News

Georgia Batumi Raptor Count 2010

Since 2008 the autumn migration of raptors at Batumi on the east side of the Black sea has been monitored by teams of volunteers. Over 830 000 raptors have been counted in eight weeks. More information about the results and the history of the project can be found on its website:www.batumiraptorcount.org. The 2010 counts will run from 17 August to 16 October and will also include a pilot count in Kazbegi. To register your interest please visit the website.

IRAN Waterbird monitoring in 2009

In January 2009, a group from Foundation Working Group International Waterbird and Wetland Research (WIWO) and the Iranian Department of Environment (DoE) took part in the International Waterbird Census to count birds in the most important wetlands in Iran. The 2009 census covered eight of the 30 provinces of Iran and produced a wealth of information, and the counters were lucky enough also to find the first Amur Falcon Falco amurensis for Iran.

New bulletin for Iran

A new bulletin, Balaban, aimed to encourage Iranian birders and ornithologists to publish results of their works in their native language and introduce a place to transfer ornithological papers, notes and news regarding Iranian birds and ornithology has been launched. This will complement Podoces. Although most of the texts are in Persian, summaries in English are provided. Small number of paper copies (30 pp, A4 sized) are available.

Socotra (Yemen) Prize for Socotra Project website

The Socotra Governance & Biodiversity Project website (www.socotraproject.org) has been awarded the gold prize in the Yemen Web Awards 2009. The SGBP website received first place within the second largest category of Projects & Government Websites beating the Official Yemen Tourism & Hadhramaut Governorate Website. Winning in Yemen Web Awards means that the SGBP website has qualified for the Middle East finals to be held in Oman in May 2010.

Mheimideh under immediate threat

Mheimideh is probably the best birding site along the Syrian Euphrates; all who visit come away astonished that such a rich site can exist in the middle of a village. It has an outstanding list of breeding species, notably three RDB species of duck (White-headed Oxyura leucocephala, Ferruginous Aythya nyroca and Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris), White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus and Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola, with good numbers of Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus.

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia

The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia project reaches a very important stage this year with the publication of the Atlas. The last records were added to the Atlas in April 2010 and it will be published later this year. It will cover 273 proven breeding bird species in Arabia and a further 24 not-quite-proven breeders. For each of the breeding species there is a lengthy text arranged in four paragraph blocks.

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