Have you ever wondered what kind of animals inhabits Qatar? Qatar national animals are a compelling spectacle since there is a variety of wildlife species Qatar makes a perfect habitat for. The Qatari national identity comprises several elements, including the Qatar wildlife. You will be awestruck to realize what has made some species emblematic of the nation.
Qatar Wildlife List
Even if you are not a fan of animals, you would find it interesting to know what makes a species a nation’s mascot.
Qatar national animals include an antelope called the Arabian Oryx, the falcon, flamingoes, species of turtles, and Qatar sea animals namely the whale shark and Dugongs.
The Arabian Oryx
This antelope is the national animal of Qatar, Jordan, Oman, UAE, and Bahrain. It lived for years along the Arabian Peninsula and was hunted for its meat and hide by the Bedouins.
This Qatar wildlife animal has sparse fur, oversized spear-like horns and broad hooves, an animal of tremendous stamina that covers long distances by foot in the desert.
It has a remarkable tenacity to survive inhospitable natural environments.
This unique Qatar national animal was declared extinct with the advent of firearms and hunting for pleasure.
However, with conservation measures that were taken- whereby they bred a small plethora of these animals in captivity and reintroduced them into the wilderness, the Oryx was brought back to Qatar.
The Oryx adjusts to the inhospitable desert environment as it walks for hours to find food and water during the day.
It is part of the nation’s heritage and a symbol of adaptability, endurance, and resilience. Visitors can take a tour of the Al-Maha or the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, where breeding takes place.
This is a species of the hawk family that is a hook-beaked, sharp-visioned bird of prey with strong talons. Falcons are active during the day and silently swoop down once they spot their prey.
Qatar’s tradition and culture is falconry, it has been a traditional quest in the Middle East. The primary purpose of falconry was hunting for fresh meat. A bond is created between the bird and its trainer. This bird resembles self-reliance and patience, among other things.
Owning these raptors requires affluence and is time-consuming, therefore, is considered luxury leisure. These hunters have a lifespan of 12-15 years and migrate into the country during the spring.
If people ever want to get a closer look at the bird, they can go visit the Falcon Souq Qatar. If you ever visit Qatar, do ensure you get a chance to see the art of falconry.
There are various species of falcons with distinctive characteristics, and we provide information for five of them:
- Peregrine Falcon: the ultimate aerial predator: With a fascinating speed of up to 390 km per hour, the Peregrine Falcon is the most widely spread raptor in the world! It can dive as fast as a cheetah!
- Barbary Falcon: This is best known for its sharp and fishing hook-like beaks.
- Lanner Falcon: Known for striped feathers and a small notch in their beak called tooth. It can be distinguished by a reddish cap on the top of its head.
- Amur Falcon: This smaller raptor of the falcon family is famed for its daring attitude to migrate for almost 20,000 km.
- Saker Falcon: This is the large, powerful falcon that inhabits a range of expansive habitats. The Saker and Peregrine are the ones that are conventionally prepared for the traditional quest of falconry, they are priced at QAR 30,000 to a million Qatari Riyal.
To take a closer look at the falconry culture, visit Souq Waqif in Doha. The falconry and hunting season starts in October; visitors can make the most of this as spectators.
Famous animals in Qatar: The pink wading flamingos
On their annual migration from Europe and Siberia to Africa during winter, hundreds of flamingos flock to Qatar’s shores. The largest living species in the flamingo family is called the Greater flamingo, which reaches 150-meters in height.
Apart from being the host of Oryxes and Gazelles, Qatar is home to some mesmerizing marine and bird wildlife migrations.
The Al Thakira Mangroves, Al Khor Island, and Purple Island are destinations for spotting flamingos in and around Qatar. In an otherwise, desert area approximately 50 kilometers north of Doha, the Al Thakira mangrove forest is one of Qatar’s oldest and largest mangrove reserves.
These elegant birds wade in shallow, salty waters and feed on fish. Qatar’s mangroves thrive in the Persian Gulf’s salinity, attracting fish, migratory birds, and teal.
Al Khor Island (also known as bin Ghanem or Purple Island) was once a site for dye production and formerly served as a temporary campsite for fishermen or pearl divers. Today, it is another resting spot for flamingos on their journey.
Kayak and SUP (Standup paddleboard) rentals are available and can be booked in advance or provided by tour operators. Guides accompany visitors and present the area’s unique species of plants and animals. Camping in the traditional Bedouin tents overnight can give visitors a better taste.
Sea animals in Qatar: the hawksbill turtle
It is a dreamlike experience to spot turtles of this kind on the pristine shores of Fuwairit beach in Qatar. Three unique species of sea turtles crawl the coasts of Qatar, including the beautiful hawksbill turtle that feeds on a plethora of marine delicacies.
It is their breeding spot here. They arrive each year regularly to settle on the region’s shores. When the hatchlings emerge, an incredible sight is created.
We can spot them in Qatar’s early summer, in the nesting season. Fuwairit beach’s soft sand and suitable atmosphere make it a perfect nesting hub. However, they can also be seen on other beaches in Qatar. These creatures are critically endangered.
They help sustain the coral reefs and the marine ecosystem. The Turtle Conservation Project in Qatar monitors and takes measures to protect the nests that incubate the eggs in the warm sand.
The hawksbill turtles lay eggs in the nesting season, wherein they pick a spot, dig a hole to lay the eggs, cover the eggs with sand and return to the sea.
During spring every year, the nesting area is fenced by the Qatar Ministry of Environment to enable the female hawksbill to lay eggs without the danger of predators.
It is a worthwhile experience to watch these tiny hawksbill hatchlings hurry down to the water from the sand during late summer when the beach is open.
Dugongs, the bashful beasts
Qatar has the second-largest population of Dugongs in the world, but little is known of the secretive creatures that often avoid the shallow waters.
Despite their size, they surprisingly thrive on seagrass at the bottom of the sea. These creatures are slow-moving sharks, and killer whales are their natural predator.
A lot of effort has been put forth to expand awareness of this animal that surrounds the country’s coastline. They are affectionately known as the ‘sea cows’ of Qatar. They are considered to be marine mammals; their closest land relative is the elephant, as they can grow tusks when they mature.
They use their strong upper lips to uproot the entire plant to eat and leave a trail on the seabed. This kind-looking creature can live more than 70 years.
They are social creatures within their community, but shy toward man. A large herd of 600-700 dugongs was spotted just off the Qatari coast.