BAHAWALPUR: More than 500 houbara bustards were released on Thursday in Cholistan desert in collaboration with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) and Houbara Foundation International. At least 200 birds were released in Bahawalpur while more than 300 birds were freed in Rahim Yar Khan for breeding and rehabilitation. IFHC Director General Saleh Hasan al Baidaini, Bahawalpur Commissioner Saqib Zafar and Houbara Foundation President Pakistan President Mukhtar Ahmed were present on the occasion. Saleh Hasan said that Abu Dhabi and the Pakistani governments were making efforts for the breeding of houbara bustard in Cholistan. He said the research centre has been established for the protection of animals. It is a symbol of the strong relationship between the two countries. Zafar said the atmosphere in Cholistan is appropriate for houbara bustard. He said the government had started several wildlife conservation projects in cooperation with the Houbara Foundation International.