On the 8th of April (2011), 16 idmi gazelles Gazella gazella (mountain gazelle) were reintroduced in Mahazat as-Sayd, where the species used to be widespread in the past.

As a first time event in the history of the protected area, the gazelles were released in the presence of the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) Secretary General, His Highness Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Mohammed al-Saud.

The gazelles were bred at the King Khaled Wildlife Research Center (KKWRC), in Thumama (near Riyadh), from where they were translocated three weeks earlier.

All the animals - 12 females and 4 males - were tagged (colored number) and fitted with a radio collar transmitter.

Reintroduction in Mahazat as-Sayd: News

FIRST RELEASE OF IDMI GAZELLES IN MAHAZAT AS-SAYD !

The day was also the occasion for releasing a group of red-necked ostriches Struthio camelus, among which 5 individuals were fitted with radio transmitter, which is also a first time experience.


The Prince with other local notables also released a few Asian houbara bustards Chlamydotis macqueenii, remaining from the 2011 reintroduction flock, which reached a total of 72 released birds.


                                                                                                                                                > FILM (7 min)

On the 21st of February (2012), a second group of idmi gazelles - 14 females and 8 males - was released in Mahazat, bringing to 38 the total of mountain gazelles reintroduced in the reserve.

Seven gazelles from last year release were recorded dead before November, while four others went missing due to radio-collar failure. Only one female was recorded dead to date (July 2012) from this year release, while another one is missing since April due to radio-collar failure.

Presently, 24 Idmi (11 males & 13 females) are monitored regularly, mainly in the west of the Protected Area. All these animals are in excellent health conditions, benefiting from a good recovering of the vegetation cover as April-May rainfalls were rather abundant this year and, best sign of all, some females are recorded pregnant.

                                                           > FILM (1 min 30)

SECOND RELEASE OF IDMI GAZELLES IN MAHAZAT AS-SAYD !

WET SPRING


Mahazat as-Sayd was the theater of generous rainfalls during April 2012, with an average of 42.2mm all over the reserve and a maximum of 79mm. The vegetation recovered magnificently after several years of relative drought, allowing the proliferation of wildlife. Several species of migratory birds took advantage of these good conditions, stopping-over the reserve to refuel... See by yourself in the following film.


                                                                                                                                                > FILM (8 min)

FIRST BREEDING RECORDS OF MOUNTAIN GAZELLES (IDMI)


Following releases from 2011 and 2012, the first wild born Mountain gazelle calf was recorded in Mahazat on August 28th, 2012, near the fence. This calf was  almost one month old when recorded with the group.


Three other females delivered one calf each by the end of September 2012. Offsprings show better adaptability to the wild than their captive-bred parents. Other females are also recorded pregnant.


Present population of Mountain gazelles in the reserve is 29 (11:14:4).