Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) announced the completion of the first phase of the UAE National Red List Project on Wednesday.

Once finalised, the list will provide updated information on the conservation status and distribution of flora and fauna in the UAE.

Phase one involved the assessment of marine and terrestrial mammals and herpetofauna – amphibians and reptiles.

According to the list, the UAE is home to 78 species of mammals – 59 terrestrial and 19 marine.

The Red List Index of local mammals saw a 2.97 per cent decrease in regional extinction risk between 1996 and 2018.

Meanwhile, herpetofauna scored 0.92 on the Red List Index, indicating a considerably lower risk than mammals, both globally and in the UAE.

The decrease is attributed to the ongoing expansion of protected areas and reintroduction programs for threatened animal species.

Dr Thani bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Our steadfast commitment to safeguarding biodiversity has been supported by a host of integrated legislation and government strategies aimed at achieving the goals of the National Biodiversity Strategy 2021, and are well-aligned with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“We are pleased to see a drop in the extinction risk of mammals and herpetofauna that reaffirms the importance and effectiveness of our conservation efforts. The list will serve to enhance and inform ongoing efforts through targeted policies and plans.”

Phase two of the project will include assessment of indigenous bird and plant species.

The public can access the list via the MoCCAE website,