The Sakhalvasho watchpoint.Picture by Daniel Hinckley.
The Batumi Birding Festival (Sept. 25th to Oct. 1st): Mass raptor migration, accommodation in a five star hotel, top speakers like Dick Forsman and the Urban Birder – what could be a better birding holiday?
A three-year project in Iraq has significantly contributed to knowledge of the country's flora and fauna – including five previously unknown plant species – as well as improving the prospects for future conservation efforts in the country.
A Bridled Tern that turned up dead in Okinawa Prefecture had apparently flown 7,500 kilometers to Japan from a small island in the Persian Gulf, the first confirmed case of avian migration between the regions.
According to the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture, a foot ring showed that the bridled tern came from Nakhiloo Island in Iran.
The bird was found on a golf course in Nago in Japan's southernmost prefecture last October.
OSME has received news that Pakistan Supreme Court has lifted the ban on the hunting of Houbara Bustard in the country. This controversial decision will please some people but horrify others. Each permit apparently allows the dignitary, usually from Gulf countries, to hunt in a designated area for up to 10 days, killing a total of 100 bustards.
Conservation is a huge challenge around the globe. Habitats continue to disappear and the number of species at risk of extinction continues to increase. In 2015, 40 more bird species were classified as having a higher risk of extinction according to the IUCN Red-List. But there is room for optimism. Arguably, the biggest threat to global biodiversity are the effects of climate change on species distributions, breeding cycles and food availability.
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2nd July Summer meeting + AGM - BTO Office, Thetford
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.