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Responsible hunters clean-up Aammiq Wetland

As part of the Responsible Hunting activities, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon participated in the clean-up of countless cartridge and other solid waste materials that are extremely harming the sensitive ecosystem of Aammiq Wetland.

The Aammiq Wetland (the name is also sometimes transliterated as “Ammiq”or “Aamiq”) is the largest remaining freshwater wetland in Lebanon, a remnant of much more extensive marshes and lakes that once existed in the Bekaa Valley. It has been designated an Important Bird Area in the Middle East (Birdlife International, 1994), is included in the Directory of Wetlands in the Middle East (IUCN, 1995), was declared Ramsar Convention site number 978 in 1999, and most recently (2005) was designated, with Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve, a “Biosphere reserve” by UNESCO.

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The initiative was launched by The Middle East Center for Responsible Hunting and ElHunt (Hunters Group on Facebook consist of more than 40 thousands member).

Director of Middle East Center for Responsible Hunting in SPNL Adonis Khatib, told spnl.org that this event was a good sign that the responsible hunting morals is being raised and motivated.

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“We also asked the participants to start hunting with Non-lead through the use of non-lead ammunition. We are responsible hunters who recognize the common ground between hunting and wildlife conservation. Khatib added.

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“It is our mission to promote the positive contributions of hunting and the use of non-lead ammunition by providing accurate information and resources to hunters. With approximately 25 million shots fired in Lebanon annually, it is incumbent to determine whether changes in ammunition will substantially help in saving the wetlands and the birds that live in it”. Khatib concluded.

Maher Ousta the director of Responsible Hunting department in “Sayd Magazine” said that the group collected bits of plastic debris litter in Aammiq Wetland : bottle caps, toys, cigarette lighters, fishing line and other garbage.

Scientists are now documenting how this surge of plastic trash leaves a wake of death and disease that directly affects birds.

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In many areas of the globe, birds inadvertently feed on plastic floating on the water, mistaking it for food, and many times this ingestion leads to death and even the death of their young.

Large plastic detritus such as bottles and packaging has well-known effects on wetlands life, strangling birds and fish and transporting alien species to new waters.

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Because plastic pellets are magnets for toxic chemicals like DDT and PCBs, they effectively become poison pills. Japanese researchers found that concentrations of these chemicals were as much as a million times higher than in the water. Plastics themselves can leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals like biphenyl.

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What we know:

  • Plastic Cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose
  • Lead ammunition
 is poisoning birds
  • Plastic bags in the water are dangerous

What we all can do:

  • Collect the cartridge during hunting
  • Hunt responsibly through the use of non-lead ammunition
  • Reuse and recycle what you can;
  • Reduce the use of disposable plastic products;
  • Tell others about the dangers of Lead ammunition;
  • Pick up litter;
  • Volunteer for beaches and lakes clean-ups;

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