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 . . .

News from Iraq; Darwin Conservation Project

Over the last week, Nature Iraq staff visited five schools in the area surrounding Peramagroon mountain, near Sulaimani, to construct nestboxes with primary, secondary, and high school students. One hundred and eight students built forty three nestboxes, designed to provide homes for Great Tits, a common species in the area. School teachers and directors were involved and engaged with the project, and all gave positive feedback. In the coming weeks, NI staff will return to the schools to help mount the boxes and follow up with the communities.

Recovering Turkey’s First Tracked Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus in Iraq

Under the umbrella of protection carried out by Nature Iraq, we conducted an expedition to find a Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) which was fitted with a satellite transmitter by KuzeyDoga (, an environmental organization in eastern Turkey. Egyptian vultures have been classified as globally Endangered (EN) according to the IUCN Red List (2012), this is the first time Egyptian vultures in Turkey are being tracked.

Controversial Ilisu Dam on Hasankeyf halted by Turkish court

9 January 2012, Istanbul - The Turkish State Council ruled on January 7 in favour of the legal case filed by the Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) against the construction of the Ilisu dam project, ordering an immediate halt to the controversial dam construction in southeast Turkey.

The Council of State concluded that the Ilisu dam construction on the Tigris River, proceeding without the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), goes against Turkish Environment law and EIA regulations.