Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Al Wusta Governorate, Oman 

The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is one of the largest and most important wildlife reserves in the Middle East, though its size and importance have declined in recent years.  This refuge, home to several threatened desert species, was one of the only nature reserves recognized by UNESCO and located between Sub-Saharan Africa and India.  Unfortunately, it also has the distinction of being the first such site to be delisted by UNESCO, leaving the future of this beautiful region very much in doubt.

The Arabian Peninsula, site of some of the most inhospitable desert terrain on Earth, was nevertheless home to a rich desert ecology stretching back into time immemorial.  However, by the late 19th century, many local species were disappearing before the encroachment of man.  The Arabian Oryx was completely extinct in the area before a herd was reintroduced in the 1970s.  A sanctuary was established in Oman, and the area named a world heritage site.  Unfortunately, the sanctuary did not work well, and poaching constantly threatened the local wildlife.  A few years after the Omani government decided to significantly reduce the park, UNESCO delisted the site.

Epic Oman Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

building Own or work here? Claim Now! Claim Now!