Deer in Saudi Arabia … an extinct species and efforts to preserve wildlife


What danger do deer face in Saudi Arabia?


How does Saudi Arabia face overfishing?

Pay large fines.

What has the kingdom taken for deer breeding?

Work on their reproduction and release in wild reserves.

Through many programs and initiatives, Saudi Arabia seeks to protect deer from extinction, and has succeeded in releasing numbers of these animals to the wild after their reproduction.

And deer of all kinds almost became extinct in the largest Gulf country due to many factors, including continuous hunting, before the Kingdom began in the past few years a plan aimed at preserving that animal as part of a broader strategy to protect wildlife.

The Kingdom has set strict laws that include deterrent penalties for those who engage in overhunting for this type of animal, while it has created a large number of wildlife reserves that contribute to preserving wildlife, in general, and contribute to the increase in the number of deer.

In a new step to preserve them, the National Center for Wildlife Development, Wednesday (March 3, 2021), released 100 reem gazelles in the King Salman Royal Reserve located in the north of the country, after providing them with tracking chips that will help deter hunters.

The center did not disclose the modus operandi of those slides and the information that will be provided to the people in charge of the reserve, but a spokesman for him said that any person involved in hunting any deer from them will face punishment, including a fine of 25 thousand riyals (about seven thousand dollars).

The fishermen will face other penalties related to entering the reserve and hunting in it without a permit, which increases the value of the violations, in addition to other penalties that reach the fisherman’s prison and confiscation of his car under a new system that entered into force a few days ago.

The extinct Saudi deer

Saudi Arabia is trying to preserve species of deer after it lost the “Saudi deer”, which became extinct due to overfishing.

Saudi gazelles were previously widespread across most of the Arabian Peninsula from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia and the borders of Yemen, where they lived in sandy and gravel plains.

The Saudi gazelle is one of the extinct species of deer due to the intense hunting it has been subjected to, which was previously believed to be a subspecies of the “Dorcas” gazelle, before it was recently discovered that it forms an independent species on its own.

Genetic examinations of Saudi deer, which are claimed to be remaining in captivity, have shown that these groups either constitute different species from the real Saudi deer or represent hybrid between several species.

Most of the reports were received about its presence in the western part of the Kingdom, and other reports were received that it was in Syria and Iraq, but it is not confirmed yet.

Creation of sanctuaries

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has 15 nature reserves (12 land reserves and three marine reserves), and all of them are subject to very strict laws in order to visit and deal with them to preserve them and all kinds of life within them.

Most of these reserves are where deer are released for their reproduction, and include the Hurriah Al-Hurra Reserve: an area of ​​13,775 km, the Al-Khunfah Reserve with an area of ​​19,339 km, the Al-Awal Reserve with an area of ​​1,840.9 km, the Mahazat Al-Seid Reserve with an area of ​​2,553 km, the Umm Al-Qumari Islands Reserve with an area of ​​4.03 km, and the Al-Tabeeq Reserve: With an area of ​​12 105 km, the Farasan Islands Reserve with an area of ​​5408 km, the Raida Reserve with an area of ​​9.33 km, and the Al-Hadhab complexes with an area of ​​2256.4 km.

It also includes the Aruq Bani Maarad Reserve with an area of ​​12,787 km, the Nofoud Al-Areiq Reserve with an area of ​​2036.1 km, the Al-Taysiya Reserve with an area of ​​4,272.2 km, the Saja and Umm Al-Ramth Reserve with an area of ​​6,528.2 km, the Upper Shada Mountain Reserve with an area of ​​68.62 km, and the Jubail Wildlife Reserve with an area of ​​2,410.69 km.

The Kingdom owns seven royal reserves distributed in different regions, and they are of public ownership, which were identified based on the royal orders issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in June 2018, and possesses vast areas of biological and geological diversity, and each of them has a board of directors and a body that enjoys personality Legal entities to supervise and develop them.

The royal reserves include the Imam Abdul Aziz bin Muhammad Royal Reserve, with an area of ​​11,300 square kilometers, the Imam Saud bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve, an area of ​​2,240 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve, with an area of ​​9,1500 square kilometers, and the King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve: an area of ​​15,700 Square kilometers.

It also includes the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve: it is the largest in the Kingdom with an area of ​​130,700 square kilometers, the Prince Muhammad bin Salman Royal Reserve with an area of ​​16,000 square kilometers, and the King Khalid Royal Reserve.

Wildlife development

To preserve wildlife, which includes animals and includes deer, the Kingdom established the National Center for Wildlife Development, which is a government center established with the approval of the Council of Ministers, in March 2019.

The center aims to supervise and manage protected areas, protect animal and marine wildlife (plants and animals), grow them, and work on the return of endangered species to their natural habitats.

The center continuously releases a number of deer into the nature reserves in order to live their normal life in the wild.

The Wildlife Center officials say that releasing antelopes in reserves restores wildlife after a lapse of 20 years, as part of the national program for the resettlement of wildlife in reserves and national parks.

Some initiatives to release deer in nature reserves in the Kingdom did not succeed, as they were subjected to hunting operations, some of which were documented by the hunters themselves, which exposed them to prosecution after the spread of videos of what they had done.

Hunting in the desert and the prairie in general is a popular hobby for many Saudis, as they go out in small groups with their cars to chase desert animals or birds passing through it, despite the criticism directed at them by environmental activists and wildlife.

Saudi Arabia has an environmental police force that works to control environmental behavior and prevent abuses and violations, by controlling violators of the safety and health of the environment, monitoring and punishing acts that constitute a clear violation of the health and safety of humans, animals, plants and nature.

The tasks of environmental police include preventing overfishing and illegal logging, encroachment on reserves and biodiversity, tampering with public property, and littering.

It also includes preventing pollution in its physical, audio and visual forms, such as air pollution from factory and car fumes, groundwater and sea water pollution, soil, crops and food pollution, smoking and hookahs in public places, theft of water, sand, rocks, lands and beaches, in addition to spreading environmental awareness among all segments of society.


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