Protecting Osprey Populations in the UAE
In 2023, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) conducted an extensive survey to monitor the breeding population of Ospreys, the largest in the Arabian Gulf.
This comprehensive survey covered coastal sites, islands near the coast, and the sea of Abu Dhabi. It resulted in a remarkable 127 breeding pair across over 40 coastal and island locations.
To ensure the stability and reproduction of the Osprey population, EAD collaborated with strategic partners to provide artificial nesting platforms on certain sites and islands connected to the mainland. These platforms offer a safe and suitable environment for birds to build new nests, protecting them from predation and human interference.
The Osprey, locally known as Dammi, is a native breeding bird species of the UAE. These birds exclusively feed on fish and are primarily found in marine habitats.
Ospreys breed in the UAE from December to March, with a preference for nesting in coastal areas due to the abundant fish supply. One intriguing observation from the survey was the discovery of an Osprey nest in a tree, an unusual behavior for a species that typically nests on the ground. Ospreys tend to select a single nest and may reuse it year after year.
The Osprey is a protected species under Federal Law No. 24/1999, safeguarded from hunting, capturing, or habitat disturbance.