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First captive-bred Houbara chick welcomed
By a Staff Reporter February 09, 2018
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ABU DHABI: The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), announced Thursday the hatching of its first captive-bred Asian Houbara chick of the 2018 breeding season.

The chick hatched on Jan 27 at the National Avian Research Centre, in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, Director-General of IFHC, said that each season they warmly welcome the first Houbara chick into the world, but this year it’s special, as it has arrived during the Year of Zayed.

“It is only because of Sheikh Zayed that Abu Dhabi has a programme to restore the Houbara. So the first chick to be hatched in the UAE this particular year has a unique place in our hearts,” he added.

The first ever chick to be produced through captive breeding hatched in 1982 and by 2016, the number of chicks produced annually by the Fund surpassed 50,000.

Since its inception, over 350,000 Houbara chicks have been produced in its state-of-the-art facilities. Many of the chicks bred at IFHC’s facilities are released into the wild as part of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Houbara Reintroduction Project to restore and support the species in the wild.

Moreover, Abu Dhabi’s Houbara breeding programme was initiated over forty years ago by the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, and is dedicated to restoring sustainable wild populations of the iconic Houbara bustard across the species’ range. It is responsible for many ground breaking scientific findings, which are incorporated into the breeding and release programme thus ensuring it is one of the world’s most advanced and complete conservation solutions.

IFHC also works closely with partners across the Houbara range – which stretches from Morocco to Mongolia – to provide the best chance for future survival of the species, which is central to Arabic culture and heritage.

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