ABSTRACT

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AUTHOR

Dr. Chris Boland, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Protection Dept., Saudi Aramco

It is estimated that there are only 130 pairs of the Asir Magpie remaining within Saudi Arabia. The objective of this work was to conduct habitat modeling to determine the amount of available habitat within the Kingdom. A secondary objective was to locate similar habitat areas on the Arabian Peninsula that could be potentially used in relocation.

GIS and remote sensing are ideal technologies for collecting, storing, analyzing and visualizing spatial data to support the decision making process. Various habitat criteria including elevation, vegetation, water availability, Urbanization, slope and aspect were all collected and processed. These layers were then modelled using a fuzzy overlay analysis approach. The results of the analysis were then classified into various levels of habitat suitability and metrics calculated for each class type. The results of the analysis show a potential habitat range of 1,483 km2 compared to the initial range estimate of 32,265 km2.

Saudi Aramco considers environmental protection an integral part of its social license to operate. As per Saudi Aramco Environmental Policy (Policy INT-5; GI-2.714), the Company has an obligation to ensure its activities do not cause undue harm to the environment, including biodiversity and cultural heritage. From this mandate, Saudi Aramco strives to conserve natural resources and minimize its environmental footprint and works towards promoting the conservation of natural biodiversity within its reservations.

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