Written by BirdLife International
In September 2010, Nature Iraq (BirdLife International’s Affiliate in the country) undertook a combined monitoring and advocacy exercise in several areas of Iraq where Sociable Lapwings have previously been found on passage. The work was led by Iraq’s ???leading ornithologists: Omar Fadhil, Mudhafer Salim and Korsh Ararat and built on previous studies conducted by Nature Iraq in the autumn of 2009 and spring of 2010.
Here you can see a group of school children holding up posters that explain the rarity of the species and urge local communities to participate in their protection. © Nature Iraq
The planned monitoring entailed conducting a series of surveys that searched for Sociable Lapwings that might be passing through the country on their autumn migration. Its primary purpose was to locate large flocks of birds at previously undiscovered stopover sites that could be subsequently protected.
Like all the country teams now participating in international conservation action for Sociable Lapwings, Nature Iraq was on standby, hopeful they’d receive news of a satellite-tagged birds passing through, like in spring 2010 when one of the birds was located in central Iraq near lake Tharthar. When this information is available it makes searching for flocks much simpler as without specific location information huge areas need to be covered.
Despite the plan, no new tracking information was available to pass on, so the sites the team actually surveyed last autumn were primarily locations Nature Iraq had found birds at before and some others that the species had been recorded at historically.