Like a number of areas in Cyprus, particularly in the south and southeast, Dhekelia or the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA) has a very serious problem with illegal bird trapping. In their autumn 2014 report on trapping activity, BirdLife Cyprus estimated that the approximate number of individual birds killed in the ESBA last autumn was in the high hundreds of thousands.
It is now less than three weeks until the annual OSME Summer Meeting, which this year is focused on illegal bird killing in the OSME region. The meeting, which incorporates the OSME 37th AGM, will be held at the BTO Head Office in Thetford on Saturday 4th July.
BirdLife International has just released the European Red List for birds having collated the latest data from right across Europe and reassessed the regional status of all regularly occurring native species. This publication has implications for the GLOBAL Red List status of a number of species that occur across the OSME region.
It is not often you hear buntings compared to pigeons, but last week an excellent, yet worrying, scientific paper was published that shows massive declines in the once common and relatively widespread Yellow-breasted Bunting. The scale and speed of the decline has drawn comparisons to the infamous story of the Passenger Pigeon, so wonderfully told in a 'Message from Martha' by Dr Mark Avery .
The Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis is listed as Endangered by the IUCN, and its breeding range is largely restricted to the Mesopotamian Marshes in southern Iraq. In many ways it is a typical Acrocephalus warbler inhabiting reedbeds and marshy habitats, making itself known by a loud distinct song or call. So who would have guessed such a bird would have been at the centre of so much controversy in recent months? The reasons for such controversy are covered in the following published . .
OSME and OBC are delighted to announce we are joining forces to provide £2000 of funding for the further monitoring of White-headed Duck in Kazakhstan. ACBK, the BirdLife International partner in Kazakhstan is also collaborating with the Universities of Munster and Bielefeld, Germany, and combining components of the white-headed duck work with broader waterbird surveys - a truly collaborative project! International collaboration across political borders is increasingly important as an increasing number of migratory species are declining.
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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.