As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Illegal hunting threatens biodiversity of Iraq's marshes

BAGHDAD — A video showing Iraqi hunters capturing rare flamingos in Maysan governorate, southern Iraq, was posted on Iraqi social media networks on Dec. 25, along with other videos showing people feasting on flamingo meat. On Dec. 27, a large number of flamingos were sold at a flea market in southern Iraq.
In the absence of deterrent laws and decisive actions by the authorities, hunters in Iraq are killing migrant birds on a large scale.
Author Adnan Abu Zeed Posted January 11, 2017

The illegal hunting of birds and wild animals has been a widespread phenomenon in Iraq. Nature Iraq, an organization created to protect, restore and preserve Iraq's natural environment, said in a statement on Nov. 11, 2014, “Large numbers of migrating birds to the marshes were shot by hunters using licensed and unlicensed firearms.”

However, the story surrounding the hunting of flamingos sparked wide controversy in the country, prompting people to take to the streets in Maysan governorate on Dec. 28, 2016, calling to stop illegal hunting practices. The governor of Maysan announced a series of strict measures against hunters involved in illegal hunting activities. In the same vein, on Dec. 29, dozens of protesters demonstrated in Nasiriyah, 225 miles southeast of Baghdad, calling for a ban on poaching in the marshes.

In a statement Dec. 26, the Ministry of Water Resources called upon local authorities in the governorates of Basra, Dhi Qar and Maysan to launch “an awareness campaign [on hunting] and to assume responsibility in order to preserve the biodiversity of the marshes,” as swarms of migrating birds flying from Siberia and the coasts of Northern Europe and other cold areas end their voyages in the marshes of Iraq.

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