"Wildlife ConservationThe..." Jordan Favorite Tip by gamalfreedom

Jordan General: 177 reviews and 176 photos


Favorite thing: Wildlife Conservation

The diversity of animals in Jordan was formerly much more varied than at present. Ancient rock drawings and Byzantine mosaics suggest that the Jordanian landscape was populated by an abundant variety of wildlife, including ostrich, gazelle, Arabian oryx, Nubian ibex, Asiatic lion, Syrian bear and Fallow deer. It is also believed that crocodiles used to inhabit the Jordan River. However, many of these species have been either decimated or driven to extinction because of overhunting or habitat destruction.

The hunting of gazelle and other wildlife dates back to the beginning of the Paleolithic era in Jordan, many thousands of years ago. However, the advent of automatic weapons and hunting from vehicles decimated the populations of larger mammals, particularly carnivores which were always present in low density. Hunting is now carefully controlled by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN): laws now include the outlawing of automatic weapon hunting and shooting from vehicles. The RSCN sets the hunting seasons, the maximum quota of animals to be hunted and areas where hunting is allowed. Hunting is completely banned east of the Hijaz Railway.

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has been at the forefront of Jordanian efforts for wildlife conservation. Founded in 1966, the RSCN was the first non-governmental organization of its kind in the Arab world. The Society addresses a wide range of environmental concerns, but its primary concern is for the preservation of wildlife both on the Jordanian mainland and in Aqaba?s coral reefs and coastline.

The RCSN has planned a complete system of wildlife reserves to cover the different habitats of the country. To date, six have been established, covering 1.4% of Jordan?s total area. Six more reserves are planned, and the total land area of the 12 reserves will cover four percent of the country. The Society?s preservation programs have included notable successes such as the Arabian oryx, a locally extinct species successfully reintroduced to Jordan in 1978, preservation of the remaining wetlands area at Azraq, and combining environmental preservation, archaeology and community development at the Dana Reserve.

Fondest memory: The Arabian oryx, a large straight-horned antelope which had been extinct in Jordan since the 1920s, and in the Middle East since 1972, was reintroduced in the Shomari Reserve in 1978. The breeding program has been an unqualified success. After introducing eight heads to Jordan in 1978, the Shomari Reserve now hosts around 200 Arabian oryx, together with other endangered animal species. In 1998, the RSCN plans to complete the reintroduction of the oryx by releasing them all from the Shomari Reserve into their natural desert habitat.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 25, 2002
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