Did You Know?

The wildlife of Qatar includes the peninsula's flora and fauna and their natural habitats. The country's terrestrial wildlife includes numerous small nocturnal mammals, a number of reptiles which mainly consist of lizard species, and arthropods. Aquatic animals primarily include fish, shrimp and pearl oysters. The desert and the shoreline form an important resting site for a number of migratory bird species during autumn and spring.

There are 21 species of mammals in Qatar.Larger terrestrial mammals such as the Arabian oryx and Arabian gazelle are protected animals and are held in nature reserves. The Arabian gazelle is the only native gazelle species to Qatar and is locally referred to as 'rheem'.

Qatar's largest mammal is the dugong. Large numbers of dugong appear north of the peninsula's shores. Qatari waters accommodate one of the largest concentrations of dugong in the world. Two species of fox appear in the country. Sand cats also occur in the desert, and sometimes take over abandoned fox dens. Honey badgers (also known as ratel) appear primarily in the southwest of the peninsula. Golden jackals, a species which was previously thought to have gone extinct in the 1950s, was re-discovered in 2008 in Ras Abrouq. Two species of bat are found in the country: the trident bat and the desert long-eared bat. The former of the two is more common. Qatar has the highest density of camels in the Middle East.

(Nada Hamouche)