Species Hunted to Extinction in Gulf State

Several animal species have been wiped out or are in danger of extinction in the United Arab Emirates unless urgent measures are taken to protect them, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

A survey by the Arabian Leopard Trust found that wild sheep, wild goats, and the Nubian ibex have been poached to extinction in the UAE, the Emirates News daily reported.

Also, no trace was found of Arabian leopards and Arabian wolves, ''the two most endangered animals'' in the country.

The study was compiled by South African wildlife experts for Arabian Leopard Trust, established in Sharjah last year with official backing.

''It really is one minute to midnight. At the stroke of 12, the damage done will be irreversible and a unique part of God's creation will disappear,'' the report said.

The one piece of good news was the discovery of the Blanford fox, which was never before seen in the UAE, the report said.

It urged the seven emirates federated in the UAE to create wildlife sanctuaries and set up an integrated conservation policy.

It also called for a moratorium on hunting wild species for at least three years, and a program to replenish dwindling stocks of wildlife.

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