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07 June 2022, 10:21

Sir Bu Nair Island, a safe haven for rare creatures

Photo: wam.ae
Photo: wam.ae

SHARJAH, 7 June (BelTA - Emirates News Agensy). - Declared a nature reserve by a Government decree, Sir Bu Nair Island is one of the most important breeding grounds for the endangered hawksbill turtle and features on the International Union for Conservation of Nature list.

On 1st June, a hawksbill turtle landed on the island as one of the many that began arriving three months ago to nest on the island, bringing the number of nests to more than 300 spread across 27 beaches in Sharjah.

The enchanting island, 13 square kilometres in size, is home to the sooty seagulls (Abu Sannin) and other terns who make thousands of nests in its red soil. Sharjah has strict laws in place to protect all living creatures on the island. Sir Bu Nair is rich in rare green sea turtles, deer, hedgehogs and reptiles, forming a perfect nature reserve away from human interference. The island has also recorded the discovery of the red coat fish.

Sir Bu Nair Island has long been preserved in the region's collective memory of historical events. Pottery vessels have been found on the island dating back to the Iron Age, about 3,500 years ago, confirming the continuation of marine activity on the island during the past 35 centuries.

The island is known as the 'Red Island' because of its red terrain. Boasting sandy beaches and pristine waters, the island and its surroundings are rich in coral and marine life, boasting more than 76 types of fish and 40 types of coral reefs.

The Sir Bu Nair reserve enjoys strategic global importance and is included in the International Convention on Wetlands because of its rich marine life. It's included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and an international agreement on the protection and management of sea turtles in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, attended the 22nd Sir Bu Nair Festival, held from 3rd to 4th June, to highlight the island's environmental and touristic importance to consolidate the Emirati relationship with their environment and heritage.

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