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Jordan’s Shaumari Reserve to be re-invented for ecotourism and endangered species breeding

Work to re-invent the Jordans’s Shaumari wildlife reserve as a premiere eco-tourism destination for camping and safari, as well as a breeding center endangered species such as the Arabian Oryx, is set to start after Eid Al Fitr (the Muslim celebration marking the end of Ramadan).

According to an article about the renovation in the Jordan Times (JT), Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) Director General Yehya Khalid is quoted to say:

“The work will not be restricted to maintenance and improving facilities, but will focus on creating a new concept for the reserve as a breeding centre and attracting specialised visitors to an ecological environment, …

… Currently, the reserve’s facilities for animals and [for] visitors are over 30 years old, so they are subject to collapse and unsafe, which forced the RSCN to close the reserve to visitors for this year …”

The Shaumari reserve is a Jordanian nature reserve situated close to the town of Azraq, approximately 62mi (100km) east of Amman.It is a regionally important reserve created in 1975 by the RSCN as a breeding center for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. The 13 square mile (22 square kilometer) reserve is a thriving protected environment for some of the most threatened species of animals in the Middle East.

in 1978, eight animals were flown over from the World Breeding Herd at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, and by 1999 the herd grew to over 200 animals, some of which have already been released into the wilderness of Wadi Rum.

According to the JT, maintenance and renovation work at the reserve was made possible through a JD250,000 ($353,257 USD) agreement signed between the Ministry of Environment and the RSCN on Wednesday.

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