In the Rub’ al-Khali, three Arabian species which were on the brink of extinction again roam free thanks to Aramco investment in the region.
Once a common sight, the Arabian oryx, sand gazelle, and ostrich have long been missing from this challenging but beautiful landscape - their numbers decimated by hunters over the last century. By 1972, only four Arabian oryx remained alive in the wild. The ostrich suffered its fate even earlier than the oryx. Excessive hunting caused it to disappear from the Rub’ al-Khali about 120 years ago, with the last wild ostrich recorded in the Arabian Peninsula about 1939. Sand gazelles have also seen their numbers dwindle to alarmingly low levels across Arabia for the same reasons.