New snake species unearthed in ancient oasis of AlUla


Scientists have unveiled a significant ecological find in the ancient oasis of AlUla, located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, with the identification of a new snake species, Rhynchocalamus hejazicus.

This discovery accentuates the rich biodiversity of the historical region, further cementing its status as a cradle of natural wonders.

The newly discovered, non-venomous Rhynchocalamus hejazicus is a small, vibrant reptile, part of a genus predominantly found along the areas of Jordan, Yemen and Oman.

With a striking reddish hue complemented by a distinctive black collar, this species is perfectly adapted to the sandy and rocky environments of the mountainous Hejaz region.

As yet, much remains unknown about this nocturnal creature, but its presence in areas populated by humans illustrates the complex interactions between wildlife and local communities in AlUla.

Conservationists in the area are encouraged by this find, viewing it as a critical addition to the local ecosystem.

AlUla is actively engaged in extensive ecological revitalisation initiatives. About half of the county's territory is dedicated to six nature reserves, including the extensive Sharaan Nature Reserve, which spans 1,500 square kilometres.

These reserves are home to over 1,580 animals from four species that have been successfully reintroduced to the region.

Through strategic habitat restoration, native species reintroduction, and the implementation of sustainable practices, AlUla aims to ensure a thriving and harmonious ecosystem.

This find is pivotal for understanding the ecological dynamics of the region and the adaptive strategies of its desert wildlife, enhancing AlUla's reputation as a sanctuary for both historical and natural treasures.

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