Construction - Expo 2020 Dubai
calendar 02 Jun 2019

‘Little dinosaur’ moved during Expo work

Spiny-tailed lizard is among the flora and fauna that Expo continues to conserve

A spiny-tailed lizard, a protected species often nicknamed ‘little dinosaur’ because of its scaly appearance, is among the latest wildlife discovered, and safely relocated, during Expo 2020 Dubai’s construction.

The prehistoric-looking reptile, Uromastyx aegyptia leptieni, and an Arabian sand boa snake, Eryx jayakari, were recently relocated from the 4.38 sqkm site. These discoveries follow the successful rehoming of a colony of honey bees earlier this year.

Lizard - Expo 2020 Dubai

Snake - Expo 2020 Dubai

The spiny-tailed lizard, which can grow to more than 70cm long and is locally known in Arabic as ‘dhub’, was passed to Dubai Municipality, while the harmless sand boa was successfully released back into the desert, its natural habitat.

An array of animals, including foxes, gazelles and Arabian hares, have been responsibly relocated since Expo construction began, while the site’s carefully cultivated flora inspired the animated story of Salama.

The latest discoveries coincide with World Environment Day (WED) on 5 June, which Expo 2020 is commemorating with its own Environment Week from 9-13 June.

The week’s programme centres on Expo’s construction workforce, which currently stands at around 30,000 workers. It will feature a range of activities delivered across the Expo site, with a particular focus on this year’s WED theme of reducing air pollution.

A new ‘visual impact’ training course for workers on environmental protection will be launched, supported by a series of 10 animated videos sharing practical tips to encourage environmentally friendly practices. In addition, there will be prizes for workers to reward them for remaining conscious of the environment during their day-to-day work.

The ongoing wildlife conservation and Environment Week programme are further evidence of the green credentials that underpin Expo 2020, which include sustainable construction methods and widespread use of renewable energy.