For a long time, the OSME library has been something of a mobile affair, housed by willing volunteers from OSME Council. In recent years, former Council member Guy Kirwan had the rather thankless task of looking after numerous box files of 'grey literature', including some rare and otherwise difficult-to-source material from the OSME region. However, with countless other books to store, Guy was out of space and asked OSME to seek a new home for the library.
White-headed duck during the breeding season in Kazakhstan In 2012, OSME's Conservation and Research Fund provided The Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) funding to initiate a study of the endangered White–headed Duck in central Kazakhstan. As well as receiving funding from OSME, the project leader Alyona Shmolenko also secured the financial support of the Conservation Leadership Programme. The White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) is a small diving duck with rather unusual appearance. The bird's rarity and distinctive features provided the inspiration for the ACBK logo and have made it a must-see for international birdwatchers visiting Kazakhstan. Its features are easily recognisable, a bill with a swollen base, a white head and a tail cocked vertically on water.
Richard Porter, a founder member of OSME, has been associated with conservation work in Iraq for more than a decade, especially with Nature Iraq. He was part of the BirdLife International team that worked with a wide-range of partners on this excellent UK Government funded Darwin Initiative project. OSME has supported Nature Iraq's forthcoming Inventory of Key Biodiversity Areas, and is proud to be associated with this important NGO that often has to work in difficult and, at times, hostile environment.
The first month of 2015 has already passed and this year is turning out to be a busy one for OSME. The first deadline for applications for the Conservation and Research Fund has passed and there will be two more this year, on the 31st May and 30th September. We are hoping that 2015 will be a record breaking year regarding the amount of money that we provide for conservation and research projects throughout the OSME region. We're particularly excited to be supporting a project with the BirdLife Middle East office, which will be revealed very soon.
Biodiversity is under greater pressure than ever before. Of the 10,000 or so bird species across the globe, approximately 1 in 8 are threatened with global extinction. Hunting is one of the key threats to many bird species, and is believed to be a particular problem in the OSME region. Remarkably, there is little quantitative data on the number of birds that are killed each year. Even the species of birds that are targeted is poorly understood.
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OSME Region Map
The map above shows the region and countries covered by OSME
OSME Email Group
OSMEBirdNet is an email discussion group covering birds and bird news in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Join now and join in with this friendly and informative email group. To join send an empty email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandgrouse is published by OSME contains papers and short notes on the ornithology of the OSME region, provides bird and conservation news from the region and a comprehensive round up of bird sightings in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.