Sheikh Khalifa Donates Falcons to ADIHEX 2006
By Jamal Al Majaida
Click to enlarge
Majestic beauty of a falcon
ABU DHABI — Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, donated 100 falcons for the raffle draws to be held during the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 'ADIHEX 2006', 11 – Sept. 15.
This donation came in accordance with Sheikh Khalifa's adherence to supporting the conservation of our deep-rooted heritage, and the conservation of falconry as a world cultural heritage through the sustainable hunting methods that ensure the balance between preserving traditions and protecting the environment.
Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Consultant to the President and Chairman of the Falcon Conservation Project 'Pro-Falcon', praised the noble deed of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed to encourage falconers to use captive-bred falcons instead of the endangered wild ones, especially that captive-bred falcons have proved to be as good at hunting as the wild ones.
The Falcon Conservation Project 'Pro-Falcon' was established in Al Ain in 1996 with an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and it is the first and biggest project of its kind in the Middle East and one of the biggest in the world.
Every year, the 'Pro-Falcon' breeds in captivity hundreds of falcons that give stunning hunting performances. The project played a major role in the almost complete dependence on captive-bred falcons in the deep-rooted sport of falconry in the UAE and the region.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan made clear that the 'Pro-Falcon' aims to improve the breeds of captive-bred falcons, and to reduce the threats of the extinction of wild falcons arising from capturing them in the wild to be used in falconry.
The project combines the Arab wide experience in breeding falcons with the western advanced technologies, in addition to a team of experts from the UAE, other Arab countries and Europe.
Through its unique falcon breeding techniques, natural and artificial breeding, the 'Pro-Falcon' has produced many Gyrs, Peregrines, Gyr-Peregrine hybrids, Gyr-Saker hybrids ... etc, and then trained them on free flying via a studied scientific system.
His Excellency Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouie, Chairman of ADIHEX Organising Committee and Member of the Board of the Emirates Falconers' Club, extended his thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, for his generous donation of 100 falcons to 'ADIHEX 2006', which has reflected his constant support to cultural, heritage, and environmental projects, and also to the conservation of heritage and sustainable hunting.
Al Mazrouie referred to the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Program, in which 1009 sakers and peregrines have been released into the wild since it was launched in 1995. This significant initiative has contributed a lot to the conservation of endangered falcon species.
Al Mazrouie also pointed out to the falcon beauty competition, which is held during ADIHEX every year in order to encourage falconers to own captive-bred birds and to encourage falcon breeders to produce larger and prettier birds.
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