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Wars and WildLife

Guest blog by Richard Porter

Amidst the strife and turmoil that we hear about daily in the Middle East, there are always glimmers of hope. The fate of wildlife is often forgotten amongst the horrors of war and the dreadful human tragedies, but the latest BirdLife Magazine shows there are inspiring stories.


Record numbers of Endangered White-headed ducks counted in Kazakhstan

More than 20 000 individuals of the Endangered White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) were recently recorded whilst on migration at the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn lake system in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan. This number of birds exceeds all the previous historical records and is greater than the existing global population estimate.

Batumi – “this one is very rare, it’s on the red-list”

I recently blogged about how amazing Batumi can be for migrating raptors – The Serengeti of the Skies. Unfortunately, there is a less amazing side to Batumi, and it involves the illegal killing of birds. In 2015, OSME were pleased to support a project by the Batumi Raptor Count that aimed to assess the species (mainly raptors) and the numbers being killed. More than 200 individuals were observed being killed from the monitoring point at Sakhalvasho, and during standardised body counts, the remains of 445 were located.

Batumi – Serengeti of the skies

Batumi in Georgia is rapidly becoming one of the best known places in the world to watch one of nature’s most spectacular phenomenon – migration. Specifically, raptor migration. Every autumn for the last 9 years a group of dedicated volunteers have been recording the incredible numbers of raptors migrating through the Batumi bottleneck. And the numbers can be staggering, more than a million birds of prey were counted in 2012, single day counts regularly exceed 50,000 individuals


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