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 From being extinct in the wild, the Arabian oryx was reclassified in 1986 as

“Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


Red List of Threatened Species after its reintroduction to Oman, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. In 2011, with its global numbers
increased to thousands, the Arabian oryx was the first animal ever to revert to
“Vulnerable” status after having previously been listed as extinct in the wild.
 Today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) aims
to replicate this miraculous turnaround for the Arabian leopard – a little-
studied, desert-dwelling subspecies listed as “Critically Endangered” on the
IUCN’s Red List – and for leopard populations everywhere with a new $20
million commitment to the Global Alliance for Wild Cats.
 The Arabian Leopard Initiatives will support a holistic and urgent program to
rigorously monitor the Arabian leopard’s population and distribution, as well
as halt its decline through community conservation projects. The cornerstone
will be a captive breeding program dedicated to shoring up Arabian leopard
populations and reintroducing them into their former habitats.
 This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not
necessarily Mongabay.