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Omani scientists to present lecture at RGS


Muscat, Oct 2 - The UK’s Royal Geographical Society will host the third annual Oman Natural Heritage Lecture in association with the Anglo-Omani Society at the RGS-IBG’s Ondaatje Theatre in London on October 24. Wildlife biologists Haitham al Rawahi and Al Taimur al Said from the Office for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court, will present a lecture on the Arabian Tahr and the Nubian Ibex. This will be followed by a panel session with the speakers, moderated by Hadi al Hikmani and Dr Nigel Winser of RGS.

Al Hikmani of the Office for the Conservation of the Environment is an authority on the Arabian Leopard and himself a presenter at the inaugural Oman Natural History lecture in 2016. He is currently studying in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent. The lecture series is organised annually by Dr Nigel Winser, Dr Roderic Dutton, Sean Nelson, Dr Rob Baldwin and Mansoor al Jahdhami.

The Arabian Tahr, is a mountain goat, an endangered species found only in the Hajar mountains of Oman, with less than 2,500 of these fleet, sure-footed creatures estimated to be found worldwide. The Nubian Ibex, is an even more elusive mountain goat living in the Huqf escarpment which is increasingly threatened and in great danger of extinction. The Ibex is an icon of this particular ecosystem and research will assist, not only in conserving this magnificent antelope, but developing a

greater knowledge base to assist in the global conservation of endangered species.

The lecture will focus these elusive and shy Omani wildlife icons, as observed in their natural environment by a dedicated team of Omani conservationists, scientists, and rangers working in the field using sophisticated, state-of-the-art camera trapping and global positioning techniques, backed by traditional knowledge and skills of those living in Oman’s mountains and plains. This lecture brings new knowledge of the behaviour, distribution, and status of two endangered species and will describe critical future conservation activities planned to ensure the future of Oman’s natural wildlife.”

This public lecture is for those interested in current and future conservation research in Oman, and is supported by Yasser al Salami, Director-General of the Office for the Conservation of the Environment, of the Diwan of the Royal Court of Oman. Entry to the lecture is free for Omani students and researchers based in the UK. Those who are interested should contact Dr Winser at to avoid disappointment. Sayyid Bader bin Hamad al Busaidy, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who will open the event. The event is supported by the Anglo-Omani Society and the Oman National Field Research Centre for Environmental Conservation.

Ray Petersen

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