wadi wurayah uae’s rare natural beauty
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today

Wadi Wurayah, UAE’s rare natural beauty

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Wadi Wurayah, UAE’s rare natural beauty

Wadi Wurayah National Park
Fujairah - WAM

Wadi Wurayah National Park, a rare beauty and gem nestled on the Hajar Mountain range and crafted by nature for millions of years, now boasts 860 recorded species, including 19 mammals, 17 reptiles, 3 fishes, 94 birds and other invertebrates.
"The Hajar Mountains have been recognised as a specific habitat which has a group of species living together. This is the Arabian highlands and shrub lands ecosystem, so this is rare, and it's well representative of this particular ecosystem, with different species that are well adapted to the aridity of the region because you have low rainfall," Dr. Jacky Judas, Research Manager at the park told Gulf News daily.
Wadi Wurayah, which derived its name from ‘wurayah', the Arabic word for reeds, is the country's first Mountain Protected Area as declared by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, in March 2009.
Wadi Wurayah has a rich ecological and archaeological importance.
Recent wildlife surveys show that 22 of the 30 known dragonflies worldwide can be found here. A dragonfly called Urothemis thomasi, which sports a bright red orange body and tail, has been spotted in the wadi. It is considered a species new to the UAE, only previously recorded in a few sites in Oman. It was thought to be extinct and has not been recorded anywhere since 1957.
The presence of these dragonflies and damselflies signifies that the water that streams through the wadi is of good quality as they require pristine water to thrive. They are also a good indication of the quality of the habitat.
Wadi Wurayah, a permanent freshwater stream bed, contains 371 separate streams running a total of 301km that branch out from six main wadis, according to the Hydrological Sciences Journal.
"This piece of the Hajar Mountains, between Oman and the UAE, is the biggest exposed ophiolite complex in the world. It's like heaven for geologists because you come here and you see everything as it is," Maral Chreiki, Conservation and Operation Manager of Wadi Wurayah National Park, told the daily.
Apart from its geological importance, Wadi Wurayah has a rich archaeological and ecological importance. Archaeological sites discovered in the wadi date as far back as 300BC. Even the country's oldest mosque, the Al Bidiya Mosque, is located just 2km from the park's border.
"Civilisations started in rich areas like this and this is what we should be proud of. We should protect it for the next generations, for the future," Chreiki noted.

 

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