About National Wildlife Research Center
The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) was created in April 1986, as one of the Saudi Wildlife Commission (SWC) research and breeding centers for wildlife, situated 30 kms south of Taif city near the village of Al Sudhaira and encompasses a 650 ha fenced reserve of semi-desert Acacia savannah. The elevation of the Center is 1,400 meters and the climate quite cosy with an average temperature of 35 ºC in the summer months and 20 ºC in the winter months
The objectives of the NWRC include:
- Captive breeding of globally threatened species in support of species restoration programmes
- The reintroduction of captive-bred animals into specially prepared protected areas within former range in Saudi Arabia
- Post-release monitoring and ecological studies of reintroduced wildlife populations
- Participation in and support of wider conservation programmes, including the protection of wild animal populations, the study of ecological processes in desert habitats, protected areas management, and the encouragement of public support and participation in wildlife conservation through education and awareness projects
Although Saudi Arabia in general is desert country, wildlife used to be plentiful. The ancient Arabians, as their counterparts of the Sahara Desert left rock drawings showing how abundant animals were at their time. Islam teaches conservation and the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), especially discuss about wild animals. But the situation has evolved and some of them have disappeared from this land while most are dramatically few.
During its first ten years, the NWRC has met its initial objectives. With a staff of nearly 100 people, the NWRC has succeeded in the captive propagation of the Arabian oryx, houbara bustard, red-necked ostrich, Nubian ibex and onager. Breeding populations of oryx, houbara and ostrich have been re-established in the wild.
NWRC field staff have contributed to conservation programmes within the large network of Saudi Arabian protected areas, from Mahazat as-Sayd on the central plateau, Harrat al-Harrah in the north, to Raydah in the forested Asir mountains, and south to ‘Uruq Bani Ma’arid on the edge of the Empty Quarter.
Public awareness materials specially prepared at the NWRC, such as video documentaries and exhibitions, have been used to take the conservation message to thousands of Saudi school children, and to Saudi citizens in cities, towns and even the most remote mountain villages.
Over the next ten years the NWRC aims to continue the restoration of depleted wildlife populations through reintroductions into new protected areas, through management, and through the protection and encouragement of remnant wild populations.
As part of broader programmes to document Saudi Arabia’s biodiversity for the selection, protection and management of wildlife reserves, NWRC staff undertake and support research on a variety of wildlife, including plants, insects, birds, bats, foxes, sand cats, wild cats, wolves and Arabian leopards, and on the ecological processes that regulate wildlife populations in the varied and sometimes harsh arid environments of Saudi Arabia.
National Wildlife Research Center
P.O. Box 1086 Taif
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 2 74 81 252
Fax: +966 2 74 81 305
E-mail: desert [at] nwrc-sa [dot] org