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Water scarcity in Jordan threatens nature reserve of rare Arabian gazelle

Water collection and a lack of available supplies are putting nature reserves in the east of the country under increasing pressure.
Omani oryx

The famous Arabian oryx, a distinctive white gazelle with long black horns, is not hard to spot in the Shaumari reserve. From across the scrubland, a herd of around 20 oryxes could be seen clustered around a water pipe where a small leak has caused the vegetation to grow up green and lush.

The oryxes' survival depends on the careful management of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) at Shaumari reserve. Previously extinct in Jordan, 11 of the gazelles were reintroduced to the reserve in the east of Jordan in the late 1970s. The population has since grown to around 110 individuals in what has been hailed as a successful reintroduction program.

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