Satellite-tagged Sociable Lapwings begin their journey

The Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius is one of the most threatened species in the OSME region and we have supported a number of projects in many of our focal countries.

In June this year, three adults were fitted with 5g satellite tags by the RSPB and ACBK (BirdLife partners in the UK and Kazakhstan). After a very worrying few weeks, migration has finally got underway – about 2-3 weeks later than expected.

The birds should spend much of the next month travelling through the OSME region before reaching the wintering grounds of Sudan in the west, and India in the east.

Iraq Declares its First National Park

On 23rd July 2013, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved the designation of the Central Marshes of Iraq as the country’s first National Park. The efforts to declare this unique landscape a park and protected area began in 2006 through a joint effort by Iraq's Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Municipalities with support from Nature Iraq, an Iraqi environmental conservation organization, and other national and international institutions. Financial support for the effort came from the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land & Sea.
The Mesopotamian Marshlands of southern Iraq were once the 3rd largest wetlands in the world, originally extending between twelve and fifteen thousand square kilometers and partially covering the three southern governorates of Iraq (Missan, Thi Qar & Basrah).

Richard Porter becomes a Birdlife Member of Honour

At the recent Birdlife International World Congress held recently in Ottawa, Canada, Richard Porter was made a BirdLife Member of Honour for his work in Yemen and Iraq. The award was presented by HIH Princess Takamado, BirdLife’s Honorary President. It was noted that:

In various roles, including Head of BirdLife’s Middle East Division, Richard Porter, BirdLife’s Middle East Advisor, has worked tirelessly for conservation in the region, perhaps most notably on the island of Socotra, Yemen, and most recently in Iraq, where he has supported capacity development, and helped build the data resources from which the country’s potential protected areas have been identified.