At­las of ter­res­trial rep­tiles of Oman to get print edi­tion

It is part of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween MECA and the pri­vate sec­tor

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

The Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Af­fairs (MECA) has taken steps to print an at­las of wild rep­tiles in Oman.

The min­istry signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with CC En­ergy Devel­op­ment in this re­gard. The at­las is an un­prece­dented data col­lec­tion com­pris­ing 5,359 records of 101 known species of Oman’s ter­res­trial rep­tiles, with 20 be­ing en­demic to Oman.

The at­las which was orig­i­nally pub­lished on­line in 2018, will now be avail­able in print.

The sign­ing of the agree­ment comes within the frame­work of joint co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the min­istry and the pri­vate sec­tor to in­crease aware­ness on the di­ver­sity of rep­tiles in Oman and their ecosys­tem.

In the MoU sign­ing, Mah­moud bin Yahya al Dhuhli, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Ad­min­is­tra­tive and Fi­nan­cial Af­fairs, rep­re­sented the min­istry, while Wal­ter Simp­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, rep­re­sented CC En­ergy Devel­op­ment.

The min­istry had ear­lier im­ple­mented the project to study and pre­serve wild rep­tiles in the sul­tanate in co­op­er­a­tion with the In­sti­tute of Evo­lu­tion­ary Bi­ol­ogy in Barcelona, Spain. The main goal of the project is to sur­vey wild rep­tiles in the sul­tanate, in or­der to as­sess the bi­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity of wild an­i­mals and to know the types and lo­ca­tions of the crea­tures.

Dr Sal­vador Car­ranza, from the In­sti­tute of Evo­lu­tion­ary Bi

ol­ogy, who has worked on the project from its in­cep­tion in 2005 to its com­ple­tion in 2018, told Muscat Daily that the at­las get­ting a print edi­tion was a

great news.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to pre­pare the at­las this 2020. Be­ing in­volved from the be­gin­ning and hav­ing de­scribed so

many species of rep­tiles from Oman it is a plea­sure,” he said.

The study doc­u­mented more than 101 species of wild rep­tiles in the sul­tanate, which rep­re­sents about 60 per cent of the to­tal rep­tile species in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, in­clud­ing 21 species of snakes and 80 species of lizards. Twenty species of lizards have been reg­is­tered as en­demic species in the sul­tanate.

The at­las pro­vides the first map-based anal­y­sis on the spread of rep­tiles in na­ture re­serves and other ar­eas cov­ered by field sur­veys in the sul­tanate.

The project was im­ple­mented in two phases be­tween the north and south of the sul­tanate.

The at­las is an un­prece­dented data col­lec­tion com­pris­ing 5,359 records of 101 known species of Oman’s ter­res­trial rep­tiles, with 20 be­ing en­demic to Oman

(Sup­plied photo)

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