International conference “Conservation of steppe and semidesert ecosystems in Eurasia, will be held in Almaty (Kazakhstan), on March 13-14, 2013”

Conference topics:
Study of steppe and semidesert ecosystems and biodiversity
Biology of steppe and semidesert animal and plant species
Design and establishment of protected areas in open landscapes
Best practices and recommendations for sustainable use of bioresources and landscapes in steppe and semidesert zones
The influence of anthropogenic transformation of ecosystems and land-use alteration on biodiversity

The following is an extract from an article in the Guardian newspaper on 24 October.

Conservation knows no boundaries – as ties between Iraq and Norfolk show Nature Iraq is repaying international support by donating to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's appeal to buy land next to Cley Marshes

The Mesopotamian Marshes, a vast expanse of reeds and open water twice the size of Norfolk, are the largest wetland ecosystem in the Middle East and support a number of species of global conservation concern. The marshes hold the only breeding population of the globally endangered Basra Reed Warbler and the world's highest wintering numbers of the threatened Marbled Duck.

Sociable Lapwing Update

Birdlife recently posted an update on this season’s Sociable Lapwing work by ACBK (BirdLife in Kazakhstan) – see the link below. OSME has in the past contributed through the Conservation Research Fund to studies of this critically endangered species - £1500 towards satellite tagging in Kazakhstan and £1000 towards the cost of mounting an expedition to establish the numbers of wintering Sociable Lapwings in Syria.

News from BTO

News from BTO – those who attended the OSME Summer Meeting last July will be reminded of the presentation of the first speaker, Paul Stancliffe, who talked about tracking migrants into Africa.

In summary, a second BTO tagged Cuckoo, this time from Wales, has made it to the OSME region, passing through the centre of Egypt, 200 km west of the River Nile, before crossing into Sudan. The following link has more details.