Podcasts from the OSME region

Charlie Moores of Lush has recently done a series of excellent interviews with some key figures from the world of birdwatching and conservation in the Middle East region. They are available to listen to free from LushPlayer.

Richard Porter on the Middle East (part one):

Experienced ringers at the International Birdwatching and Research Centre, Eilat, Israel (IBRCE) in 2018

OSME has been approached to publicise opportunities for experienced ringers at the International Birdwatching and Research Centre, Eilat, Israel (IBRCE) in 2018. They are looking for experienced ringers to spend at least two months in Eilat during spring migration. All accommodation and food expenses will be covered.

A Birdwatcher's Guide to Madaba

Recent publication by Jordan Birdwatch Association (JBW) -  A Birdwatcher's Guide to Madaba written by Fares Khoury. This describes 15 sites in the Madaba region which comprises a variety of bird habitats and scenic landscapes overlooking the Dead Sea. Chapter headings include maps, site coordinates, accommodation details, habitat descriptions, systematic checklists as well as explaining why the Madaba region is a definite place for a birder to visit.

Fares is OSME Country Contact in Jordan and secretary of JBRC (Jordan Bird Records Committee) and provides regular reports for Sandgrouse.

Turkish Bird Records Committee

Kerem Ali Boyla reports that Turkish birdwatchers have set up a committee to assess claims of rare bird sightings.

The Turkish Bird Records Committee (TBRC) was formed in 2015. It is co-owner of the Turkish eBird Portal, together with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Doğa Derneği. The committee has acted as reviewers for the online Kusbank Bird Database in the past and is now fulfilling the same function for eBird Turkey.

Environmental Stewardship via a Nascent Natural History Museum in Palestine

Guest blog by Mazin Qumsiyeh and Elias Handal

The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) started in Bethlehem University through volunteer effort with a mission of research, education and conservation for our environment. Our two dozen scientific publications in two years publications cover areas from biodiversity to genotoxicity to museology to education to permaculture. The research acts as a prelude to education and we helped create environmental clubs in schools that focus on reducing waste, recycling, composting, and appreciation of our environment (e.g. bird watching).

Record numbers of Endangered White-headed ducks counted in Kazakhstan

More than 20 000 individuals of the Endangered White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) were recently recorded whilst on migration at the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn lake system in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan. This number of birds exceeds all the previous historical records and is greater than the existing global population estimate.