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Royal Commission for AlUla, Saudi Arabia: ARABIAN LEOPARD DAY LIGHTS UP THE UK & US TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR SAVING A CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES

PRNewswire February 10, 2023
  • Arabian Leopard Day 2023 is highlighted by international campaign in the UK and US to raise awareness of a species at risk of extinction
  • Billboard projection appeared overnight in London and New York to raise awareness of Arabian Leopard Day 2023
  • IUCN rates the Arabian Leopard as Critically Endangered in the wild, with fewer than 200 roaming free
  • A reason for hope: birth of four leopard cubs at a breeding centre in past 22 months┬á

ALULA, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ –┬áThe second annual Arabian Leopard Day on February 10 will feature a strong international component, highlighted by an international campaign to spread international┬áawareness┬áof the species’ plight in┬áthe UK, US and Saudi┬áArabia.

From today, London will see billboard projections on Piccadilly, High Street Kensington,┬áCanary Wharf, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City, Skyline – Westfield Stratford City, The Two Towers, Canary Wharf while New Yorkers will see NASDAQ ÔÇô to mark Arabian Leopard Day.

The campaign is spearheaded by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), which is comprehensively regenerating a vast swathe of north-west Arabia as a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage.

RCU and its conservation partners believe that by raising global awareness on Arabian Leopard Day, Feb 10, they can build support for actions to save the species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranks the Arabian Leopard as Critically Endangered in the wild, a level of risk more severe than Vulnerable or Endangered. If the population continues to decline, the next stages on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are Extinct in the Wild and, lastly, Extinct.  

Dr Stephen Browne, Wildlife & Natural Heritage┬áExecutive┬áDirector at RCU,┬ásaid: “The Arabian Leopard is┬áa formidable symbol┬áof our aim to conserve and┬ásafeguard┬áAlUla’s┬ánatural environment.┬áUnfortunately, the┬ásad reality is that the Arabian Leopard is┬áCritically┬áEndangered with threats to its natural habitat┬áhighlighting the┬ápressing need to step up conservation┬áefforts that are so vital to the┬áspecies’ long-term survival. It is┬áour ongoing commitment to mark┬áArabian Leopard Day and┬áengage with activities to raise awareness┬áof, and help to protect, these magnificent big cats.”

To prepare for the eventual return of Arabian┬áLeopards┬áto┬áthe wild,┬áRCU has released native species of┬áprey┬áanimals┬áinto vast nature┬áreserves, increased efforts to┬átrack┬áand┬áprotect wild leopards, and┬áregenerated┬ánatural┬áareas┬ámanaged by teams of RCU-led and┬átrained┬áexperts┬áwith the┬ágoal of restoring a lost┬áyet┬áessential┬ábalance┬áto┬áAlUla’s┬ádelicate ecosystems. The┬áreturn┬áof the┬áArabian Leopard┬áwill be the final piece of a┬ásensitive┬áand┬ácomplicated puzzle.┬á

And there have been successes along the┬áway:┬áRCU’s┬áArabian┬áLeopard┬áBreeding┬áProgramme┬áhas┬áwelcomed the┬ábirths of┬áfour┬áhealthy cubs since April 2021, a┬ámajor┬ámilestone and a┬áwelcome┬ácontribution to the goal┬áof┬áboosting the population in┬ácaptivity. The naming┬áof┬áa cub born in 2022 as┬áAmal ÔÇô ‘hope’ in┬áArabic ÔÇô┬ásymbolises┬áthe rising hopes to┬áprotect the future┬áof┬áthe┬áspecies.┬áFor more information on the day, visit https://www.rcu.gov.sa/en/ArabianLeopard┬á

Noted for editors:

It is always AlUla / not Al-Ula

About the Royal Commission for AlUla

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in north-west Saudi Arabia. RCU’s long-term plan outlines a responsible, sustainable, and sensitive approach to urban and economic development that preserves the area’s natural and historic heritage while establishing AlUla as a desirable location to live, work, and visit. This encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education, and the arts, reflecting a commitment to meeting the economic diversification, local community empowerment, and heritage preservation priorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme.

 

Arabian Leopards are seen at the Royal Commission for AlUla's Arabian Leopard Breeding Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Four cubs have been born at the breeding centre within the past two years. Iain Stewart / RCU

 

Arabian Leopards are seen at the Royal Commission for AlUla's Arabian Leopard Breeding Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Four cubs have been born at the breeding centre within the past two years. David Chancellor / RCU

 

Arabian Leopards are seen at the Royal Commission for AlUla's Arabian Leopard Breeding Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Four cubs have been born at the breeding centre within the past two years. David Chancellor / RCU

 

Arabian Leopards are seen at the Royal Commission for AlUla's Arabian Leopard Breeding Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Four cubs have been born at the breeding centre within the past two years. David Chancellor / RCU

 

Arabian Leopards are seen at the Royal Commission for AlUla's Arabian Leopard Breeding Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Four cubs have been born at the breeding centre within the past two years. David Chancellor / RCU

 

 

SOURCE Royal Commission for AlUla

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