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. It is planned to put video cameras in some of the nest boxes this spring/summer so that schools can watch nesting behaviour including incubation, hatching, feeding and hopefully fledging. This is the first project of its kind in Iraq.

This program is part of the Darwin Conservation Project, a primary goal of which is environmental education in and around the Peramagroon area. The nest boxes are one of several projects being conducted in communities and schools in the area, others of which include a tree banding project that is part of a larger climate change project being conducted by the Smithsonian Institution and a camera trapping project.

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