Local Wildlife

In this peaceful natural community, residents can live close to the area's many indigenous creatures which include marine life such as dolphins and turtles and more than 60 species of birds. Some of the local wildlife in and around Al Gurm includes:

Grey Mangrove (Avicennia Marina)

MangroveThe grey mangrove (Avicennia Marina) – also known in Arabic as AL QURM, is the only mangrove species that occurs naturally in the United Arab Emirates. Named after the Muslim philosopher and scientist Ibn Sina (or Avicennia, 980-1037 AD), mangroves ecosystems are present below the high tide mark along coastlines, off-shore islands and shallow water lagoons sheltered from high energy wave activity or wind.

The grey Mangrove is described as an evergreen tree or shrub (up to 6m height) and characterized by smooth grey stems and branches, salt excreting leaves and aerial breathing roots. In the UAE, Avicennia Marina flowers between April and July and following the pollination process, seeds can be found on trees from mid-August to late October.

Striated Heron (Butorides stiatus)

HeronThe Striated Heron, Butorides striata, also known as Mangrove Heron is a small heron. Striated Herons are mostly non-migratory and noted for some interesting behavioral traits. Their breeding habitat is small wetlands in the Old World tropics from West Africa to Japan and Australia, and in South America.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, but are easier to see than many small heron species. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects. They sometimes use bait, dropping a feather or leaf carefully on the water surface and picking fish that come to investigate.

Indo-pacific Humpback Dolphins

DolphinThese dolphins are characterized by the conspicuous humps and elongated dorsal fins found on the back of adult members of the species. They are found close to shore along the coast of West Africa (Atlantic species/variety) and right along the coast of the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia (Indo-Pacific species/varieties). The photo on the left was taken at Al Gurm.

Blue blubber jellyfish

Jelly FishThe Jelly Blubber (Catostylus mosaicus), also known as the Blue Blubber Jellyfish, is the most commonly encountered jellyfish along the Australian eastern coast and large swarms sometimes appear in estuarine waters. While not prolific in the waterways off Al Gurm, they are certainly present.

Egyptian Geese

GeeseThe Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) is a large, distinctive, pale-coloured waterbird which is easily recognised by the conspicuous dark chocolate-brown patch around its eye.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

TurtleThe hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies. The hawksbill's appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like arms, adapted for swimming in the open ocean.