Arabian Oryx Sanctuary

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Arabian Oryx Sanctuary
Location Oman
Coordinates 19°42′0″N 57°0′0″E / 19.70000°N 57.00000°E / 19.70000; 57.00000Coordinates: 19°42′0″N 57°0′0″E / 19.70000°N 57.00000°E / 19.70000; 57.00000
Area 27,500 km2
Established 1994 (to World Heritage List) (the site is not legally protected)
Official name Arabian Oryx Sanctuary
Type Natural
Criteria x
Designated 1994 (18th session)
Reference no. 654
Region Arab States
Delisted 2007 (31st session)

The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary in the Omani Central Desert and Coastal Hills. Within its boundaries are found rare fauna, including a free-ranging herd of Arabian oryx, the first since the species' extinction in the wild in 1972, and subsequent reintroduction in 1982 at this site.

The endangered houbara bustard, a species of wader, breeds in the wild only at sites in the sanctuary. Other species found here include the largest wild population of the endangered Arabian gazelle, as well as Nubian ibex, Arabian wolves, honey badgers, and caracals.[1]

On June 28, 2007, the reserve became historic as the first ever to be delisted and removed from the World Heritage Site register. UNESCO cited Oman's decision to reduce the site by 90% and the decline of the population of Arabian oryx from 450 in 1996 to 65 as a result of poaching and loss of habitat. At that time only four mating pairs remained.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arabian Oryx Sanctuary". UNESCO. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary : first site ever to be deleted from UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 16 September 2011.