos and marsh harriers, to native desert hedgehogs, horned desert vipers and the Arabian oryx, Qatar attracts many unique species and adds to the thriving flora and fauna that make it a must visit destination for wildlife lovers.

In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country is dedicated to sustainability and has implemented measures to protect and repopulate native and visiting species. With incredible experiences offered by a number of tour operators, travellers to Qatar can access the best locations to enjoy the abundance of wildlife on land and in water.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary General of Qatar National Tourism Council and Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, said of the seasonal visitors: “The annual migration of the flamingos is a spectacular sight and we look forward to welcoming our avine visitors each year.

“As part of the National Vision 2030, we’re working towards maintaining a safe and hospitable environment for our wildlife, whether they are domestic or migratory. As we continue to invest in the development of Qatar as a world-class tourism destination, it is important for us to ensure nationals and tourists safeguard our unique flora and fauna.”

Many of Qatar’s unique visiting and native species are protected under a variety of programmes. These include:

  • Flamingos: The colourful birds make the wetlands their home for up to six months as they migrate from Europe to Qatar in search of warmer climes. They may be spotted from the air during a flying tour of the Al Thakira Mangroves. BirdLife International, which aims to protect the habitats of migratory birds, works actively in Qatar to ensure it is a hospitable environment for the annual visitors
  • Arabian Oryx: The national symbol of Qatar, this gentle mammal can survive without water for days. While the species were officially declared extinct in the wild in the 1970s, thanks to conservation efforts numbers are increasing. Arabian Oryx can be spotted from a safe distance on desert safaris
  • Hawksbill turtle: One of thousands of species that reside in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. A scheme to protect them began in 2003, ensuring that beaches are closed to the public during the mating season each year. These peaceful creatures may be spotted while on scuba-diving excursions
  • Al Thakira Mangroves: A popular spot for migrating and native animals alike, the vegetation and habitat is protected as one of Qatar’s 10 natural reserves. The spectacular waters of the mangroves can be explored in kayak tours

For more information on the wealth of flora and fauna in Qatar, please visit: https://www.visitqatar.qa/en/things-to-do/adventures or watch migrating flamingos enjoy the views at the mangroves here (Credit: @azzamalannai)

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