Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation
The Al Wabra farm is an oasis of green areas, palm trees and many rare wild animals from allover the world. Powered by Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani’s passion for nature, an international team of expert vets, biologists and keepers are dedicated to the care and conservation of the rare and mostly endangered animals that can be found on the farm.
Founded as a hobby farm by his Father, Sheikh Saoud is now transforming the Al Wabra farm into a “state of the art” breeding and research center for endangered wildlife. Traditionally Antelopes and Gazelles have been kept here for a long time and remain a specialty together with the more recent additions of Cats, Parrots and Birds of Paradise.
The Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation is not a zoo and many areas are closed and marked with “no access” signs for visitors not to disturb sensitive animals and even the remaining enclosures are made mostly for the animals and not for visitors. This makes the Preservation to a unique place with a high success rate in breeding difficult and sensitive animals. The more than 2500 animals in more than a hundred different species enjoy the latest in know how for their comfort and well being. This includes excellent veterinary care, laboratories, food-kitchens, orphan-nurseries, the best in natural and imported foods, air conditioning, artificial rains and involvement in international breeding programs.
Education, Research and Conservation
In the future Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation aims to continue with setting the standards in its field. More effort will be invested in educating especially young people in wildlife and nature. Thereby help to increase the public’s awareness in environmental issues. A special education and visitors area is planned for just this purpose.
Spix's Macaw Breeding Project
In the last 3 years; 16 Spix’s Macaws have been bred at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, 4 at Loro Parque and 2 at ACTP. All chicks bred at AWWP have been hand-reared by experienced staff, since it is considered a safer option than parent-rearing and the priority at the moment is to increase the population. When the captive population is considered more secure, breeding pairs will be given the opportunity to raise some of their own young.
Located on a 2.5 square kilometer large area close to the town of Al Shahaniyah in central Qatar. The farm is not open to the public. For more information: http://awwp.alwabra.com/
In April 2009, we had the honour of visiting Al Wabra and meeting the Spix's Macaws in person. It was a very emotional
experience, I felt like a part of history. Or even like meeting the Adam
and Eve of the Spix's Macaws. These little guys won't be released into
the wild but they will be the parents of the chicks who hopefully will
repopulate the species. I was fighting back tears and trying to stay
professional as I held them. They have no idea how rare and precious
they are. They snuggled into my arms just like any pet parrot you would
see at a bird show. It would be hard for me to work there unless I was
allowed to bond with them (they aren't supposed to bond too closely with
humans) and these little guys have the most endearing personality, so
easy to love.
The last wild Spix's macaw was last seen in 2000 and presumed dead though he could have been captured and sold to a collector. His story just broke my heart, his partner was captured in 1987 and for 13 years he was alone though he hung with a flock of Illiger's Macaws, one in particular. There is a wonderful book by Tony Juniper about these beautiful birds-