Abu Dhabi, Nov 5 (IANS/WAM) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) iconic Houbara bustards made an appearance in western Europe Tuesday when eight of the endangered Asian birds were officially unveiled at a ceremony in Paris at the Menagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes (National Museum of Natural History) in Paris.
The live Houbara will be part of the museum’s display of wildlife from the deserts of Arabia.
“It is an honour for me to be here today for the official opening of the Houbara pen at the French National Museum of Natural History,” Majid Al Mansouri, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s department of municipal affairs and board member of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), said at the ceremony.
“The Houbara has been an important element in the lives of the local residents for thousands of years. They are as much a part of our heritage as the falcon and the oryx,” he added.
The birds were donated by the IFHC from its successful captive breeding programme, which is designed to provide a sustainable future for the bird which is at the heart of Arabic culture and tradition.
The arrival of the Houbara is the culmination of a major project carried out jointly between IFHC and the museum to restore the ‘Aviaries of Constantine’, located within the historic zoo of the Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants).
A new structure, inspired by the desert environment of the local residents, has been built to replace previously damaged buildings.
The Houbara will be the flagship species of the display, which focuses on the efforts being made to conserve Asiatic bio-diversity.