Genetic study soon on Arabian gazelle diversity

Muscat, Sept 16 – A genetic study will be implemented this year for identifying and preserving genetic diversity of Arabian gazelle in the Sultanate.
A number of government agencies will be part of the study. Findings of the study are expected to provide a real/ reliable reference for authorities interested in the conservation of the Arabian gazelle. The study will be carried out by the Environmental Conservation Office in the Diwan of Royal Court, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA).
It aims at monitoring molecular diversity of the Arabian gazelle in the natural propagation areas in the breeding centres of MECA and the Environmental Conservation Office, the Rehabilitation Center of Wildlife in Barka and Al Sileel Nature Reserve Park in Al Kamil w’al Wafi.
It will enable researchers to establish accurate scientific information on the genetic data of Arabian gazelle and identify genetic relationship of herds in a number of governorates. It will study the possibility of breeding different species.
The study is expected to contribute to the management of production of herds of sustainable genetic diversity. It is expected to increase the ability of these animals to resist diseases and changing climatic conditions.
At present, the research team is analysing samples of Arabian gazelles obtained from different sites in Dhofar, Al Dhahirah, Al Buraimi, Al Wusta, South Al Sharqiyah and South Al Batinah.
Field studies and analysis of samples have continued in the laboratories of Sultan Qaboos University under the supervision of Dr Alia Saleh al Ansari, Faculty of Biology, SQU; and Dr Mohammed al Abri of the Faculty of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Department of Zoology and Veterinary Medicine, SQU.
According to initial indications, the study shows a genetic variation, but also a similarity between the gazelle samples from the Barka breeding centre and other samples brought from the Al Wusta Governorate, says researcher Zaher al Alawi, the Environmental Conservation Office.

Mai Al Abria