The reserve contains more than 230 species of birds have been spotted, along with an abundance of aquatic life, as well as 50 percent from registered birds within the region.
* It was the first place in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and was declared a Ramsar site. It has been recognized by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and joins a list of over 2,000 other internationally recognized wetlands around the world.
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was established in 1988, by the late his Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It was the first place in the Emirate to be designated for protection by law and was declared a Ramsar site by 2013. Moreover, the site has been recognized by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and joins a list of over 2,000 other internationally recognized wetlands around the world. The presence of so many different habitats and types of vegetation within one compact area has attracted many different forms of life. More than 250 species of birds have been spotted, along with an abundance of aquatic life, as well as 37 plant species. Al Wathba also features a rich variety of dragon flies and damsel flies. The reserve hosts over 200 migratory birds, 11 mammals, 10 reptiles and over 35 plant species.
Visitors could discover new species such as the metallic-colored Cuckoo Wasp, known by the scientific name Hedychridium Anithaae, which was recently discovered at Al Wathba reserve. Hence, it was added to the list of hundreds of invertebrates recorded within the reserve. in addition, Other species in the reserve have been discovered including Greater Spotted Eagle, Salvadorans, Red fox, Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard ‘Dhub’, Desert monitor lizards, Cape desert hares, Purple-blushed darter, Chessman’s gerbil and Ethiopian hedgehog.
Flamingos is most important type of birds
Flamingos successfully bred for the first time in 70 years ago at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. It has followed this successful breeding, the reserve, which lies around 45 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi city. The Reserve also provides a safe refuge for many species of reptiles, small mammals and insects.
Al Wathba undertakes routing monitoring on key elements of the Reserve’s wildlife and runs a successful flamingo tracking program. By monitoring and tracking this species, EAD was able to acquire valuable data about trends, the number of flamingos which visit the Emirate’s shores as well as the route they travel. EAD also regularly monitors the water quality and Artemia (or brine shrimp) to help ensure a suitable environment for the flamingos to breed throughout the year.
Location and History
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a multifaceted of surface water bodies, both natural and manmade around 40km southeast of central Abu Dhabi City.
Wathba formed in 1982 as a result of excess accumulation of water from the sewage treatment plant and retail as well as rainwater and irrigation water that leaked from the nearby fields feed . The lake is located in a low basin called the marsh and the water level is affected by the groundwater and the movement of the tides.
The protected overseen by the Environmental Research and Wildlife Authority and the development of a safe haven for wildlife, especially migratory birds, which benefited to the region during the winter season. And it extends over a total area of almost five square kilometers.
And includes three protected species of different environments: the freshwater environment and salt water environment and desert environment is unique, and each one of them the existence of different groups of plants and animals