Oman has named its second Wetland of International Importance: Al Ansab Wetland (“Ramsar Site” no. 2406), an artificial wetland 15 kilometres from the centre of Muscat. The connected water treatment facility releases treated water into a series of surrounding ponds. This process provides a water source otherwise unavailable in the surrounding desert, creating a habitat for 305 recorded resident and migrating birds.
Threatened species including the endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), as well as the vulnerable common pochard (Aythya ferina) and sooty falcon (Falco concolor), occupy the wetland. It serves as a tourist destination for birdwatching and also provides educational opportunities as a long-term monitoring site. Haya Water manages the site.
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