The Czech Republic will support falconry preservation in Eastern Jordan
19.09.2013 / 13:41
(This article expired 20.09.2014.)
The project financed by the Czech Republic aims to support the introduction of falconry displays through the creation of a falconry unit in the Shaumari Reserve and specialized training for local guides so they are able to care for falcons, understand their conservation needs and conduct displays for the Safari tourists.
So far, the Shaumari Reserve has not had a very significant socio-economic impact in the area, except for the employment of a small group of local staff. RSCN also discovered recently that its plans to release Oryx bred in the Reserve to other desert areas of Jordan cannot be realized because of widespread habitat loss. Faced with these issues, RSCN has been working on a new strategy for sustaining the Reserve and its Oryx populations, based on the introduction of an African-style safari program for tourists. This program will not only give visitors a chance to see the Arabian Oryx and learn about their amazing conservation story in an exciting way but will greatly enhance the potential of the Reserve to be a source of employment and income generating opportunities for poor local communities.
Two safari vehicles were purchased recently with support from another donor and a safari trail established through parts of the Reserve. However, since the Oryx herd travels widely throughout the Reserve, it is not always possible for visitors to get close to them in the safari vehicles. For this reason, RSCN would like to introduce falconry displays as part of the Safari program to ensure it remains an exciting and exceptional experience for tourists. Falconry is part of Arabian culture and has been practiced for thousands of years. The birds-of-prey used in the displays in the Safari tour would not be birds taken from the wild but those confiscated from pet-shops or illegal hunters and there would be a strong conservation message in the commentary that will accompany the displays.
This project, therefore, aims to support the introduction of falconry displays through the creation of a falconry unit in the Shaumari Reserve and specialized training for local guides so they are able to care for falcons, understand their conservation needs and conduct displays for the Safari tourists; and thereby contribute to making the Safari a successful conservation and socio-economic tool.
The RSCN director Yahiya Khaled and the Czech Ambassador Ivana Holoubkova signing the contract