Credit By: Science
A Milestone in Conservation Efforts
In a significant triumph for conservation, Sharjah Safari, the sprawling haven housing an astonishing array of approximately 50,000 animals, proudly announces the triumphant breeding project of the endangered “Madagascar Paratilapia (Paratilapia Polleni)” fish. Marked as endangered by the esteemed International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this accomplishment underscores the steadfast dedication of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA) towards safeguarding this remarkable species within the expansive 8-square-kilometre safari.
Commitment to Biodiversity and Knowledge Enrichment
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah emphasized the comprehensive and collaborative approach that fueled the success of this endeavor. Al Suwaidi highlighted, “The Safari team’s success in breeding the rare Madagascar Paratilapia fish exemplifies our commitment to the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.” Al Suwaidi elaborated on Sharjah Safari’s multifaceted role as a scientific and research project dedicated to amplifying endangered species and enhancing visitor knowledge through immersive experiences within twelve distinct African environments that showcase an eclectic array of terrains, animals, birds, and fish.
The Madagascar Paratilapia (Paratilapia Polleni), a species that feeds on fish flakes and blood worms while seeking refuge amidst aquatic vegetation, finds its existence under threat due to deforestation, habitat degradation, and the altering of colors during mating. Notably, this fish species displays unique sexual dimorphism, with males sporting longer fins and a larger physique than females.
Al Suwaidi further emphasized the importance of conserving even the smaller components of ecosystems, stating, “At Sharjah Safari, not only do we care for large mammals, but we also pay attention to small fish that play a significant environmental role in nature, such as this rare fish.”
In a strategic conservation effort, the successful breeding process is observed within the captivating Spiny Forest area at Sharjah Safari.
The endeavor underlines Al Suwaidi’s appreciation for the dedication of Sharjah Safari’s personnel who have combined scientific research and practical initiatives to fulfill the safari’s objectives, reinforcing its value, significance, and role in fostering an authentic African experience within the heart of Sharjah. The Chairperson aspires for the safari to evolve into an enlightening scientific and educational destination catering to diverse audiences.
Sharjah Safari, inaugurated on February 17, 2022, has become a magnet for environmental enthusiasts, nature admirers, families, and students. Boasting a unique blend of 12 distinct environments echoing different facets of Africa, the safari sprawls across a vast 8-square-kilometer expanse. These sections, including Into Africa, Sahel, Savannah, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Moremi, Kalahari, and Niger Valley, meticulously replicate the life and topography of Africa.
Within these meticulously crafted zones, more than 50,000 animals, representing over 120 species, have found a secure haven within Al Bridi Reserve in Al Dhaid. Since its inauguration, Sharjah Safari has embraced environmental stewardship by planting over 100,000 trees, notably encompassing 100,000 African trees. This assortment of flora, spanning local and African species, encapsulates the uniqueness of this tourist attraction, positioning it as a distinctive destination of natural wonder within the UAE and the broader region.