Etihad Cargo and IFHC Transport Endangered Houbara Birds
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Cargo in partnership with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) have recently completed the safe transportation of over 100 Houbara Bustards ending with the birds being released into their natural surroundings. The IFHC is one of the world’s leading conservation programs.
Bred in Abu Dhabi at special centers managed by IFHC, the Houbara are eventually released into their native countries spread across the globe.
Vice President of Etihad Cargo, Justin Carr said, “Our motto is ‘From Abu Dhabi to the world’ and it is literally the case with our partnership with IFHC. It is an honor to be able to safely transport the Houbara to countries where they can thrive, and play a small part in Abu Dhabi’s project of restoring this iconic species in the wild. Etihad Cargo has a strong record of safely transporting animals around the world – be it returning vulnerable or endangered species to their natural habitat or reuniting pets with their families.”
Director-General for the IFHC, Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani commented about the partnership, “The range of the Houbara stretches from Morocco to Mongolia, so it is critical that we are able to move the birds from Abu Dhabi to countries across the species’ range safely and securely. Etihad Cargo has proved itself in terms of destinations and security, and together we are helping restore the iconic Houbara to countries where it has been in historic decline. It is another example of how Abu Dhabi is leading the way, both in conservation and commerce.”
The Houbara Program was started in Abu Dhabi over 40 years ago by the Founding Father of the UAE the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with the aim of the program to restore sustainable wild populations of the Houbara Bustards to regions across the globe were extinction was become a real possibility.
The Houbara are delivered to Etihad Cargo at their Live Animals facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport. To ensure a comfortable journey for the birds, the climate in the hold of the aircraft is adjusted to the ideal level, and upon arrival at destination the special cargo is the first to be offloaded.