Flying birds

Muscat, 10th April 2018 – In partnership with the Ministry of Environment & Climate Affairs, Shell Development Oman funded the first full Spring Migration count of the Wetlands Reserve in Al Wusta Governorate which includes the Barr Al Hikman peninsula. The survey revealed that over 300,000 birds of approximately 80 different species have made the intertidal wetland on the coast of Oman their home for resting and feeding during their annual migration.

The survey was supported, organized and conducted by Wetlands International, a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands, is part of Shell’s ongoing commitment to promoting and sustaining biodiversity.

“Respecting the environment has and always will be the cornerstone of our sustainable development,” expressed Muna Al Shukaili, ‎GM - External Relation & Social Investment Lead at Shell Development Oman. “Barr Al Hikman is truly a pristine jewel and with biodiversity under threat around the world, we are proud to be working in partnership with the Ministry, Wetlands International and a host of experts to achieve shared goals of protecting, conserving and managing natural habitats and critical ecosystems in Oman.”

Recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, the Wetlands Reserve in Al Wusta Governorate was declared as Nature Reserve by the Royal Decree No. 51/2014 and with an area of the reserve is 2621 square kilometers. The Barr Al Hikman peninsula occupies the largest part of the Al Wusta Wetlands Reserve with an area of approximately 900 km2 and has significant regional and international importance as the main wintering and stop-over place for migratory shorebirds. It is classified as one of the top 25 sites of international importance for migratory birds during winter in the African-Eurasian Flyway. The data collected by the team of 11 Dutch experts provides vital information for conservation planning of the site. It also supports efforts by the Ministry of Environment & Climate Affairs to designate the Reserve as a Ramsar site - wetlands that are recognized as being of international importance – in addition to promoting better understanding of how the Wetlands Reserve functions as an ecosystem for the waterbirds and other marine and terrestrial life that depend upon it throughout the year.

Flying birds on sand

Globally, Shell has worked with Wetlands International since 2008 on projects that range from managing biodiversity and water issues at its operations in Iraq, Brunei and Canada to combining wetland conservation with the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities in Nigeria.

Commenting on the Waterbird Survey in Oman, Ward Hagemeijer, Program Head Business and Ecosystems at Wetlands International, said, “This survey has produced critical information for successful management of Wetlands Reserve in Al Wusta Governorate and has brought the effective conservation of the treasures this area holds a step closer. An effective conservation management of the wetlands is a puzzle with many pieces. A few are already known and this March 2018 survey has added a new one. Several more pieces are still waiting to be looked into.”

Hagemeijer explained that while earlier work of Wetlands International confirmed the international importance of the Wetlands Reserve in Winter, 2018 was the first year that such complete survey was undertaken during the Spring Migration.

Although the analysis of the collected data is still in progress, first impressions indicate that overall numbers of birds are lower in March than in January 2017. This is the result of a complex picture of birds leaving after spending the Winter in the Wetland Reserves - departing to the breeding places - and the arrival of other birds that have spent their Winter further South and are passing through the Wetland Reserves on their way North. It appears that more birds have left than have been replenished from the South.

The picture differs a lot per species. A number of species show lower numbers in March: The Lesser Sand Plover’s numbers are 80% lower in March 2018 than in January 2017. Dunlin is 50% lower. These are amongst the most common species at the Wetland Reserves and therefore have a large impact on the overall figures. The less numerous but very characteristic Crab Plover, a signature species, was found in numbers 90% less than in January 2017. Large gulls and Cormorant were also far less numerous than in January. Curlew Sandpipers on the other hand have increased 4 fold (400% more than January 2017). Most other species show less marked differences.

Besides the total count, other methods were deployed to disentangle the complex picture of species coming and going to and from the Wetland Reserve. Frequent counting of a small area, the counting of a sample-site, the ringing and colour-marking of waders shed new light on how the birds use the area. This work kick-started a multi-year research programme to support the effective management of the Wetland Reserve as a site of international importance.

Complete findings from the first full Spring Migration count are to be published later in the year.


Mr. Hassan Almarashi
Spokesperson Middle East & North Africa
Shell EP International Ltd
Tel: +971 4 705 5783
Cell: +971 56 226 0924

Mr. Nureddin Wefati
Head of Media Relations for Middle East & North Africa
Shell EP International

Miss. Aziza Saud Al Adhubi
Acting Head Section of Qurm Nature Reserve
Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs
Tel: +968 24404773

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit

Cautionary note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this press release “Shell”, “Shell group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Royal Dutch Shell plc and subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this release refer to entities over which Royal Dutch Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition’, ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this release including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained in this release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2017 (available at and These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward looking statements contained in this release and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this release, April 05, 2018. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this release.

We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this release that United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website