Saudi Aramco helps save endangered animals and protect wildlife in the desert
Saudi oil giant Aramco is helping to save endangered animals and protect the Kingdom’s diverse wildlife as part of its ongoing commitment to protecting the environment wherever it operates.
Across the Kingdom, Saudi Aramco is working to protect dozens of native plant and animal species at 10 vast sites, helping to protect more than 500 species of flora and fauna, including at least 50 species or subspecies unique to the Kingdom. country.
Each site contains critical biodiversity, regional or international, due to its threatened, migratory or endemic species.
Extensive protected reserves stretch from Shaybah in the south to Ras Tanaqib in the north, and from Abu Ali in the east to Abha in the west.
Protected areas cover a wide range of ecosystems unique to the Kingdom.
As part of its conservation work, Saudi Aramco has reintegrated locally extinct species into the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary, which opened in 2016, and has now seen the reintroduction of large numbers of Arabian oryx and Arabian sand deer.
It is in the distant Rub’ Al-Khali or Empty Quarter. Covering 650,000 square kilometers and comprising the largest continuous sand desert on Earth, the Rub’ Al-Khali covers about a third of the Arabian Peninsula.
Located next to Saudi Aramco’s mega-facilities in the area, the fenced sanctuary protects dozens of native plant and animal species.
The reserve – a large expanse of fenced land near the Empty Quarter – is home to globally significant wildlife and protects wildlife from threats from vehicles, grazing and hunting.
Aramco’s investments have resulted in the reintroduction of three species native to the Arabian Peninsula; Arabian oryx, sand deer and ostriches – helping to restore declining wildlife.
In 1972, only four Arabian oryx remained alive in the wild, and sand deer suffered the same fate.
The ostriches disappeared from the Empty Quarter more than 120 years ago after large-scale poaching, with the last known settlement dating back to 1939.
After Aramco’s intervention, the reserves are helping to restore biodiversity to the area, with more than 130 Arabian oryx in the reserve alone.
Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary is now home to 10 endemic Arabian species, 39 species on a national list of 50 high priority conservation species and 13 regionally generated species.
There are also 11 species of native plants, 18 species of mammals and 176 species of birds.
Shaybah, the Saudi oilfield that doubles as a wildlife sanctuary