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WHAT’S NEW AT ERWDA?...WHAT’S NEW AT ERWDA?...ERWDA Honors Environmental JournalistsLaunch of Enviro-Spellathon 2004/2005ERWDA Adds a Wild Touch toNBAD Calendar 2005If you glance at this year’sNational Bank of Abu Dhabidesk and pocket calendar, youwill notice some of the UAE’snative species staring rightback at you. ERWDA wasproud to work with NBAD inan effort to help raiseawareness on the UAE’swildlife by featuring the GreenSea Turtle, Desert Hare,Mountain Gazelle, GreaterFlamingo, including others foreach month of the year.ERWDA encouragesothers to adopt similarprojects that increaseenvironmentalawareness.45 members of the local press,including the main mediaestablishments, were honored inan outdoors ceremony at theHiltonia Beach Club, Abu Dhabi onMarch 8th, 2005 for consistentlyshowing their commitment tocovering environmental issues andERWDA’s projects andprogrammes.Those honored includedreporters, photographers andTV/Radio correspondents as wellas the Emirates NewsAgency (WAM).Fisheries Unit Staff Receives TrainingThroughout March, ERWDA’s Marine workshop organized onEnvironment Research Centre has enforcement, with 21 staff membersbeen quite busy with its Fisheries attending as well as the Ministry ofunit staff undergoing training on Agriculture and Fisheries and thefining in the fisheries and aCoast Guard.On March 3rd, 2005 the 4thsession of the Enviro-Spellathon kicked off with itslaunch at theIntercontinental Hotel, AbuDhabi. Students from theAbu Dhabi Centre for theRehabilitation of Studentswith Special Needs put on aspecial performance for theaudience during theceremony.The Enviro-Spellathon is aunique environmentaleducation programme,targeting students betweenthe ages of 6-12 years.Sometimes considered as the‘Spelling Bee’ of theenvironmental world, itintroduces students toenvironmental vocabularyand helps promoteenvironmental educationthrough the curriculum.The concept was developedby the World Wildlife Fundfor Nature (WWF) and madeUAE-specific by ERWDA. It issponsored this year by Shelland First Gulf Bank, withShell having sponsored it forthe last 3 years.The programme was such ahuge success in the Emirateof Abu Dhabi that the rest ofthe emirates hasadopted it.More Houbara ChicksProduced at NARCERWDA’s National Avian Research Centre (NARC)has surpassed all challenges and achieved newtechniques in breeding the Asiatic houbarabustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii. By manipulatingenvironmental conditions in captivity, birds cannow be stimulated to breed before the start of thenatural breeding season. The houbara bustard isthe main quarry in the traditional sport of falconry,an integral part of the UAE’s local heritage.Creepy CrawliesGet FamousVisitorThe famous UK Ant Biologist,Dr. Cedric Collingwood, paid aspecial visit in March toERWDA’s Insect Collection. Hisvisit revealed that 3 of the antspecies in our collection wereindeed new discoveries for theArabian Peninsula. Fordetailedidentification,he took thespecimensback with him to the UK. Healso concluded that due toforestry plantation andurbanisation, there were manymore species which may beconsidered introduced speciesof ants (there are already 67different species of identifiedants in the Insect Collection).It is understood that invasivespecies displaces nativespecies and therebychanges the antfauna of the UAE.1011

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