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La nascita di un raro cucciolo di leopardo arabo segna un’importante pietra miliare nella salvaguardia di una specie gravemente minacciata

AlUla, Arabia Saudita, 28 settembre 2021: La Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) annuncia la nascita di un cucciolo di leopardo arabo, un importante segno di speranza per la rinascita di una specie gravemente a rischio.

Il cucciolo femmina è nato il 23 aprile. L’identificazione del sesso e il primo controllo sanitario sono avvenuti il 13 luglio. Il cucciolo è uno dei 16 nati nel contesto di un programma di allevamento in cattività gestito dall’Arabian Leopard Breeding Center di Taif, in Arabia Saudita, ed è parte di una campagna volta a salvaguardare questa specie che era ormai prossima all’estinzione.

In seguito a secoli di perdita di habitat naturale e bracconaggio, la sua specie conta oggi meno di 200 esemplari in natura. L’International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) sostiene che la specie sia “seriamente in pericolo”, ciò significa che è considerata ad altissimo rischio di estinzione.

L’habitat naturale del leopardo, che prima si estendeva nella penisola araba e arrivava fino al Levante, è ora limitato a tre paesi: Arabia Saudita, Oman e Yemen. L’allevamento è gestito da RCU, l’agenzia che sta rigenerando un’area di 22.561 km dell’Arabia Saudita nord-occidentale per renderla una destinazione di rilevanza globale per patrimonio naturale e culturale

La motivazione in Arabia per salvare il leopardo è forte. Per gli abitanti della regione, il leopardo arabo – conosciuto in arabo come An Nimr Al ’Arabi’ – ha rappresentato a lungo la bellezza, la tranquillità, la forza fisica, l’impavidità e la libertà. L’animale ha occupato un posto speciale nell’immaginazione per millenni e si ritrova nell’arte rupestre antica, nelle storie e persino nelle espressioni quotidiane.

Per questo motivo la nascita del cucciolo ha un grande valore per il patrimonio culturale saudita così come per quello naturalistico.

La specie sarà infine reintrodotta nella natura selvaggia delle montagne di AlUla, ripristinando la popolazione attraverso il programma di allevamento e la preparazione di un habitat adatto in cui i leopardi possano prosperare. La campagna comprende le seguenti iniziative:

  • Espansione del programma di allevamento in cattività con l’apertura di un centro di allevamento all’avanguardia da aprire all’inizio del 2024 all’interno della Riserva Naturale di Sharaan, AlUla
  • Istituzione dell’Arabian Leopard Fund, per il quale RCU ha stanziato 25 milioni di dollari
  • Estensione delle collaborazioni con importanti entità dedite alla conservazione come l’International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) e Panthera
  • Conversione in riserve naturali dell’80% dei terreni parte del progetto AlUla, in linea con la Saudi Green Initiative. La riserva naturale di Sharaan, per esempio, ripristinerà e conserverà l’ecosistema, compresa la flora e la fauna autoctone, su una superficie pari a 1.560 chilometri quadrati
  • Reintroduzione di specie, preda dei leopardi, come lo stambecco nubiano e le gazzelle Idmi
  • Formazione dei residenti di AlUla come guardiaparco per salvaguardare le riserve naturali

Il Dott. Ahmed Almalki, Direttore delle Riserve Naturali, ha commentato: “Questa nascita è significativa perché consiste in un importante passo avanti verso la rinascita del leopardo arabo. Crediamo che salvare specie in pericolo come il leopardo arabo sia fondamentale per la protezione del nostro pianeta e per l’equilibrio naturale del nostro ecosistema. Il nostro obiettivo a RCU è niente meno che ripristinare il potere dell’equilibrio della natura”.

Per ulteriori informazioni, visitare il sito https://www.rcu.gov.sa/en/meetourcub

FINE

Su AlUla

Situata a 1.100 Km da Riyadh, nel nord-ovest dell’Arabia Saudita, AlUla è un luogo di straordinaria ricchezza culturale e naturalistica. La vasta area, che copre 22.561km², include una valle ricca di oasi lussureggianti, imponenti montagne di arenaria e antichi siti culturali risalenti a migliaia di anni fa, ai regni di Lihyan e dei Nabatei.

Il più importante sito di AlUla è Hegra, primo sito UNESCO Patrimonio dell’Umanità dell’Arabia Saudita. Distesa su un’area di 52 ettari, Hegra era la principale città della parte meridionale del Regno dei Nabatei; attualmente conta oltre 100 monumenti funerari in ottimo stato di conservazione con facciate scolpite finemente negli affioramenti di arenaria che circondano l’insediamento urbano fortificato. Le ultime ricerche effettuate suggeriscono inoltre che Hegra fosse l’avamposto più a sud dell’Impero-Romano dopo la conquista dei Nabatei avvenuta nel 106.

Oltre a Hegra, AlUla è sede di affascinanti siti archeologici come l’antica Dadan, capitale dei regni di Dadan e Lihyan, considerata una delle città più sviluppate della penisola arabica nel corso del primo millennio a.C. Si trovano inoltre migliaia di rocce in siti di arte rupestre tra incisioni e petroglifi a Jabal Ikmah. Altri siti di grande interesse sono la Old Town di AlUla, un dedalo di oltre 900 case costruite con mattoni di fango a partire da almeno il XII Secolo, la ferrovia di Hijaz e il forte di Hegra, luoghi fondamentali nella storia e nelle conquiste di Lawrence d’Arabia.

Per ulteriori informazioni si prega di visitare il sito: www.experiencealula.com

Nota per i giornalisti:
si scrive sempre AlUla / non Al-Ula

Su Royal Commission for AlUla

Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) è stata fondata per decreto reale nel mese di luglio 2017 per proteggere e salvaguardare AlUla, una regione di eccezionale ricchezza culturale e naturale situata nel nord-ovest dell’Arabia Saudita. RCU sta dando inizio ad un piano a lungo termine che crei uno sviluppo sensibile e sostenibile della regione, riaffermando la sua peculiarità nell’essere una delle principali destinazioni archeologiche e culturali del paese e preparandola ad accogliere i visitatori dal mondo. Il processo di sviluppo di RCU della regione di AlUla prevede una vasta gamma di iniziative che comprendono archeologia, turismo, cultura, istruzione e arte riflettendo l’ambizioso impegno dell’Arabia Saudita nello sviluppo del turismo delineato nella Vision 2030.

Per ulteriori informazioni si prega di visitare il sito: www.rcu.gov.sa

Per ulteriori informazioni:

Martinengo Communication
Ufficio rappresentanza, Marketing, PR e Comunicazione per l’Italia e la Svizzera italiana
Via Vincenzo Monti, 9 – 20123 Milano
Tel. (+39) 02 4953 6650
E-mail: martinengo@martinengocommunication.com
Web: www.martinengocommunication.com

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