Monday, July 27, 2015

Growing wildlife at Dubai's Al Quadra Lakes

In attempt of spending a weekend evening outdoors in Dubai's harsh summer, we decided to explore Al Quadra Lakes and glad we did that. Al Quadra lakes are manmade 4-5 lakes in middle of dessert surrounded by planted local trees. But results of these local government efforts are stunning. It is one of the best example of creating natural habitat. According to sustainable development principles, if we need to disturb any natural habitat, we need to create almost double the size of natural habitats to keep the balance in nature. Once we create this natural habitat, flora fauna start growing there and local birds, animals start thriving on it. and the natural biodiversity cycle starts again in a place where there was no significant life before.

When we reached near Al Quadra Lakes, first glimpse of growing wildlife was a running and jumping gazelle! It was amazing to see this beautiful local animal in wild. I have always seen gazelle in captivity before. But in wild it ran very fast and far away. It jumped high in air few times and ran farther. We did not expect this so couldn't catch this moment in our phone camera but it was a moment to remember, feast for our eyes!

The waters in lake were clean and clear. Tilapia fish are released in water to attract fish eating birds in turn, provide their faeces as organic manure to the lake water. Thus, many planktons, zooplanktons and insect larvae grow in the lake water, making this attractive to many migratory as well as resident birds.

Ducks who made these lakes their home, was a great attraction for kids. Next time we need to bring bread with us for duck feeding, Ruhaan would love this activity. Their were lot of dog owner and their dogs were enjoying swim in waters to cool down in summer. This definitely a great place to play in water, making sure that we not leaving any of our traces like garbage behind. In such places, everyone should carry their garbage back to city or to the mosque next to Al quadra lakes, where their is garbage disposal facility. There is cycle track near lakes, which is very popular. Or if you want to take a walk around all lakes it can take almost an hour.

We spotted many different birds on lake, this is a great new spot for bird watching. Lauging dove, pigeons, sandpiper, Red wattled lapwing were amongst the birds which we spotted. There were also huge falcon like large winged birds, but we could see them properly after sunset. But the great thing was weather was less humid, as it's away from coast and there was constant breeze around sunset. So it was feeling good outside. As this place is away from residential area, it is also a great spot for sky watching. The sky was clearer than cities (because of lack of light pollution).
On the way back we were lucky to spot the gazelle again, this time it was complete dark but the gazelles eyes were shining like two bright stars on Earth! We could see it's figure clearly, this time it didn't run or jump but just looked at our car in alert. We stopped, not to disturb it and it vanished in second. No surprise! because some gazelle are able to run at bursts as high as 60 mph (97 km/h), or run at a sustained speed of 30 mph (48 km/h).

I am sure we'll go there again and hope next time we can see addition to existing biodiversity!

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