Birth of Arabian Leopards in Saudi Arabia marks new milestone in push to restore biodiversity
The Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia announced the birth of two female Arabian Leopard cubs, marking a new milestone in its quest to restore nature’s balance in the Kingdom’s historic site, the al-Arabiya English reported.
The birth of the two cubs comes a year after the birth of another female at the Arabian Leopard Breeding Center last July, it said.
The Arabian Leopard, a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula, is considered to be critically endangered with less than 200 left between Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, mainly due to poaching and habitat loss, it mentioned.
The RCU said in its announcement on Twitter: “RCU is proud to announce the birth of two female Arabian Leopard cubs. We celebrate their arrival as we mark another milestone in our quest to restore the power of nature’s balance in AlUla.”
Pictures released by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Royal Reserve in June documented the birth of the first Arabian oryx to be born in the Kingdom in 90 years.
RCU is proud to announce the birth of two female #ArabianLeopard cubs. We celebrate their arrival as we mark another milestone in our quest to restore the power of nature's balance in #AlUla. pic.twitter.com/sHEQ2eD29H— الهيئة الملكية لمحافظة العلا (@RCU_SA) August 16, 2022
The calf was born at the reserve which is located in the Northern Borders province and is the largest natural reserve in the Middle East, covering 130,700 square kilometers.
The Arabian oryx is one of Saudi Arabia’s endangered species currently benefiting from preservation efforts.
The RCU has collaborated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to make this happen through a Protected Area Network plan for nature reserves to restore nature’s balance, ensure sustainable adaptive management, enable the movement of species and enhance climate change resilience.
The RCU was established by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in north-west Saudi Arabia.
AlUla, which is more than 200,0000 years old, is emerging as one of the region’s new up-and-coming destinations, attracting travelers from all over the world.
After officially opening up to the world just last year, it has since expanded its flight services, partnering with various local and international airlines to secure flight routes to the area.
In an interview with Al Arabiya English earlier this year, the RCU’s Executive Director of Destination Marketing Melanie De Souza said that the city welcomed 146,000 visitors in 2021 alone.