Flora & Fauna

In her work, Wildflowers of Kuwait, Linda Shuaib describes how, “in the 1960s Kuwait City was a small town. The airport was near the centre close to the new suburb of Shamiya. Roads were few and the established routes out of Kuwait down the coast… were main tracks of sand. Urbanization increased… as Kuwait grew in the 1970s and 80s the traditional pattern of exodus to the desert in the spring and a picnic by the sea on summer evenings altered. In 1966 the Kuwait Hotel Company had leased some lands to the south… building weekend chalets for rent. Unfortunately the unspoilt natural scenery of the southern coastline gradually disappeared as the unregulated buildings of chalets took place. The desert suffered likewise… it was now abused by trucks and pollution. Then the final blow–the polluting of the desert with the fallout from the oil fires in a ‘scorched earth’ act of war. The war added greatly to the deterioration of the environment in Kuwait but on the other hand it made people more aware of the issues.” She describes different areas you can see wildflowers in Kuwait and what types of flowers, such as irises at Nuwaiseeb and picris at Umm ar Rimmam.

The book details specifics about particular flowers found in Kuwait.

In Wildflowers, Linda Shuaib details some of the natural sites in Kuwait. She writes that, “the land of Kuwait is composed of sand and gravel desert with occasional outcroppings of rock. Jal az Zor, the escarpment along the north of Kuwait Bay, is the only feature that really makes a scenic impact. Skirting Jahra one can see the line of the Zor Hills to the north. The road to Basra cuts through them at the Mutla gap. From here the hills continue westwards to Artrat becoming lower further inland. The highest part of the escarpment and the most impressive scenery is to the east of Mutla. Between the sea and hills, running along the north side of Kuwait Bay, is the road to Sobiya.”

Shuaib tells us that in the southern part of the coastline of Kuwait there is, “a vast expanse of sabkha (the Arabic term used by all for saline flat or salt marsh: only plants that can tolerate salt grow here).” And that, “not counting grasses, at least sixty different plant species have been found here.”

In his work Birds of the Arabian Gulf, Michael C. Jennings tells us that there are over 350 different species of birds in the Gulf States.

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