According to the Saudi Press Agency, Aramco has identified 10 locations for the conservation of biodiversity across a 950 square kilometer area.
More than 500 kinds of plants and animals, including at least 55 species or subspecies that are exclusively found in the Kingdom, will be protected at the locations, which are dispersed from Shaybah in the south to Ras Tanakib in the north and from Abu Ali in the east to Abha in the west.
Threatened, migratory, or indigenous species are all present at the sites.
The region's ecosystem and endangered species have long been protected by Aramco. Ostriches, sand gazelles, and Arabian oryx were all locally extinct in the area as a result of overhunting.
Some locally extinct species, including oryx, gazelles, and ostriches, have been successfully brought back thanks to Aramco's establishment of the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary in 2016.
It is one of the business's self-funded community outreach programs in the area of sustainability.
In the natural habitats of the Empty Quarter, the sanctuary has cordoned off an area measuring roughly 637 square kilometers. It guards animals against dangers such as haphazard vehicle entrance, grazing, littering, and poaching, as well as guarding a variety of indigenous plant species.
Ten Arab indigenous species, 39 of 50 species on a high-priority conservation list, and 13 regionally endangered species are all found in the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary.
Additionally, 11 native plant species, 13 potential reptile species, 18 species of animals, and 176 species of birds, 169 of which are migratory, have been identified by recent biodiversity surveys.
The proliferation of organic materials in the form of animal and bird feces, which has nourished the arid desert sands and resulted in a more active water cycle, is one effect of the recovery. The region's vegetation and fauna have thrived as a result of the decreased camel grazing.
The sanctuary has lately been visited by golden eagles for the first time, according to the reserve's guards, who have also noted the presence of several lizards and hares.
Up till the reserve has the appropriate number of species, more animals will arrive during the project's second phase.
Future environmental study in the area will be made possible by this phase, which will also strengthen academic collaborations between Aramco and other academic institutions.
There were just four Arabian oryx in 1972. In 1939, the last wild ostrich was discovered in the Arabian Peninsula, and sand gazelles were becoming scarcer by the hour.
There are currently four red-necked ostriches, 120 Arabian sand gazelles, and 130 Arabian oryx.
Aramco has helped safeguard the existence of threatened species and paved the ground for the ecosystem's overall rehabilitation.
Aramco has won praise and acclaim for its efforts to protect the environment and wildlife.
The Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary underwent an external audit in 2019 and earned the ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard. Additionally, the production department of the sanctuary twice received the Aramco President's Award for Environmental Preservation.
The sanctuary was recognized as the greatest industrial site in the GCC from an environmental perspective in 2010, and the Saudi Aramco President's Excellence Award was given to the management in 2018.
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