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Goats: a threat to biodiversity in the United Arab Emirates

Goats have a severe negative impact on the environment since they graze on native vegetation, preventing regeneration.‎ To examine the effect of goats and other grazing animals on local flora, a study was conducted at Wadi Ghalilah in the emirate of Ra’s al-Khaimah.‎ For the purpose, five abandoned, but fenced, farms and two unfenced farms were studied to determine the number of plant species growing there.‎ In the enclosed farms, 74 plant species were noted that represent more than 9% of the recorded United Arab Emirates (UAE) flora, while in the open farms only two taxa were recorded.‎ Two of the recorded species from the area are rare, while four species have only recently been recorded in the UAE for the first time.‎ The fenced plots can be described as islands of biodiversity, with between 20 and 44 species of flora present, thus helping to protect the wild plant species of the region.‎ The surrounding area is dominated by Tephrosia apollinea, a poisonous plant species disliked by goats and other browsing mammals.‎ Controls on the numbers of goats present may help to ensure the survival of the local flora, contributing to preservation of biodiversity in the region.‎

Authors: 
Shahid, M
Year: 
۲۰۱۷
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Tribulus
Volume/Chapter/Issue: 
۲۵
Page Number: 
۰٤-۱۲