The Regent of Jordan, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II visited the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve this Tuesday to inaugurate a new Visitor Centre.
The Crown Prince was accompanied by Royal Hashemite Court Chief, Youssef Issawi, and was briefed at the centre about the flora and fauna present in the reserve. The reserve is situated near Azraq, some 62 miles east of Amman, and it is hoped that the new Visitor Centre will enhance visits to the reserve and add it to the tourist trail of those visiting Jordan as well as providing a source of local employment.
As part of his visit, the Crown Prince was taken on a safari around the 22sq km reserve and was shown how they monitor the wildlife and more of the infrastructure improvements. He expressed his pleasure at the standard of the reserve and the visitor centre. The sanctuary was established in 1975 and was the first reserve established by the Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the Royal Family of the Hashemite Kingdom have been keen supporters.
The RSCN are assisted by the World Wildlife Fund and work hard to create a reserve which is used as a breeding centre for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. Some of the animals which are thriving in this protected environment include Arabian Oryx, Somalian Ostriches, Persian Onagers (an Iranian Wild Ass) and Gazelles.
The original Honourary President of the RSCN was the Crown Princes’ grandfather King Hussein in 1966, and the organisation has grown since then to a position where there are now six reserves spread across Jordan covering a total of 1200 sq km of some of the finest natural landscapes in the country. Through captive breeding programmes, they are seeking to protect the breeds mentioned earlier so that they will not become extinct. Jordanians will still be able to enjoy seeing them in the wild in the future when the Crown Prince may have in turn become ruler and beyond, helping to show that we are all mere custodians of the earth and must maintain it and flora and fauna on it for those who follow us.