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‘Little dinosaur’ relocated from Expo 2020 Dubai's 4.38km2 site

Spiny-tailed 'dhub' lizard and Arabian sand boa snake were discovered and relocated during Expo 2020 Dubai's construction

The dhub lizard was relocated from Expo 2020 Dubai's site.
Expo 2020 Dubai
The dhub lizard was relocated from Expo 2020 Dubai's site.

A spiny-tailed lizard, a protected species often nicknamed ‘little dinosaur’ because of its scaly appearance – and locally known as ‘dhub’ in the Arabic language – is among the latest wildlife to have been discovered and safely relocated during Expo 2020 Dubai’s construction.

The prehistoric-looking Uromastyx aegyptia leptieni reptile, and an Arabian sand boa snake, Eryx jayakari, were both relocated from the 4,38km2 site of Expo 2020 Dubai

The spiny-tailed dhub lizard, which can grow to more than 70cm long, was passed to Dubai Municipality, while the harmless sand boa was successfully released back into the desert.

Their relocation follows the “successful rehoming of a colony of honey bees” earlier this year, the mega-event’s team said in a January 2019 statement.

Although not native to the UAE, the Apis mellifera bees nested in a pile of steel rebar on the plot of the Sustainability Pavilion, and the World Expo’s organising team said the bees might have settled at the location since its site was pesticide-free.

Environmental and sustainability engineer at ASGC, Salar Memon, discovered the honey bee colony.

“I never expected to find a colony of honey bees living on a construction site but, once I discovered the insects, I knew something had to be done,” Memon explained.

“That is why I volunteered to help Expo 2020 and the Beekeepers Association with the rescue; I wanted to make sure the bees found a new home.”

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019