Mammals of the UAE

First wild born cheetah for 40 years in Arabia

The last known Arabian cheetah was shot in Saudi Arabia in 1950, though they may have hung on in Oman until around 1970. Now 4 cubs have been born in the wild in a nature reserve on an island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Wildlife Extra believes that this is also the first time that cheetah have successfully been reintroduced into the wild anywhere in the world.

Bats of the UAE Review of Arabian bats in PDF

Arabian mmamals From rodents to the Arabian leopard- excellent including this on leopards

Undoubtedly the most famous mammal of today is the Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr ). The reason for its present fame is sadly, that it is on the brink of extinction. A spate of killings by hunters in the early 1990s triggered a conservation effort, spearheaded by the Arabian Leopard Trust, which aims at preserving the mountain habitat with all its wildlife.

Sharjah Wildlife Centre

The Arabian leopard is much smaller and lighter in colour than its African and Asian counterparts. This highly endangered species is the subject of intensive conservation efforts in the UAE. The Arabian Leopard Trust was set up in 1993 with the aim of protecting the leopard and its mountainous habitat in particular, and conserving indigenous Arabian wildlife in general – particularly the large predators of the mountainous regions.

Hunting and depletion of food sources have made the Arabian leopard one of the rarest animals in the world. Further research and international co-operation, along with captive breeding programmes are essential if the Arabian leopard is to be saved from extinction

Hedgehogs Arabian hedghogs

Three species are present in the region. Of these the long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) is the one most associated with man. A loner by nature, it lives not in the true desert but on the margins where it spends the day secreted in burrows or hidden under stones. It leaves its lair at sunset and spends up to 80% of the night actively searching for food. With its long legs and delicate feet it is very much the distance athlete of the family and can cover in excess of one kilometre from dusk to dawn. Unlike its omnivorous cousin the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), it is essentially insectivorous, feeding on beetles, termites and crickets as well as being partial to snails. Its vision is poor but with its dog-like muzzle it searches for prey using its acute sense of smell.