Guest Blog by Yehya Khaled & Nashat Hamidan of RSCN
On the 4th of December 2016, Fifa Nature Reserve in Jordan was declared a Wetland of International Importance. The Site’s lowest point stands at 420 meters below sea level, making it the world’s lowest location of a Ramsar Site.
The different migration routes used by Bar-tailed Godwits (Jesse Conklin at TeamPiersa.org)
With distribution and migration routes across many areas of the planet with vastly differing climates, the Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica is certainly a wading bird worth looking at in more detail. A heavily built wader, a member of the Sandpiper and allies family, its long and sturdy legs and bill are designed for
Receiving your copy of Sandgrouse is a sure sign of spring for OSME members! The spring issue of volume 39 is on its way to members and a Singing Bush Lark should start arriving on doormats in the coming few days. This issue of Sandgrouse has articles from all corners of the OSME region, from Desert Larks in Uzbekistan to Steppe Eagles in Egypt, Spectacled Warblers in Cyprus to Hypocolius in Iran, as well as a first record of Asian Dowitcher in Oman. There is an excellent research paper on one of OSME’s priority conservation issues – hunting. The paper looks at the habits and motivations of hunters towards shooting raptors at the Batumi bottleneck in south-west Georgia – a project
Inspiring the next generation of conservationists and birdwatchers is crucial if we are to protect our environment, save our special places and reverse the decline in threatened species. During the last 18 months OSME and Avifauna Nature Tours have supported a number of projects that have had education and awareness raising at their heart.
I am sure anyone reading this knows that the hunting of birds in Lebanon as with elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa is a serious problem. Birdlife International in their report “The Killing” estimated that 2.6m birds are killed here every year. Migratory species seem to be especially targeted, and every year on social media we see numerous pictures of dead raptors, storks, pelicans and many others. Awareness of the problems around bird hunting in Lebanon is growing amongst the general population.
After several years of planning, the updated Arabic version of the field guide to the Birds of the Middle East has been launched today at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai. A panel chaired by Peter Hellyer, a member of the Emirates Bird Records Committee discussed the importance of the Arabic language field guide. The book was introduced by co-author, Richard Porter, who stressed the importance of encouraging children to develop an interest in birds and birding, and how he hoped this book would help achieve that. Whilst Richard told tales about the way in which children in Yemen had scrambled to get copies of leaflets about their country's birds, Emirati birder Ahmed Al Ali explained how it was difficult for young Emiratis to get excited about birds without anything available in Arabic. Oscar Campbell, chairman of the Emirates Bird Records Committee and himself a teacher
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The map above shows the region and countries covered by OSME
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.