Research studies were recognized from beginning as a critical element for the success of the project.
Indeed, very little was known about the captive-breeding, the biology and the ecology of the North African houbara bustard and very little information was also available on the situation of wild populations in Eastern Morocco at the creation of the project in 1995 (ECWP Conservation Strategy).
Partnerships were established with various research institutions:
– the Natural History Museum (MNHN) of Paris, France, to study the ethology, ecology, genetic structure of houbara bustards (3 PhD thesis),
– the Mediterranean Institute of Ecology and Paleoecology (IMEP) of Marseille, France, to study the impact of environmental and anthropogenic constraints on houbara bustards’ distribution (1 PhD thesis),
– the University Mohammed V in Rabat, to study the natural diet of the houbara bustard (1 PhD thesis),
– the Scientific Institute of Rabat and the University of Oujda, to study the plants and invertebrates’ communities that characterize the houbara habitat,
– the University of Sherbrook in Quebec, to study the evolution of plants communities under grazing in an arid environment (1 PhD thesis),
– the Conservatory Botanical Garden from Geneva, Switzerland, and the association Telabotanica from Montpellier, France, to ensure the edition of the index of North African flora,
– the ‘Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II’ in the study of houbara veterinary science,
– the Natural-Solutions company in the development of application tools for biological data management.