SDG 15
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 1:00 pm (AST) - 2:00 pm (AST) Location: Auditorium between Building 2&3 Join in person or online through Zoom.

Sustainability Seminar Series | From Deserts to Flyways: Saudi Arabia’s Stewardship of Migratory Birds Conservation

We are excited to invite you to our upcoming seminar as part of the Spring 2024 Sustainability Seminar Series by Prof. Mohammad Shobrak, Senior Biodiversity & Wildlife Conservation Specialist for the National Centre for Wildlife, Saudi Arabia.

Join in person or online through Zoom. After the seminar, stay for 30 more minutes to be part of a conversation with the speaker.


Despite being known as a desert land, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s avian diversity is remarkable, with more than 500 species and 63 species reported as vagrants. The Kingdom’s location between three continents and its habitat diversity, from desert to high mountains, long coastal wetlands, and offshore islands at the hard of the African-Eurasian flyway, probably explains the diversity of avian species.

This presentation will celebrate World Migratory Birds through an overview of the value of birds in the ecosystem, an indicator of a changing environment. Understanding the bird’s migration and flyway is essential for global conservation of migratory avian species. In addition,

the adaptation of breeding species in the kingdom to the harsh conditions of the desert environment, characterized by intense solar radiation, extreme temperatures, low primary productivity, and scarcity of drinking water, will be presented through the lappet-faced vulture as an example.

The threats affecting bird species in the Kingdom will be presented with an update on the conservation efforts to mitigate them and the global support done by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has resulted in obtaining the champion certificate from the Convention of the Migratory Species.


About the speaker

Prof. Mohammad Shobrak is a wildlife conservationist with more than 39 years of experience in birds, biodiversity studies, and wildlife conservation. He is a dedicated former Professor of Animal Ecology and Wildlife Conservation at the Department of Biology, Taif University, and a consultant and technical advisor for the National Centre for Wildlife, Saudi Arabia.

Prof. Shobrak’s work on wildlife, animal ecology, ecosystems, genetic investigation, and in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the Saudi fauna is recognized nationally and internationally and has facilitated national conservation priorities for species and ecosystems. Some of the projects that he has fostered in the Kingdom include the Vultures Research Program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Satellite tracking, Behavior study, Population monitoring, and Threat assessment); conservation and reintroduction (Asiatic Houbara and Angulate of the Arabian Peninsula); breeding Seabirds of the Red Sea islands (status & conservation of seabirds in PERSGA countries); and the publication of regional and international guidelines and best practices (birds & powerlines in Arabic, National Action Plan for Vultures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).

Prof. Shobrak boasts a comprehensive academic background, including a Bachelor’s degree from King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA (1987) and a Ph.D in Ecology of birds from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (1996).


This event is brought to you by Students for Sustainability, with the support of the Office of Student Life and the Head of KAUST Sustainability, Dr. Ana Margarida Costa. Should you have any questions, please contact us via email or our social media platforms.