Abu Dhabi: The first satellite-tracked Greater Flamingo in the Arabian Peninsula has successfully migrated from Abu Dhabi to Iran.
According to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), which has been using satellite transmitters to track these flamingos, this is a significant achievement that has helped them better understand the flamingos' migration route.
Biologists from the agency's Terrestrial Environment Research Centre expect three other flamingos that they have tracked with satellites will move northward, towards potential breeding areas in Iran.
The adventurous flamingo, which has been fittingly named Sindbad by the agency after the legendary traveller, had been tagged with a satellite transmitter at Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in November.
From there, it began its journey from Abu Dhabi coast, with a brief stopover along the coastline of Ras Al Khaimah and then headed to Khor Al Beidah in Umm Al Quwain.
Two days later, the flamingo moved on northward across the Arabian Gulf.
The agency said in a statement: "The results of this study have already been provided and are expected to continue to provide interesting information on the importance and use of the UAE's wetlands, as well as information on the flamingos' movements and their conservation. In addition, the study will help the agency better understand the potential role of migratory birds in the spread of bird flu.
"With this study, the agency also hopes to reiterate how important it is to protect wetland complexes and the entire coastline, which are important to the flamingos and to many other birds, which frequent these wetlands."
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was declared a protected area in 1998, on the orders of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The area is managed by EAD at present. It is one of the priority areas for biodiversity conservation in Abu Dhabi emirate.
It is home to more than 220 species of birds that depend on it for resting, feeding or breeding. It also provides a safe refuge for many other species of reptiles, small mammals and insects.
Flamingos at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve usually gather in dense flocks of over 100 at the man-made 'bird lake' or in the shallow lagoons, protected by mangrove bushes.