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NEOM’s rewilding success is bringing back wild cats, ostriches, marine life for the first time in 100 years

NEOM, an ambitious $500 billion giga-project, is spearheading a pioneering rewilding initiative that is breathing new life into the region’s ecosystems. At the heart of this endeavour lies NEOM’s Nature Reserve, a sprawling 25,000 square kilometre sanctuary where a massive commitment has been made to protect 95 percent of the land for conservation purposes.

“The oryx we brought back were the first time oryx have walked the sands of NEOM in 100 years,” Dr. Paul Marshall, Head of NEOM’s Nature Reserve, told Arabian Business. Joining the oryx were ibex, sand gazelles, and mountain gazelles, all released into the larger reserve after acclimatising in specially designed pens.

But the rewilding efforts have already borne remarkable fruit. In the first breeding season alone, the reserve has witnessed a baby boom, with over 60 newborns from these five species taking their first tentative steps in their ancestral homeland. “Even the Ostriches have had babies – we’ve got baby ostriches running around at the moment, which is super cute,” Marshall revealed.

Plans are in motion to reintroduce predators like the caracal, Arabian lynx, and cheetah, further restoring the region’s ecological balance and creating a truly thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem.

Read the full story at Arabian Business (Paywall)


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