Qatar is busy working on an ambitious project to protect endangered bird species in the country. The initiative, proposed to be launched with the support of potential donors, will be titled “A bird for each habitat”.
The newly-launched Qatar Bird Project (QBP), functioning under the Friends of Environment Centre (FEC), is behind the new initiative. A panel of experts is giving final touches to the proposal, said Dr Elsadig Bashir, Director, QBP.
Dr Bashir said at least 25 different local birds have been identified in Qatar. This is in addition to an estimated 114 migratory birds that cross the country every year.
“Each season, we will select one bird and it would be celebrated during the whole year. The programme will also cover the migratory birds,” he told The Peninsula yesterday.
The migratory birds are mainly coming from Scandinavian and North European countries and fly away to the warm weathered countries in Africa. In addition to the migratory birds, there are a large number of birds that visit Qatar during specific months. “Houbara Bustard, a critically endangered species is one of the rare varieties of birds that visits Qatar every year during November-January. Now, a private farm in Shahaniya is breeding this rare species. As of now, 30 young and adult birds are in this farm,” he said.
Reem Said, Assistant Director of QBP said that the project is working on a design to introduce several awareness programmes on bird-watching and nature protection to reach out to the schoolchildren and the public. “The programmes include launching bird-watching clubs in schools,” she said.
The Hima Fund, an initiative launched to conserve ‘Important Bird Areas’ in the Middle East has already identified five ‘potential areas’ in Qatar. The already identified important areas include Al Dhakhira mangrove area in the north east, Al Alyah island, Sharawh island, Al Shat island, all off the eastern coast; and Khor Al Udaid, a tidal inlet in the south eastern corner. The Hima Fund, was launched in May 2008 with a donation of $1m from H H Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani, the current global patron of Bird Life International (BLI)
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