Volunteers needed to find remaining endangered yellow-breasted buntings in Mongolia

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(Note - Although this request covers an area outside the OSME region, the opportunity may be of interest to a number of our readers).

Populations of Yellow-breasted Bunting, Emberiza aureola, are rapidly declining across their range and have recently been classified as endangered by IUCN. They were common in the northern Palearctic from Finland and Belarus, eastwards to northeast Asia. Mainly due to excessive hunting in China and several other reasons, the species which once was a common bird has declined across its range and become quite rare. However, ecological aspects of the decline remain unclear.

It is vital to understand breeding ecology and migratory behaviour of this species to help identifying conservation actions in future. During the breeding season (June) in 2015, we want to find and identify locations suitable for deploying geo-locators next year and establishing a long-term population study and monitoring for this species.

We are looking for volunteers who can help us to find breeding localities of Yellow-breasted Bunting in north-eastern Mongolia. However, due to lack of funding and urgency of the issue, Mongolian biologists cannot do this on their own. We need volunteers who are able and willing to pay for costs related to their travel and their participation in field surveys in Mongolia in June 2015. We can help arrange the logistical support you will need while you are in Mongolia. The field survey will last four weeks in June, as we would appreciate volunteers willing to contribute their time and resources during this period.

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Nyambayar Batbayar at Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia, nyambayar@wscc.org.mn, or

Dr. Samuel Temidayo Osinubi at BirdLife International, temidayo.osinubi@birdlife.org

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