Dubai Municipality officials with Lappet-faced Vulture , the first vulture to be tracked by satellite in the UAE. Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Municipality


An endangered lappet-faced vulture, the first vulture to be tracked by satellite in the UAE to determine its migratory path, was re-released at a ceremony held in Dubai’s Al Marmoum Desert Conservation Reserve.

Named Gareh 1, it was first attached with a satellite tracking transmitter with the number 41622 by the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality on March 14, the civic body said in a press release.

Gareh 1 stayed in the protected area of the reserve after the release for about 36 days, during which he adapted to the natural environment in the reserve.

Gradually, he joined the other group of vultures in the reserve to begin the journey back to the wild and took off to its migration path on April 19.

He was reportedly flying at 82 km/h speed in case of free flight and a speed of 55 km/h in case of soaring through the Hatta area, which is the main crossing for the vultures that breed in Oman to continue his journey on the same day to the province of Al Dhahra in Oman.

The bird’s trip will provide very important information to help the relevant authorities to identify the areas of the movement of the bird in preparation for coordination between the countries used by the bird to further protection and control measures, said Alia Abdul Rahim Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department at Dubai Municipality.

The bird was previously rescued, rehabilitated and taken care of by the Emirati Abdullah Al Kaabi, who then re-released the bird to continue roaming.

The Lappet-faced Vulture was tracked by satellite with the participation of representatives of the Abu Dhabi Office of CMS (Convention on Migratory Species, United Nations Environment Programme), which coordinates with various entities to ensure the conservation of migratory species, including endangered vultures.

Aisha Al Muhairi, Head of Natural Resources Conservation Section in the Environment Department, said that the Al Marmoum Desert Reserve annually hosts a number of vultures ranging from 20 to 25 birds distributed throughout the reserve, especially the southern and western parts, where a number of gazelles and other animals exist.