Caracal Photographed in Abu Dhabi for First Time in 35 Years

A caracal sitting in the grass.
Caracal by Gopal Vijayaraghavan. CC BY 2.0

I’ve just read an exciting article on The National. The caracal (Caracal caracal), a rare species in the United Arab Emirates, has just been photographed in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for the first time in 35 years.

The male caracal was photographed by a camera trap in Jebel Hafeet National Park. The camera was one of the 45 camera traps that the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) operates in the emirate, which helps them to study elusive animals that are otherwise difficult to glimpse.

As the EAD rightly pointed out, the confirmation of the first caracal in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in over three decades attests to the value of camera traps.

Eight conservationists have been imprisoned in Iran for over a year, and five of them have been charged with “sowing corruption on Earth” for their use of camera traps. These five conservationists could face the death penalty. Another conservationist, Kavous Seyed Emami, has already died in prison under suspicious circumstances.

Camera traps do not sow “corruption on Earth,” they are vital tools for monitoring and learning about wildlife. The recent story concerning the reappearance of caracals in UAE’s emirate of Abu Dhabi, along with hundreds of scientific studies, are evidence of that.

Regardless of what happens in Iran, the EAD will continue to protect Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage for future generations. Hopefully caracals will be more common in the emirate in the near future, so that they can help to maintain thriving ecosystems.

Note: For more information on caracals, read this interview with Dr. Aletris Neils.

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