Rare endangered Arabian leopard sighted in Omani mountains
September 8, 2019 | 3:40 PM
by Times News Service
Supplied photo.

Muscat: Cameras have captured the endangered Arabian leopard in Dhofar Mountains, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs has said.

In an online statement, the Ministry Environment and Climate Affairs said: “Wildlife Protection Units of the Directorate General of Environment and Climate Affairs in Dhofar Governorate were able to capture the movements of the endangered Arabian leopard, through infrared cameras.”

The species has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of animals that are close to extinction, with fewer than 200 Arabian leopards now roaming the wild.

In Oman, leopards are protected from being hunted and captured by Ministerial Decision and Royal Decrees.

Under Royal Decree 6/2003, the penalty for hunting or capturing leopards is imprisonment for between six months and five years, and a fine of up to OMR5,000.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the main stronghold for the Arabian Leopard is a continuous tract of territory in Dhofar, as well as the Hawf area of north-eastern Yemen. There is also a small, isolated population in Saudi Arabia.

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