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Natural History

Nature in Qatar

Articles on Qatar's Natural History


A desert flower in fruit.
Copyright © David Gillespie

Qatar's Natural History: An Introduction

Frances Gillespie, author of Discovering Qatar and Gulf Times columnist, writes about Qatar's Natural History in this wide ranging introduction.

Qatar Bird watching

An introduction to the surprisingly large variety of birds you can expect to see in Qatar.

Book: Common Birds of Qatar

Read about Fran Gillespie's latest book, Common Birds of Qatar, written in association with world famous photographers Hanne and Jens Eriksen.

Fish out of Water

A fish that can walk, leap in the air - and breathe through its skin! Frances Gillespie investigates.

Qatar Falconry

Read about the history and practice of falconry in Arabia, as well as the issues facing modern falconers in Qatar. Accompanied by images, sounds and a movie of a saker falcon hunting gazelle in the UAE.

Qatar Seas

Frances Gillespie takes a look at the marine life that inhabits the warm waters that surround Qatar. The article is accompanied by vivid underwater photography.

Whale Sharks - Get an in-depth look at Qatar's largest fish! Accompanied by superb images and video.

Bats in Qatar: They are under-studied and under-researched, but bats are thriving in the Qatar desert.

Qatar's Venomous Sea Snakes: These creatures are equipped with deadly venom - but with a placid nature, they only really become a threat when they begin an affair with the pipes that connect your mouth to your scuba equipment.

Scorpions in Qatar: Many of us in Qatar are barely aware of these little creatures - but they inhabit the desert in their thousands, and every year hundreds of people are bitten by them. Frances Gillespie takes an in-depth look at these creatures - and how to appreciate them without being bitten by them!

In the Desert Blooms, Frances Gillespie takes a walk in the desert to look at the plants and animals taking advantage of the short Qatar rainy season.

Qatar Camels

Vitally important throughout much of Qatar's history, camels are still valued by much of Qatar's population today. Qatar Camels provides you with an article, images, movies and the sound of camels.

The Ghosts: Qatar's Extinct Fauna

Qatar's countryside was once far richer than it is today. Frances Gillespie guides us through some of Qatar's missing inhabitants.

Lizard with a tea bag in his mouth
Copyright © Renee Hughes
Al Wabra Preserve

In a dusty corner of the Qatari desert lies the Al Wabra preserve, where zoologists are fighting to save critically endangered species from around the world.

Qatar Sea Slugs

View images and read information about these fascinating creatures - including an image of a new species found on Qatar's shoreline.

Qatar's Mangrove Swamps

Qatar's mangrove forests in Al Thakira and Al Khor provide an immensely important refuge for a wealth of wildlife. They are also a great day trip for tourists and residents! This article, illustrated with photos of mangroves in Qatar, takes a detailed look at these fascinating swamps.


This article looks at the history of the Arabian ostriches and at Qatar ostriches today.

An egret stalks through the water.The Qatar Natural History Group

This active club holds regular field trips both in Qatar and abroad.

Qatar Geology

Over the past few years, senior geologist Jacques LeBlanc, resident in Qatar since 2007, has done much to interest and inform the general public in the fascinating geology of Qatar.

Camels: God's gift to the Bedouin.

Without camels, the Bedouin would have been hard put to survive in the desert. These articles explains just how these amazing creatures survive in the harshest of conditions, and demonstrates how much the Bedouin relied on their much loved camel.

The Horned Viper

After a young member of the Qatar Natural History Group has an unpleasant encounter with Qatar's most venomous snake, our writer takes a look at the Horned Viper.

A Beginners Guide to Bird watching in Qatar

The essential equipment and need to know to get you birding in Qatar.

Qatar Bird Resources

Other resources for Qatar bird enthusiasts.

Movie: Fishing in Doha Harbour

Watch an egret looking for fish in Doha's harbour.