Ali Al Shamsi, of IFHC, with a Houbara at the release event in Al Ain Image Credit:

Dubai: The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) has marked the launch of a strategic partnership with the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs (ZHO) with the release of 50 houbara in the Al Ain desert.

The release, the latest effort in the IFHC’s Proactive Intervention Conservation Model to secure a sustainable future for the vulnerable bustard, a mainstay of UAE wildlife, took place at the Telal Resort in Al Ain.

Houbaras are being released. Image Credit: Supplied

At the release, ZHO athletes competing in the UAE Special Olympics team joined senior figures from IFHC and ZHO to help introduce the 50 captive-bred birds into the wild. The event signalled the beginning of an IFHC-ZHO partnership that will see the IFHC’s education programme — which engages school students on the importance of conserving and protecting the Houbara — rolled out across ZHO’s 18 centres in the UAE.

ZHO provides a range of services and humanitarian care for 1,650 people of determination, including education and vocational training to ensure inclusion into the community.