Because of their cultural and ecological importance.. Qatar’s efforts to save young “manatees” and return them to their original environment | Mix

Traveler and environmental activist Khalifa Al-Hamidi regularly visits Qatar’s beaches as part of his land and sea travels, as part of an effort to monitor life in the environment and improve its biodiversity.

Al-Hamidi documents a series of videos posted on his personal social media account and one of the other accounts he considers the interface for his environmental activism in Qatar. The videos show his documentation of the many operations through which he contributed to the rescue of stranded manatees.

Al-Hamidi has been volunteering in environmental protection in his country since the establishment of the government designated for it, and he is especially working on documenting some of his special moments.

He explained that the first case of delinquency of a calf found was in the first week of last July, and that within a month, 3 cases of delinquency of young manatees were recorded in the Khor Al Udeid area of ​​southern Qatar, which is a nature reserve and tourist area.

Al-Hamidi sent a message to residents and visitors to Qatar’s beaches to help the country and step up efforts to protect the marine environment from threats that portend dire consequences, explaining that help is necessary to maintain the ecological balance.

He added: “My message to the community is that every wet liver has a reward and alms calculated by God Almighty.”

Al-Hamidi thanked everyone who helped him save the “calf” from among his colleagues and others, believing that their standing by him had a great impact on their rescue.

Earlier, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Climate Change announced that it had taken the necessary measures to transfer a group of young “sea cows” to the Fuwairit area – the sea turtle project – and that equipped swimming pools for the young, as well as care and first aid, had been provided to them. ensured their safety.

Qatari efforts

The rescue of the young manatees comes in light of efforts by the State of Qatar to conserve endangered creatures that take the country’s marine areas as safe places to live due to the abundance of seaweed that is their main food, including manatees, which includes the State of Qatar, the second largest in the world .world level.

Dugong (sea cow) is a type of mammal that has lived in Qatar’s waters for more than 7,500 years. It reaches a length of 3 meters, weighs about 400 kilograms, and lives up to 70 years. It is similar to a dolphin or seal in its gray color. It is a vegetarian that feeds only herbs.Navy.

Qatar’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is taking many measures to return young manatees to their original environment (island)

strict laws

Dugong gives birth to one cub after a year-long pregnancy, and the mother helps her cubs to surface, to take their first breath, and the cubs stay with their mothers for almost 18 months and are completely dependent on them. .

These frail animals are an easy target for hunters in coastal areas, as long as people try to hunt them and get their meat, skin and teeth, and natural factors, storms and strong sea currents can lead to the separation of the cub from the mother. , and is then easy prey for the hunters or instantly dies due to His lack of self-reliance.

Dugons have become protected by law all over the world, but in a number of countries with weak laws, they are still in a critical situation in terms of protection. In the State of Qatar, strict laws protect dugon populations and prevent any form of encroachment on them.

The Ministry of Environment Protection and Climate Change takes the necessary measures to rescue each of the sea cubs that are separated from their mother, provide them with assistance and return them to their original environment after relying on themselves, and the “sea cow” is one of the large mammals of cultural and ecological importance , especially in Qatar, and was chosen to be “the official mascot of the Qatar National Museum.

Special care

The State of Qatar has made early efforts to protect the dolphins, conduct studies on them and monitor their roosts in the areas of Dukhan, Bahr Salwa, Seline and Khor Al Adaid. The state has also made extraordinary efforts to protect young dugongs that wash up on the beach and are separated from their mothers due to natural factors.

In this regard, the director of the Wildlife Development Department at the Qatar Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Mohammed Ahmed Al-Khanji, says the ministry plans to keep young dugongs to ensure they can be independent and then release them back into their native environment and meeting places in the State of Qatar.

In a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Khanji pointed out that a team of experts, veterinarians and nutritionists supervises the care of the young manatees 24 hours a day, and all facilities and safety are available to them in water pools, in a completely enclosed space and far from any human activities.

Al-Khonji confirms Ministry of Environment sets strict limits to protect young dugongs (Al-Jazeera)
Al-Khonji: Medical team monitors young manatees 24 hours a day (Al-Jazeera)

the balance of the marine environment

The director of the Department of Wildlife Development at the Qatar Ministry of Environment emphasizes that the ministry places strict restrictions on access to the pond area, and wants to adhere to safety and health measures in the pond area and not to disturb the young sea urchins, and to monitor their health and nutrition by experts area.

For his part, Dr Muhammad Al-Sayed – a senior environmental expert at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change – says dugongs exist in Australia, the Arabian Gulf, parts of the Red Sea, the northern and eastern coasts of East Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Pacific Islands, noting that Australia has the largest number of dugongs. It is followed by the state of Qatar, since the city of Dukhan is the main den of dugongs, as well as in the northwest and south of the region near the islands of Al Udeid, Fasht Al Hadid and Al Alia.

Muhammad Al-Sayed says there are many factors that threaten the dugong (Al-Jazeera)
Muhammad Al-Sayed says there are many factors that threaten the dugong (Al-Jazeera)

And Al-Sayed confirms, in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, that the State of Qatar attaches great importance to the protection of endangered creatures, including manatees, due to their great importance in the balance of the marine environment, and studies on them began early in the State of Qatar, and monitored gathering of more than 600 manatees in the Ashereej area during manatee gathering season, as well as other gatherings were monitored in Al-Alia Island, Salwa Sea and other areas of the country.

He pointed out that young manatees, when they become delinquent, are taken care of and ensured that they can live and rely on themselves, and then they are released back to their gathering places in the country.

He explains that dugongs are of global importance and are classified as endangered marine animals. They are the last remaining living species of the long-tailed godwit family, and their presence was recorded in ancient excavations in the Arabian Gulf several thousand years ago.

The environmental expert points out that threats to manatees are human factors, but also natural factors in the sea, emphasizing that one of the most dangerous factors is the separation of their young from their mothers. This makes it an easy prey for any fisherman or it comes out of the sea and dies, and since the female gives birth to only one cub every two years, the exposure of the calves to risks leads to the gradual extinction of these important animals.

He notes that the State of Qatar is making great efforts to preserve the young calves, prepare suitable places for their rearing and keep them for the necessary time, and then release them back into the sea to their gathering places.

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