Arabian Oryx

Scientific name

Oryx leucoryx

Locally known as


IUCN status



The Arabian Oryx is a medium-sized mammal weighing up to 80kg. Their colouration is white with darker facial and leg markings.

Their horns are very long and straight or slightly curved with male horns thicker and shorter than those of females. They have broad hooves which facilitate their movement on soft sand.

Key threats

Traditionally, the animals were hunted for their meat and hides. Habitat loss due to construction and development also played a role in the extinction of the species in the wild.

Where they're found today

Mainly roaming around Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area and the Arabian Oryx Protected Area.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts

After the Arabian Oryx was declared extinct in the 1970s, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, launched a successful conservation programme which is now applauded globally. 

The UAE is now home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world, with more than 6900 individuals and we continue to work to protect them.

Fun facts

1. They can detect rainfall and fresh plant growth from up to 90km away.
2. They can stand and walk just one hour after being born.
3. They have a unique circulation system in their head to help them stay cool.
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