Al Wusta natural reserve contains multiple ecosystems with rare biodiversity

Oman Monday 06/November/2023 19:20 PM
By: Times News Service/With ONA inputs
Al Wusta natural reserve contains multiple ecosystems with rare biodiversity

Muscat: The Environment Authority has announced the approval of the Secretariat of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for the wetlands reserve in Al Wusta Governorate.

It is the third site in the Sultanate of Oman registered in the list of wetlands of international importance. The first site is Al Qurum Natural Reserve, registered in 2013 and the second site is Al Ansab Lakes, registered in 2020.

The wetland reserve, located in the Wilayat of Mahut, Al Wusta Governorate and declared by Royal Decree No. 51/2014, is one of the sites of multiple ecosystems with rare biodiversity.

It is one of the unique sites for studying the biodiversity and the sustainable usage of wetlands.

The reserve is rated one of the best sites of international importance for the migrating birds in the Middle East during the winter season of migration to Asia and East Africa.

The area of the reserve is approximately 214,032.862 hectares. The site of the reserve comprises several ecosystems such as the sea islands, bays, water courses, coastal sand dunes, plain lands, wild grass, coral reefs and sea herbs, turtle habitats, environment suitable for feeding sea turtles and crustaceans including endangered whales.

With a total area of approximately 162 hectares, the site accommodates the largest area of mangrove trees in the Sultanate along the coast of Mahut Island. The wetlands reserve enjoys natural tourism potentials making it a destination for tourists and lovers of bird watching.

The surveys conducted by the Environment Authority showed an increase in the number of migrating birds at the reserve annually where the number exceeds half a million during winter. The number of bird species coming to the reserve is 23.

It is worth mentioning that the site of the reserve hosts several animals such as foxes, wild rabbits and reptiles.