The Arabian Ornithological and Conservation Conference

 Bahrain 2000



Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness the Amir of Bahrain

Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa


Organised by the

Ministry of Housing Municipalities and Environment


The National Commission for Wildlife Protection




The Sheraton Hotel




October  21st to 25th 2000





The Conference


Under the Patronage of His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa the Amir of Bahrain

‘The Arabian Ornithological and Conservation Conference Bahrain 2000” has been built around a body of core delegates that includes individual ornithologists conservationists naturalists and academics, park and protected area professionals and managers from a diversity of organisations, institutions and NGO’s involved in ornithology and conservation in the Middle East. The last few decades have seen a period of unprecedented growth and development in the Arabian Peninsular and for many of the countries of the region this growth unfortunately, has been at the expense of  the environment habitats and their associated biological communities. Although an effort to document the flora and fauna of these communities has also increased, it has not kept pace with the loss of the original biodiversity. By bringing together those working in Ornithology and conservation in the Arabian Peninsular and the Middle East it is hoped to raise public awareness of the needs and challenges facing conservation through the forum of this conference.


Conference Objectives


·         To further through community involvement and public participation, our understanding of the natural variability and vulnerability of Arabian ecosystems and their response to natural or anthropogenic disturbances.

·         To indicate to administrators that the challenges in the management, planning and decision making of protected areas cannot be achieved solely by focusing on a single reserve but requires a co-ordinate regional management philosophy.

·         To further public awareness and understanding through education and the sharing of information in research and provide the basis for developing solutions for local application.


Themes of The Conference


·         Ornithology of the Middle East

·         Eco- Tourism and the Economics of conservation, exploring the human dimensions of the management of protected areas.

·         Habitat management, sustainable development and biodiversity protection.

·         Challenges of Monitoring

·         Approaches to education and Community Reach


Field Trips


As part of Conference, International delegates will be able to participate in a diverse range of field trips on relevant topics. Delegates will have to sign up for trips prior to the conference as places are limited.


The Setting


The Sheraton Hotel one of Bahrain’s’ most  respected 5 star Hotels Tel. ++973 533533

Fax ++973 524564 Email sherbah@batelco.com.bh



The Event Schedule for ‘The International Delegates’


Saturday 21st October 2000

1500 Hrs  - Late Afternoon Field trip Manama

20.00 Delegate Meet For Casual Social Dinner and briefing

Overnight Manama

Sunday 22nd October 2000

09.30 Travel To Hawar Arrive For Buffet Brunch

13.00 Field Trip - Exploring Islands Of Hawar

20.00 Barbecue At Poolside – Sea Food  - Delights Of Hawar

Overnight Hawar

Monday 23rd October 2000

05.00 Early Morning Call

06.30 Full Day Exploring Islands Of Hawar Visiting The Bird Colonies

15.30 Return Hotel Hawar

17.00 Travel Back To Manama

20.00 Dinner Overnight Manama

Tuesday 24th October 2000

09.00 Hrs Opening Ceremony Of Conference At Sheraton Hotel.


10.30 To 13.00 In Conference


14.30 To 17.30 In Conference.

17.30 Gala Dinner

Wednesday 25th October 2000

08.00 To 10.30 In Conference


12.30 To 13.00 Closing Speeches


15.00 Field Trip Manama

Departures at leisure
Conference Program

Tuesday 24th October 2000







Opening Ceremony Conference





Addresses by

H.E The Minister of Housing Municipalities and Environment

Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa


H.E The Minister of Cabinet Affairs for the Amiri Court

Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

on Behalf of

His Highness The Amir of Bahrain

H.H  Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa


Response by Key Note Speakers on Behalf of Guests of

His Highness The Amir



Coffee Break






Session One



Challenges of Monitoring, Education and Community Reach

Chair Dr. Ghassan Jaradi

Rapporteur       Dr. Jacky Judas




Brian S. Meadows

The practical value of environmental impact reports, particularly in relation to marine conservation




Mr. Ronald Anthony LoughLand

A coastal & Marine Natural Resource Atlas for Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE




Mr. Dirk Raes

International color banding projects - training requirements and need for application in the Middle East




Simon Awad

The Use of the Ringing programs as a new tool in Education




Essa Faraj

Protected Birds in Al Areen Wildlife Reserve






Session Two  (A)



Challenges in Preservation & Conservation

Chair    Adel Salem Khalifa

Rapporteur        Dr. Philip Seddon




Dr. Saeed Abdulla

Conservation of Avifauna in Bahrain present status and future challenges




George Gregory

Conservation of Wildlife in Kuwait – Problems and Solutions.




Dr. Jens Eriksen

Island Birds of Oman



Coffee Break





Session Two  (B)



Challenges in Preservation & Conservation

Chair        Dr. Adnan Budieri

Rapporteur        Dr. Jens Eriksen




Dr.Omar Al-Saghier

Zoning of Socotra Archipelago protected area, Yemen - Potential and challenges for conservation




Imad Al Attrash

Important Bird Areas in Palestine

Wednesday 25th October 2000


Session Two  (C)



Challenges in Preservation & Conservation

Chair    Dr Mohammad Shobrak

Rapporteur        Dr. Hany Tatwany




Edwin W.A.M. Vaassen - with

Dr. M. Akif Aykurt

The Importance Of Habitat Management For Species Diversity, Habitats In And Surrounding Wetlands




Prof. Dr. Ghassan Ramadam Jaradi

In-Situ Conservation For Sustainable Development And Biodiversity Protection: Case Study Of Palm Islands Nature Reserve Lebanon







Session Three



Challenges for Eco -Tourism

Chair        Omar Attum

Rapporteur        Dr. Eugene Joubert





Dr. Philip Seddon

Planning For Tourism In Wildlife Protected Areas: The Saudi Arabian Experience




Mindy Baha Ed-Din

Birding Tourism In The Middle East, The Potentials And Pitfalls, With Egypt As A Case Study




Mr. Andrew Grieve

The Role of OSME In Promoting Bird Watching Tourism In Bahrain





Sitting of Conclusions & Recommendation Committee






Conclusions and Recommendations



Dr Mohammad Shobrak

Poster Presentation. – On displayed at conference venue throughout

Ornithological work carried by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in Saudi Arabia during the last 14 years


Conclusions & Recommendation Committee



Dr. Shaker Khamdan (Chairman)

Environmental Affairs,  MOHME Bahrain


Prof. Dr. Ghassan Ramadam Jaradi

Dr. Philip Seddon

Dr. Jens Eriksen

Dr. Jacky Judas

Dr. Hany Tatwany

Dr. Eugene Joubert

Dr.   Omar Al-Saghier

Dr  Mohammad Shobrak

Guidelines for Submitting Abstracts


Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Each abstract should include the title, the author(s), address(es) including mail/ phone/ fax/ e-mail, the abstract and the presenter(s). Use superscript to identify addresses and affiliations in the case of multiple-authors. Use a Times Roman or a similar font, 10 point size. Use one inch margins. Do not include graphics. Abstracts can be submitted via e-mail or diskette.


Abstracts must be submitted by October 13, 2000 to: Howard King , C/o PO Box 11802

MOH Manama Bahrain or by e-mail to howardk@batelco.com.bh . Abstracts submitted by email should be sent as an attachment, preferably as a MSWord 97 document, or an RTF file.


Instructions for Authors


Manuscripts may be submitted as an email attachment in a convenient electronic form and/or as a "hard copy" and should generally not exceed 5,000 words, including references. Graphical material is acceptable, as outlined below.


1.Manuscript Specifications


Each manuscript should include a brief title, followed by the author's name(s) current mailing address(es), telephone number(s), Fax number(s) and e-mail address(es). An abstract should appear prior to the introduction of the paper. References should be in numerical order as they appear in the manuscript. Metric measurements must be used with English units in brackets if required. If scientific names are used they should appear in italics and appear after the common  name.


Contributors presenting a hard copy of their manuscript should also include a copy on a 3.5" diskette in a word processing or text-only format preferably for a PC compatible platform. The diskette should be submitted as a WinWord 7 or ASCII file. All non -essential stylistic formatting should be avoided as the format, style and layout will be done by the editor. Essential elements are upper and lower case lettering, punctuation, headings and paragraphing. The font should be in Times New Roman 12. Typed Manuscripts should be double-spaced, with 1.5" (4cm) right hand margins, on  good quality, white bond paper (8.5x 11" 21.5 x 28 cm).Headings should appear with numerical designations: e.g.


          1.1, 1.2, 1.3....

          1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3 etc.


2.Tables and Illustrations


Tables should be prepared as word processing files. Ideally, graphic material should be generated as separate TIF or JPEG files. If this is impossible, high quality hard copy is very acceptable. In most cases these will be scanned during editing to generate electronic copies. All graphical material should have a figure number and caption included in the text. An appropriate amount of space should be reserved for the graphic in the body of the narrative. Tables which are more than a quarter page in length should be duplicated as a separate electronic file. The intended position of the table can be indicated by its inclusion in the text in the appropriate place. The provision of a separate file will make editing much easier.


Some consideration must be given to the final size of graphics and tables: they will have to be legible when sized for a page 6 x 9 inches. Colour graphics and photos of good quality photographs may be acceptable if deemed essential. All photographs must have detailed captions included in the text file.




References should be indicated in the text by numbers and listed citations should be listed numerically arranged by their first appearance in the text.


4. Manuscript Submission


Please forward manuscripts prior to October  24, 2000 to Dr. Shaker Khamdan


Head of Environmental Monitoring Section

Environmental Affairs

PO Box 26909

Ministry Of Housing Municipalities and Environment




or submit at the conference registration desk October 24th , 2000.


5. Manuscript Review and Publication

All manuscripts will be refereed prior to consideration for publication in the Conference Proceedings. Proceedings will be printed as a hardback volume(s). It is anticipated that the Conference Proceedings will be printed and distributed within a year of the conference.





The Arabian Ornithological and Conservation Conference

 Bahrain 2000

Brian  S Medows


Environmental Monitoring Manager  Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu Wildlife KSA.


PO. Box 10476, Jubail 31961, K.S.A. Tel 966-3-341-1749  Fax # 966-3-341-1238 Jrgme1@Concept.Net.Sa


The practical value of environmental impact reports, particularly in relation to marine conservation.


Most major coastal developments in developing countries now incorporate an environmental impact assessment study at the pre-development stage. However, these studies and the reports they generate, often prove to be of relatively little value – particularly if the scope of  work was poorly defined at the outset.  Also, due to a variety of reasons, even if they are satisfactory, they frequently become under-utilized and, in some cases, viable recommendations ignored by post-development planners. This presentation, which is based on the author’s experience over many years as an environmental manager, will indicate – using local examples – how the value of reports can be improved, in order that they are more effective tools for pollution control and implementation of appropriate conservation measures.


Mr. Ronald Anthony LoughLand


Principle Environmental Researcher, Commission Of Environmental Research Emirates Heritage Club


PO. Box 42959 Abu Dhabi UAE Tel 00971-50-4917826  cerehc@emirates.net.ae


A coastal & Marine Natural Resource Atlas for Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE


One aim of the Commission of Environmental Research (CER) is to collect, analyze and disseminate environmental data towards the sustainable use of Abu Dhabi’s marine and coastal resources. Until recently there was a paucity of detailed data pertaining to Abu Dhabi’s marine environment and it was therefore important that baseline data was collected.  The atlas will provide Abu Dhabi’s Government with useful data that will assist in the formulation of strategies to conserve the marine and coastal environment.


The Abu Dhabi Coastline stretches for 640kms and is bounded by The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and Dubai Emirate to the east.  The Emirate’s coastal zone is low lying with extensive tidal flats and lagoons.  The coastal waters are shallow and as a result there are numerous offshore islands, patch coral reefs and sandbanks.  There are also extensive areas of periodically inundated sabkha along the coastline.


Within Abu Dhabi’s inshore waters there are extensive areas of sea grass which provide a direct and indirect food source and habitat for both resident fauna and temporary visitors, including commercially important fish and crustaceans.  Internationally important species such as the dugong Dugong dugong and green turtle Chelonia mydas are some of the species that feed directly on this sea grass resource.  


The offshore islands are important for nesting seabirds and marine turtles. The offshore islands often also have fringing coral reefs, which provide feeding habitat for nesting hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata . The islands and coastal areas of Abu Dhabi contain many Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Middle East Wetland Inventory (MEWI) Sites.  These sites provide nesting and feeding habitat for thousands of migrating and resident birds.  


Development of the coastal zone is presently restricted mostly to the eastern coastal areas of Abu Dhabi Emirate, especially around Abu Dhabi City.  However, due to increasing development demands and the lack of ecological data to assist in planning for new developments, the coastal zone is presently under threat.


High profile international scientists, co-ordinated through the Emirates Heritage Club are currently undertaking research to provide ecological data for Abu Dhabi’s coastal zone.  This data will be provided in the atlas. It is envisaged that the atlas will be a practical and dynamic document that will assist in the conservation and sustainable use of Abu Dhabi’s coastal and marine resources. 

Omar a. S. Al-Saghier


BirdLife International, Yemen Conservation Program

P. O. Box 13330, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Tel/Fax: + 967 1 235 219,  omarbio@y.net.ye


Zoning of Socotra Archipelago protected areas, Yemen - potential and challenge for conservation


The Socotra Archipelago (including the Islands of Socotra, Samha, Darsa, Abdul kuri and the neighbouring rock outcrops pertaining of the Republic of Yemen) is a place of great bio-diversity of fauna and flora in its marine and terrestrial habitats. Several factors have contributed to its conservation over the past two thousands years. These were geographical Isolation, inhospitable environment for accessibility  and wise management procedures used by local inhabitants.  High rate of endemism among its fauna and flora has qualified it to be an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and Center of Plant Diversity (CPD) in the world. The number of endemic species of birds (subspecies), reptiles, mollusk, arachnid, crustacean, insects and plants are 6(11), 24, 56, 5, 5, 294 and 307 respectively.


The government of Yemen and the international community have realized the importance of conserving Socotra Archipelago biotopes for future generation of humanity have contributed to the Socotra GEF/UNDP projects that launched full inventories of its biological content. The results of surveys helped identified major areas for protection under various labeling. Four zoning types were proposed as Resource uses reserve, General use zone, National park and Nature sanctuary. The approximate land area covered under each type is 23.5%, 1.4%, 72.6% and2.5% of the total land area of the Archipelago.


The government of Yemen approved the zoning plan and declared a network of protected areas on Socotra Archipelago. Further, carried out a master plan for the development of Socotra, taking into consideration the protected areas. It’s fear that unplanned and ad hoc development might cause land use changes and hence losses of critical habitats. It’s hoped by conservationist in Yemen and worldwide that the Yemen concerned authorities will strengthen the protected areas and develop sustainable management plans for conservation and development that balance between the welfare of people and natural resources in Socotra.



Prof. Dr. Ghassan Ramadan Jaradi


C/o CNRS, P.O.Box: 11-8281, Beirut-Lebanon Tel: +961-3-689840, Fax: +961-1-822639, E-mail: r-jaradi@cyberia.net.lb


In-situ Conservation for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Protection.

Case study of Palm Islands Nature Reserve/ Lebanon.



The formal establishment of protected areas to conserve important sites of natural heritage is recent and heralds a new age in Lebanon. Palm Islands Nature Reserve (34º 30’ N 35º 46’ E) is one of these Protected areas and the best example of what is left of the original marine-coastal landscapes. The Reserve’s overall development objective is to conserve endemic and endangered wildlife, mainly birds, and their habitats, incorporate wildlife conservation as an integral part of sustainable human development, and strengthen the institutional capacity of government agencies and non-governmental organizations. The  role of the Palm Islands Nature Reserve is achieved through recognized practices in planning and policy development for management of the reserve, establishment of a trained professional staff to manage it, provision of appropriate facilities to protect the heritage values and to facilitating appropriate public use and enjoyment of the reserve. Various conservation measures have been initiated, including cleaning campaigns, reduction of the number of introduced rabbits and rats, zoning of the islands, construction of a visitors trail, building of a dock to facilitate landing of visitors and general surveillance of the islands and surrounding sea. Ecological management will be complemented by education, community relations, fund raising and environmental extension programs in the wider community by training staff to undertake these activities.


Palm Islands Nature Reserve is habitat for only 8 mammal species, 5 of which are flying mammals (bats) and one is marine (Monk Seal). Of the total of 8 species of reptiles recorded for the islands, a total of 3, all turtles, are globally threatened.  A total of 4 species, snakes and lizards, are threatened within Lebanon. The reserve is habitat to 73 species of plants of which 2 are nationally threatened species, 3 are local endemic species and 2 are nationally rare species. Whilst 16 species are restricted to the Eastern Mediterranean.


A total of 153 bird species are recorded in the reserve which is considered a suitable feeding and resting site, particularly by 42 species known to breed afterward on lebanese mainland. 10 species are the breeding population of the reserve, four of the bird species of Palm Islands are classified as globally threatened species and 7 are regionally threatened or declining species, and only 2 are species restricted to the Middle East. This species representation indicates a high proportion of Mediterranean and European migratory species utilize Palm Islands Nature Reserve. None of the bird species is restricted to the Palm Islands Nature Reserve. The conservation of all bird species inhabiting the islands significantly or substantially depends also on the conservation of those species elsewhere.




Edwin W.A.M. Vaassen with Dr. M. Akif Aykurt


Members of the Turkish Society for Scientific Research & Rehabilitation of Diurnal and Nocturnal Birds of Prey


Barmek Insaat Ve Sanayii A.S. Holding Binası, Fulya Sokak 1C, Angora Evleri Beysukent  Ankara Turkey Tel: 0312 225 12 25 ext. 125 Rrrct@About.Com


The Importance of Habitat Management for Species Diversity,

Habitats in and Surrounding Wetlands


Abstract: After rainforests, wetlands and marine habitats are known to hold the richest biodiversity providing several food-chains and predatory guilds. However the biodiversity in wetlands and marine habitat is strongly correlated with the biogeographical region in situ as well as the habitat elements provided within and in the direct surroundings of that particular site. Whereas one habitat element, i.e. desert or polar region, only provides opportunities for highly adapted prey and euryphagist or omnivorous predators (Cook, 1997), a web of habitat elements also provides habitat for less adapted prey and specialist predators. Thus, a variety of habitat elements is the basis for a higher biodiversity and characterized by specialist feeders. It is aimed to discuss the importance and management of different habitat elements for avian predators and their prey in and surrounding wetlands, with specific reference to some wetlands in Turkey and the Hawar Archipelago in Bahrain (King,1999).




Cook, W.E. (1997) Avian Desert Predators. Vol. 16 in Adaptations of

Desert Organisms [Ed]. John L. Cloudsley-Thompson. Springer Verlag,

Berlin. 128 pp.

King, H. (1999) The Breeding Birds of Hawar. Ministry of Housing,

Arabian Printing & Publishing House W.L.L., Bahrain. 94 pp.



Mindy Baha Ed-Din


Advisor Nature Conservation Sector Environmental Affairs Agency- Egypt


3 Abdalla El Katib St, Apt 3 2nd Floor, Midan Fini, Dokki, Giza. Cairo. Mobile  3608160

Tel 012-2180709 Baha@Internetegypt.Com


Birding Tourism In The Middle East, The Potentials And Pitfalls, With Egypt As A Case Study


Birding tourism is one of the largest sectors of the global ecotourism industry and has been a leading force behind the nature tourism movement. The are several Middle Eastern and North African nations that are popular birding tourism destinations along with other countries in the region that are attracting small, but growing numbers of birders.  Egypt is an example of the kinds of successes and difficulties a country can encounter when developing birding tourism.  There are a number of prerequisites that must be met to succeed in this field, foremost, a sound understanding of the market and having the information, facilities and manpower catering to this specialised tourism industry.  Conservation is an essential component to protect the habitats and species that attract the tourists. Birding tourism can complement and support conservation efforts through generating revenue and creating other economic incentives.  There are also other benefits, such as raising public awareness, advancing scientific knowledge and creating jobs for local communities.



Dr. Philip J. Seddon


IUCN Species Survival Commission Reintroduction Specialist Group: Chair Bird Section Bustard Specialist Group Houbara Bustard Advisory Group Hyena Specialist Group IUCN World


Commission on Protected Areas Task Force on Tourism and Protected Areas

National Wildlife Research Center National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development P.O. Box 1086, Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tel. 966-2-7455-188 Fax. 966-2-7455-176 Email: pseddon@nwrc-sa.org


Planning for Tourism in Wildlife Protected Areas:The Saudi Arabian Experience



Increased wealth and leisure time have enabled people to seek recreation away from home, making tourism a rapidly expanding industry of global importance. The fastest growing sector is nature-based tourism, which entails visits to sites of natural beauty. Tourism however, can have serious and long-term impacts on the environment, e.g., habitat degradation during construction of facilities; use of natural resources; poor waste disposal, and the impacts of large numbers of visitors. Sustainable tourism seeks to apply the principles of sustainable development to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised. A special example of sustainable nature-based tourism is eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is travel to pristine areas that strives to be low impact, conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people. Eco-tourism most commonly focuses on the best natural areas, often protected areas.

In Saudi Arabia management of formal wildlife protected areas dates only from the mid-1980s, and likewise tourism expansion is relatively recent. In recognition of the revenue to be generated by both domestic and international tourism, Saudi Arabia recently created the Higher Tourism Commission to facilitate the development of the industry by the private sector. Already there has been an expansion of tourism activity, some to the detriment of the natural environment. Inevitably pressure will be placed on the NCWCD to access to protected areas. The challenge will be to develop true eco-tourism, and thereby provide examples of best practice for the wider industry in Saudi Arabia. There exists a window of opportunity, both for Saudi Arabia and for other regional states, to ensure that tourism expansion proceeds according to strategies which aim to minimise environmental impacts.



Mr. Andrew Grieve


Chairman Ornithological Society of the Middle East


Hillcrest, Whitgift, Nr Goole, East Yorkshire  Dn14 8hl UK Tel 0044 01405 704665 Ag@Osme.Org


The Role of OSME In Promoting Bird Watching Tourism In Bahrain


OSME is the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, a subscription based, volunteer run conservation charity operating out of the United Kingdom, with the aim of promoting Birdwatching and the conservation of birds in the Middle East. Membership of OSME is open to everybody and members live in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. OSME publishes a journal, Sandgrouse, twice a year and participates in conferences and meetings.


OSME can help promote Birdwatching tourism in Bahrain by encouraging birdwatchers to visit Bahrain. Interesting observations about the country's birds are regularly published in Sandgrouse. OSME promotes the carrying out of surveys and directly assisted BirdLife International in the compilation of an inventory of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the Middle East. OSME now asks visiting birdwatchers and those living in Middle East countries to report back on the status and condition of these IBAs including the four listed for Bahrain. OSME organises expeditions to remoter parts of the Middle East and participants from government environment departments have taken part. The two most recent expeditions were in Yemen with one being planned to take place in Iran in 2001. OSME promotes collaboration between birdwatchers and environmentalists working in government and non-government organisations in the Middle East and can provide small scale grants in the Middle for projects in Bahrain through the OSME conservation and research fund.



Mr. Dirk Raes

Moderator of the cr-birding e-group. European Color-Ring Birding.  Belgium


Waterloo-Stwg. 1, B-1640 St.Genesius Rode, Belgium. Tel 0032  02  358.32.93.



International colour banding projects training requirements and need for application

in the Middle East.


The use of color marks in ornithology is a quite recent technique. Since several years this technique "flies high".  Several possibilities of marking are used: one or several rings at the leg or legs, a neckband, a back- or wingtag, using paint on the feathers.

Colour-marking gives several advantages compared with normal ringing:

a. it is only one necessary to capture the bird, but readings are several times possible.

b. the rate of control is much higher than with metal-ringing. By this way it is possible to make a so-called ‘life-list’ of the marked bird.

c. this technique makes it that certain unknown details of the ornithology are more available to the birdwatchers and gives a better and faster idea from the migration road, the population evolution, etc... to the researcher.

Although before this can take place, it is necessary that the control-readings are pushed up.


When you see a colour-ringed bird, you have to note maximum of information on the spot:

a. the birdspecies, the exact place, the date.

b. colour-marks [legring(s), neckband, back- or wingtag] with their details [inscriptions: letter(s) and/or number(s)].

c. extra information is most welcome.

You have to be 100% sure about your reading , each bird has his own code.

Soon after The Arabian Ornithological and Conservation Conference a new cr-project will start on large gulls. Large gulls are a very interesting topic, not only for their migration but also for their differences. Birds will be ringed with a red leg-ring with a code (letter M and 3 numbers) under the coordination of Dr. Saeed Abdulla Mohamed [Bahrain] and Norman van Swelm [The Netherlands]. Soon this cr-project will be available on European color-ring Birding [http://www.ping.be/cr-birding/cr-birding.htm] and hereby the project in Bahrain will gain international recognition. Will this new cr-project in Bahrain be the start of different cr-projects in the Middle East ? I hope so.


Simon Awad – Palestine

Manager of ringing stations in Palestine


P. O .Box 35 Beit Sahour, Palestine. Tel 00972 50407258 00972 22772197 sija9@yahoo.com


The Use of the Ringing programs as a new tool in Education


Bird ringing “banding” is one of the methods that have been used to study birds’ migration since the 19th century. It is a process that starts with fitting an aluminum ring on a bird’s leg. On the ring you find the country’s name and a specific serial number that could lead you to the bird’s file which includes all its measurements and information. Bird ringing data is useful for both research and management projects. Individual identification of birds makes it easy to conduct studies on dispersal and migration; behavior and social structure; life span and survival rate; reproductive success and population changes. Animals’ behavior, especially birds, with their exciting actions can be used to attract students and introduce them to conservation programs. The education system could be combined with ringing stations and could be used as an out door class for raising the awareness of students towards their environment and bio-diversity. Students can use the data and follow the movement of migrating birds to study biology, geography, physics and other subjects. Ringing stations’ data are given to the students as outdoor activities to increase the importance of ecological awareness, the environment and ways of conservation. Ringing Stations could be used to develop an educational model capable of transferring the educational process from a traditional and non-interactive to a meaningful that is based upon active participation and individual approach. This model will not change the classical way of education only but will also develop their way of thinking and increase their awareness towards the national and global environment. Birds are often the most visible forms of bio-diversity to many people, regardless of whether they live in the countryside or in the city. In this sense, I believe that birds are our good neighbors and should be part of our daily life. Therefore, bird protection, which comes out from education, knowledge, ethics, and culture, is much better and more effective than the enforced laws. This is an open invitation to our educational systems to use the ringing stations as a modern tool for education and conservation programs.


Dr. Jens Eriksen.


College Of Science Sultan Qaboos University P O Box 36, Al Khod 123 Sultanate Of Oman

Tel  968 515 471  Tel/Fax +968 513 193 hjoman@omantel.net.om


Island Birds of Oman

The offshore islands of Oman - from the Quoin Islands off Musandam in the north to the Hallaniyat Islands in the southeast- are important breeding sites for a large number and variety of birds. Main species include: Persian Shearwater, Red-billed Tropicbird, Masked Booby, Socotra Cormorant, Western Reef Heron, Osprey, Sooty Falcon, Sooty Gull and a variety of terns. Masirah, the largest island, is the only place to boost all 18 species of terns found in Arabia and several species breed, including Swift, White-cheeked, Roseate, Saunders's and Bridled Tern. In word and pictures we travel to several of these important bird areas.


Imad Al Attrash – Palestine


Palestine Wildlife Society Executive Director


P.O.Box 89 Beit Sahour Palestine Tel: +970 (2) 277 4373 Fax: +970 (2) 277 2937

Mobile: 050-397 404 Wildlife@Palnet.Com


Important Bird Areas in Palestine


Located on the junction of three continents Palestine maintains several globally and regionally important ecosystems and habitats. The Palestinian National Authority is actively involved recently in nature management and conservation.  Such activities could not be most effective with out the full participation of non-Governmental environmental organization. Many Palestinian NGO’s have proven successful efficiency in environmental research and awareness in their areas. In 1994 Birdlife International and in coordination with 16 countries of the Middle East compiled The Important Bird Areas of the Middle East (IBA’s). The Middle East IBA document was appreciated highly on the international, regional and country’s levels. For the first time there was a comprehensive database on birds and habitats of the region as well as clear and integrated policies and strategies for the conservation of species and habitats. 395 sites where documented and since then many sites have been declared as protected areas managed under local conservation agencies in the region.  

In Palestine 13 IBA’s were declared. IBA’s recorded in Palestine are mainly sites located in the West Bank; one site was recorded in Gaza Strip. The areas mainly are: Palestinian Coastal, Jerusalem Mountains, Eastern Slopes and the Jordan Valley according to difference in climate and bio-geographical location due to lack of information at that time because of political restrains to obtain such information.

Important Bird Areas in Palestine (IBA’s) is the first of its kind in Palestine Which has been done with a scientific and field ways. It is also the first of its kind in the Middle East, as a national level to be done through the last twelve months, the results were recommended as a part of the Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan in Palestine.

Although the project has defined the areas, threats and importance of their conservation. It is unfortunately that up-to date no conservation measures have been taken in relation to IBA’s in Palestine.

The new political situation has caused massive unsustainable development. This development is   affecting the vitality and serenity of such Important Biodiversity Areas. IBA’s in Palestine are undergoing many impacts such as ecosystem destruction, extinction of species and degradation of local and migratory wildlife. It is very crucial at this stage to monitor and conserve Important Bird Areas in Palestine, to insure their sustainability and benefit the local economy from their cultural and natural values.



Communicating and coordinating with the local environmental societies in the

IBA project in Palestine for the future study and to protected.

Collecting the Bird Data to prepare the list of birds in Palestine.

Involving different new natural sites in the future from other areas in Palestine.

Establishing  “a National Network “for the IBA’s in Palestine, which has an

Official act of Performance in this issue.

The IBA book should be the first step for other different activities and projects.

Introducing the first IBA book project through the Internet.

Introducing the Eco-Tourism to the Palestinian Society.


George Gregory


OSK Life Fellow of BTO & of Member OSME.,


Osk C/O Kes Po Box 8640 Salmiya 22057 Kuwait Tel 965 565 5216 Keschool@Qualitynet.Net


Conservation of Wildlife in Kuwait - Problems and Solutions.


Since the almost complete recovery of Kuwait's environment from the effects

of the invasion of 1990-91, the familiar old problems of over-grazing hunting, disturbance and fire have reasserted themselves in Kuwait.  Over-grazing by sheep, goats, camels, donkeys and a few horses is the biggest threat to terrestrial ecosystems.  Complete or almost complete loss of cover in many areas has occurred, resulting in desertification.  Loss of reedbed cover is also significant.  The simple solution of fencing and prohibition of entry of grazing livestock is highly effective.  Areas at Kebd have never experienced grazing.  The recent fencing around the National Park by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) is beginning to allow some regeneration of vegetation.  The security fencing around some of the oil fields by the Ministry of Oil has, in effect, created large nature reserves.


Hunting is a major problem, with a worrying effect on bird life, especially on migrating raptors.  PAAAFR has essentially banned hunting in the National Park, but some hunters breach the fencing to enter and shoot.  The Environmental Public Authority (EPA) bans hunting at Jahra Pool and at Doha Reserve, with a very good level of success. Disturbance by seasonal campsites in the desert and by chalet building along the coast is a very difficult problem to solve, but PAAAFR has recently banned camping in the National Park.  Accidental or deliberate burning of reedbeds, trees, etc, has occurred recently at Jahra Pool and Jahra East Outfall, with disastrous effects on bird life.  Overall, there is gradual improvement in Kuwait, but there is still a long way to go.  Efforts by the EPA Chairman, to educate school students in conservation represent an effective solution.  The Ornithological Society of Kuwait (OSK), and other bodies, will continue to offer advice and support to the relevant authorities, so that improvement can be continued in future.


Dr. Saeed Abdulla Mohamed


Director of Alreem Environmental Consultation



Conservation of Avifauna in Bahrain present status and future challenges


The state of Bahrain is composed of more than thirty five islands with an area of just over 700 Km2 . Despite the small size of the country, various natural habitats are present on those small islands. Many important bird areas have been recognized in the country by BirdLife International which included marine and terrestrial sites. Since late sixties, a reasonable bird list was established and continuous monitoring of bird status in Bahrain is still taking place.

More than 315 species of birds has been recorded where the vast majority of them are migrants. Breeding birds are either resident breeder like the white-cheeked bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys, summer breeder such as the sooty falcon Falco concolor, or those with regional movement and breed during winter time like the Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis. More efforts have been taken recently in order to conserve birds in Bahrain through the establishment of protected areas and introducing proper legislation. However, more challenges and pressures are present which makes conservation measures very difficult to implement. More attention should be directed to future challenges including the continuous habitat destruction or degradation, implementation of legislation, introduction of exotic species, trades and hunting. More surveys and studies are required to clarify the status of avifauna in Bahrain, and more regional cooperation is needed to reveal information about movement and status of endemic species to the region. 


Dr Mohammad Shobrak

Nat Wildlife Research Center Taif KSA


Poster Presentation.


Ornithological work done by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in Saudi Arabia during the last 14 years