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Birding in Oman – guest blog by Bart de Schutter

In November/December 2012 a friend of mine visited Oman on a birding and photographing trip. Looked like a nice country for birding to me, but I was not really inspired. Not yet. My friend's first trip was that good that he decided to return in the same period in 2013. By then, I had informed myself a bit more about this Middle East country, about which we receive hardly any news here in West-Europe.

Turkish Breeding Bird Atlas: Call for Volunteers

Turkey is one of the most fascinating countries in the Western Palearctic for birdwatchers. The location of the country at the crossroads of continents resulted in diverse habitat and bird species. Specialties and rarities include Yelkouan Shearwater, White-headed Duck, Purple Swamphen, Caucasian Black Grouse, Caspian Snowcock, See-see Partridge, Audouin's gull, Great spotted cuckoo, Brown fish-owl, Pallid Scops Owl, four species of Vulture, Rüppell’s Warbler, White-throated Robin

OSME Region List version 3.2 – a precis of changes

There have been numerous taxonomic and related developments since v3.1.

  1. Several former Puffinus taxa have been transferred to a restored genus, Ardenna, making most groups monophyletic (Christides & Boles 2008).
  2. Purple Swamphen has been split (IOC5.3) pretty well as ORL3.1 had forecast.
  3. From the thesis of Cohen 2011, we have revised most of the Sandgrouse, enlarging Syrrhaptes at the expense of Pterocles, but Cohen 2011 did not sample all taxa, and so further revision may occur.

An overview of OSME's key achievements in 2015

Conservation is a huge challenge around the globe. Habitats continue to disappear and the number of species at risk of extinction continues to increase. In 2015, 40 more bird species were classified as having a higher risk of extinction according to the IUCN Red-List. But there is room for optimism. Arguably, the biggest threat to global biodiversity are the effects of climate change on species distributions, breeding cycles and food availability. 

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