These are the animals you might see at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve…

Cuckoo Wasp, Black Fat-tailed Scorpion, Greater Spotted Eagle, Red Fox, Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard, Desert Monitor Lizard, Cape Desert Hare, and Purple-blushed Darter…

These are just some of the famous residents you might meet if you head down to the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve after it reopens on January 1, 2021.

The nature conservation has been closed since March because of the global health crisis.

Famous for its flamingos, the reserve is free to access and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays every week, from 8 am until 6 pm (last entry is at 4pm).

If you want to go down there, you’ll have to be able to show a negative PCR test result obtained within at least a month of your intended entry.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve has a 3km stretch of walkway to meander along and get up close to the more than 260 migratory bird species, 230 sorts of invertebrate, 11 types of mammal, 10 different reptile species, and 35 species of flora.

The reserve also has its own visitor center, a secluded bird hide and a special viewing platform.

In 2013 the reserve was recognised as a Ramsar site, it was also the first site in the region to be added the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) green list in 2018, one of only 40 sites around the world enjoying such a status.

It’s partly because of discoveries like the three new-to-science species of wasp the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has discovered.

To get there take the E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road and connect with the E30 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Truck Road, then follow signs for the reserve,

Images: provided