Flora & fauna of Oman

Flora & fauna of Oman Last updated on Wednesday 14th April 2010

Despite its arid nature, Oman is home to various types of plants and of plants and animals. Shrubs, grasses, hardy trees like the acacia grow naturally. Grapes and apricots are grown on the slopes of Al Jabal al Akhdar; coconut palms are also grown on the south side of the mountains in the Dhofar area as well as frankincense trees in the north. The Sultanate of Oman lacks truly fertile agricultural soils. However, the best soils available are the alluvial soils washed down from the mountains in the interior and along the coast alike.

Some of the richest fishing areas in the world are found off the coast of Oman; sardines and tuna are among the principal catches there.

Goats, some cattle and camels are raised in the Sultanate. As for wildlife, it includes many hundred species of lizards, snakes, scorpions and birds.

An environmentalist's dream, the government of Oman is keenly aware of its responsibility to preserve the plant and animal life of the sultanate. On a farm owned by the Sultan, the rare Arabian oryx (pictured) is bred for release into the wild. On the easternmost tip of the Arabian peninsula, a protected breeding ground for giant sea turtles has been set aside.

Plant life is also accorded protection and in acknowledgement of the Sultan's horticultural interests, a new species of flower was named after him in 1990. There is also a scheme for protecting coastal areas plus a number of nature preserves, called National Protected Areas, throughout the country.

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