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Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:40 pm
by Alpha Female
I found this article rather interesting and decided to share it. ^^
It's no fantasy—the so-called Arabian unicorn is alive and well in Middle Eastern deserts, conservationists have announced.

A frequent muse for Arabic poetry and paintings, the Arabian oryx resembles a unicorn in profile, when its two long horns appear to fuse into one.
But it seemed the hardy antelope was headed for an entirely fictional existence in 1972, when only six animals existed in the wild.

Five of the remaining antelopes were either killed or taken into captivity over the course of the year, and the last wild "unicorn" was shot in Oman in 1972—capping decades of uncontrolled hunting for food and sport.
Now, however, the oryx has leaped to at least a thousand individuals in parts of its native range within Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced with this week's release of its updated Red List of Threatened Species.

"If you consider there were about six animals in the wild ... in 1972, to go from six up to a thousand is amazing," said Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the United Kingdom's IUCN Red List Unit.

As a result, the organization has upgraded the antelope's status from "endangered"—facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild—to "vulnerable," facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

It's the first time in IUCN history that a species considered extinct in the wild has rebounded enough to advance past the "critically endangered" and "endangered" conservation categories.

Arabian Oryx a "Conservation Success"
The oryx's comeback is due to a wide-ranging alliance of conservation groups, governments, and zoos that worked to save the species by breeding a captive "world herd"—descendants of the last wild animals captured in the 1970s, as well as royal stock from the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

In 1982 conservationists started reintroducing small Arabian oryx populations from this captive herd into protected areas where hunting is illegal.

Though the release process was largely trial and error—a whole population of animals died after one attempt in Jordan, for example—"we've learned a lot about carrying out reintroductions successfully," Hilton-Taylor said.

Thanks to the program, the Arabian oryx was upgraded to "endangered" by 1986, a status the species held until this latest upgrade.

Overall, the return of the oryx "shows with concerted conservation efforts, we can make a difference and turn things around," Hilton-Taylor added.

"It's a real conservation success."
Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... s-animals/

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:15 pm
by FelineMeow
:shock: There are such things as unicorns!? :shock:

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:35 pm
by valkea
They aren't actual unicorns, they're Oryxs that may have been the reason for the unicorn myth ^^

Thanks for sharing this Alpha Female, good to know the species is surviving.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:46 pm
by FelineMeow
Oh yeaahhh.....
Sorry, I have the brain of a Squirrel!
:D

Thanks for that info, Alpha Female.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:37 am
by safren
Thanks for sharing this info. It is good that the "unicorn" is making a comeback for the best.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:01 pm
by bigchicken
Woot! Now let's hope the Scimitar Oryx (the other one that's like a unicorn) makes a comeback.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:55 am
by Anthama
safren wrote:Thanks for sharing this info. It is good that the "unicorn" is making a comeback for the best.
Yeah. Thanks for sharing Very interesting.^^

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:35 pm
by Mayachi
That's quite interesting. Thank you for sharing!

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:13 am
by -Ebony-
Awww... It's good to hear that the 'unicorn' is still surviving, thanks for uploading this Alpha female ^^

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:17 pm
by April
Lol the unicorn...XD How cute. I should look it up sometime.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:22 pm
by failwolf56
Ahh, what a coincidence! I just did an oral presentation on ancient trade seals from the Indus Valley Civilization. The seal that I focused on depicted one of these Unicorn creatures, along with a few symbols and other objects. Anyway, it is great to see that these creatures are back on the rise, and not extinct. Thanks for the share M&M

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:24 pm
by LeaderOfDreams
Thanks for sharing this Alpha Female, Very interesting to read :)

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:37 am
by Fierceclaw
Cool, very interesting.

Re: Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:46 am
by BlackWarrior
This is fantastic news. Thanks for the share Alpha F . =]
Hopefully it stays this way!