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PHOTO: 100 houbara bustards from UAE freed in Kazakhstan 21 сентября 2012, 12:12

Kazakhstan ornithologists will follow the birds’ routes using transmitters to find out what percentage of the freed birds survives.
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Houbara bustard. Photo courtesy of zooclub.ru Houbara bustard. Photo courtesy of zooclub.ru
One hundred endangered houbara bustards that were brought from a United Arab Emirates' nursery were released in Southern Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports. Many thousands of the birds have been already freed to the wild in the Arab Emirates from bird nurseries. The rare birds were delivered to Kazakhstan from Abu-Dhabi via a special flight. The bustards were freed in groups of five birds each in several places of Betpak-Dala desert. This site is a traditional habitat of houbara bustards that migrate south for summer. It is only the second year when Kazakhstan ornithologists are trying to protect the population of the red-listed bustards in the Southern Kazakhstan. 25 of these rare birds were released in October 2011, but none of them survived in the wild. Learning from this experience, this year they released the birds a month and a half earlier than last year to make sure the birds get used to living in the wild before the colds. Kazakhstan ornithologists will follow the birds’ routes using special transmitters. “This is a scientific experiment. We need to find out whether these birds are able to migrate or not. The experiment could be considered a successful one if at least 5% of the freed birds survive,” consultant of Abu-Dhabi International Fund for Houbara Conservation Boris Gubin said.

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