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Natural UAE

CLICK FOR SECTION MAP Desert oilfields of Abu Dhabi

The desert oilfields of Abu Dhabi are operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, ADCO, a company which retains environmental staff to advise on appropriate practice in the oilfields. Access to wells around the oilfields is by 4WD vehicle which are restricted to following a network of graded sand tracks, thereby protecting the fragile ecology. The vegetation cover in Bu Hasa is mostly less than one per cent of the total surface area.

The flora of such areas contains a limited number of perennial species, including, among the typical dominant species, the sedge Cyperus conglomeratus, Dipterygium glaucum, Heliotropium dyginum, Limeum arabicum, Tribulus omanense, and grass Stipagrostis sp. Following rain, many annuals will flower and the desert is then said to 'bloom'. The seeds produced then remain dormant until the next rain falls, which may be after an interval of several years. Tribulus is apparently unique in being able to flower, perhaps even preferentially so, in the hottest month of the year.

The tracks of sand cats (Felis margarita) and Ruppell’s fox (Vulpes ruepellii) have been identified in this area. A caracal lynx (Felis caracal) was recently sighted in Bu Hasa, despite the proximity of the oilfield operations.

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