Birdfair/RSPB Research Fund for Endangered Birds - 2013 round now open

OSME has received information on the 2013 round of the Birdfair/RSPB Research Fund for Endangered Birds – the closing date for applications is 31 October, 2013.

These grants of up to US$2,000 are to support research work on birds listed by BirdLife/IUCN as Endangered, Critically Endangered or Data Deficient. Further details and an application form can be found at

OSME Vice-President Azzam Alwash receives the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize

Azzam Alwash of Nature Iraq (image: Goldman Prize)
The Goldman Environmental Foundation has announced the six recipients of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize, a group of fearless leaders working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities. Amongst this year’s winners is Azzam Alwash, founder and former CEO of Nature Iraq, BirdLife’s Partner in the country. OSME is proud that one of its serving Vice-Presidents has been recognised in this way.

Dr Jepson has created a short questionnaire linked to a mapping interface on the Ushahdi platform.

Crowd-sourcing an atlas of migratory bird hunting

OSME has received a request from Dr Paul Jepson of the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, asking us to help with a project to create an atlas of migratory bird hunting. As he states, this practice is still widespread yet we lack an easily accessible overview of where hunting happens and what the trends are.

Dr Jepson has created a short questionnaire linked to a mapping interface on the Ushahdi platform.

Nestboxes in Iraq

The following link is to an article in the latest issue of British Birds describing how nestboxes were made and put up by school children in Kurdistan, Iraq. Nest holes are at a premium in this area so the nestboxes should help Great Tits (which have been found to nest in holes on the ground) and Sombre Tits (which have a globally restricted range). It is hoped that the boxes may also be used by the large number of Western and Eastern Rock Nuthatches in the area.

Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwings needlessly killed in Kuwait

Photo above: Male Sociable Lapwing, as it should be seen, on the breeding grounds of Kazakhstan
OSME have been supporting Sociable Lapwing work across the region for a number of years, so it is with great sadness we are hearing reports of 3 individuals being killed in Kuwait, apparently for ‘fun’. The key threat to Sociable Lapwings is the hunting of birds at stopover sites whilst on migration. There is evidence from known stopover sites in north-eastern Syria and some areas in Iraq from 2008 and 2009 that Sociable Lapwings are widely hunted by local hunters and visiting falconers from the Gulf States. Regretably, this is the first confirmed hunting . . .