Muscat – The Environment Authority (EA) on Sunday launched the Atlas of Terrestrial Reptiles of Oman under the auspices of H E Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrouqiyah, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
The atlas is a compilation of unprecedented data – comprising 5,359 records of 101 known species of Oman’s terrestrial reptiles, with 20 being endemic to the sultanate.
The study documented more than 101 species of wild reptiles in the sultanate, which represents about 60 per cent of the total reptile species in the Arabian Peninsula, including 21 species of snakes and 80 species of lizards. Twenty species of lizards have been registered as endemic.
The atlas provides the first map-based analysis on the spread of reptiles in nature reserves and other areas covered by field surveys in the sultanate.
EA implemented the project in cooperation with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain. The main goal of the project was to survey wild reptiles in Oman, in order to assess the biological diversity of wild animals and to know the types and locations of those creatures.
“The atlas is a scientific and documentary work on the types of reptiles in Oman. It is a very important scientific reference material for those interested and researchers in the field of reptiles,” said Dr Abdullah bin Ali al Omari, chairman of EA.
The atlas is also an important basis and reference for future studies to preserve reptiles – in terms of species and numbers and an attempt to multiply them – in addition to investing in them for economical gains.
Stressing that preserving species is an important strategic objective of the authority, Dr Omari explained that the phenomenon of climate change affects various habitats.