Etihad Cargo delivers more than 100 endangered birds to their natural habitats

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April 18, 2018: Abu-Dhabu based Etihad Cargo has recently delivered a shipment of more than 100 vulnerable Houbara bustards for release into their natural habitats. This shipment was carried out in co-operation with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC).

The Houbara are bred in centres in Abu Dhabi managed by IFHC and then released into their natural habitat in countries across the world. 

Justin Carr, vice president of Etihad Cargo, said, “It is an honour to be able to safely transport the Houbara to countries where they can thrive, and play a small part in Abu Dhabi’s project of restoring this iconic species in the wild.”

The partnership between the air cargo carrier and leading conversation programme has led to the relocation and integration into the wild of more than 3,000 Houbara across the world.

Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, director-general of IFHC said: “The range of the Houbara stretches from Morocco to Mongolia, so it is critical that we are able to move the birds from Abu Dhabi to countries across the species’ range safely and securely. Etihad Cargo has proved itself in terms of destinations and security, and together we are helping restore the iconic Houbara to countries where it has been in historic decline. It is another example of how Abu Dhabi is leading the way, both in conservation and commerce.”

Abu Dhabi’s Houbara programme was started over 40 years ago by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, to restore sustainable wild populations of the species to the areas of the world where they were under threat of extinction. Etihad Cargo receives the Houbara at the Live Animals facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The carrier ensures that the climate in the aircraft hold is adjusted according to the birds’ comfort. 

The UAE is signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the airline provides the necessary support to help ensure that wildlife controlled under CITES is not carried unless the necessary paperwork is in order. While the transport of Houbara is usually prohibited under CITES, permission is granted on this occasion in support of an official conservation programme.

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