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Crown Prince opens Shomari Wildlife Reserve in Azraq

By JT - Jun 27,2018 - Last updated at Jun 27,2018

HRH Crown Prince Hussein opens the visitor centre at Shomari Wildlife Reserve in Azraq on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — HRH Crown Prince Hussein, the Regent, on Tuesday opened the visitor centre at Shomari Wildlife Reserve in Azraq, which is considered home for rare and endangered animals species in the Middle East.

Prince Hussein toured the centre, which was established under a Royal initiative and listened to a briefing from stakeholders on what the reserve houses of houbara birds, Arabian oryx and rhim gazelles, as well as a variety of wild plants, according to a Royal Court statement.

The Crown Prince watched showcased materials of remittent of wild beings and archaeological pieces highlighting the history of the area. He also had a first-hand look at methods followed in dealing with animals living in the area.

The establishment of the centre aims at developing a new tourist destination in the area and creating new job opportunities in the governorate, the statement said.

During a safari tour in the 22-square kilometre reserve, the prince checked on the mechanism of tracking animals to know their natural routes, and on the administrative procedures followed to improve the wildlife infrastructure.

He listened to a briefing on the role of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in protecting rare falcon species and banning their trade and possession.

The Crown Prince, who was accompanied by Royal Court Chief Yousef Issawi, expressed his admiration of the level of services presented at the reserve and its visitor centre, which made it a tourist attraction in the Kingdom.

Located some 120 km east of Amman, the reserve was founded in 1975 with the support of the RSCN and the World Wildlife Fund, becoming the first nature reserve in the Kingdom. 

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, RSCN Chairman Khalid Irani said that the society administrates about nine nature reserves nationwide, which represent the most important habitats of biodiversity and natura beauty in the Kingdom.

He noted that the reserves have various characteristics which include plain, mountainous and desert topographies which encourage adventure tourism, camping and walking activities. 

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