The UAE, under the Shaikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme (SZFRP), has released 93 endangered falcons this year in Kazakhstan. This takes the number of the bird of the culturally emblematic birds released into their natural habitat in the wild, since the programme started in 1995, to 1,554, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) said in a statement.
The programme, under the patronage of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is now in its 19th successive year and indications are that the numbers of falcons in the wild are growing as a result of the work being done by Abu Dhabi to restore a bird crucial to local heritage, the statement said.
The first falcon release programme, under the directives of late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan, was launched in Pakistan’s Balochistan province with 100 birds of prey, all tagged for identification and tracking. After another release again in Balochistan, the third was launched in Pakistan’s Northern Area of Gilgit-Baltistan and then a large number of releases in Central Asia, particularly the Kazakh region.
This year’s release carried out from May 16-18 included a total number of 46 Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and 47 Saker falcons (Falco cherrug) in Kurchum, Eastern Kazakhstan for the fifth consecutive year.