Black Stork Timmu arrived Ethiopia after a suspicious rest in Kfar Selouan Mount Lebanon 

The Society for the protection of Nature in Lebanon received an alert from Dr. Urmas Sellis, an expert in the Eagle Club of Estonia after their quickest Black Stork during this migration season, named Timmu, did not send data since 15th of September. The long stop of Timmu near the artificial lakes of Kfar Selouan village in Mount Lebanon was considered suspicious, though no evidence of perish was captured by the GPS transmitter used by Eagle Club of Estonia to track these threatened species. The bird rescue department at the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) acted directly and conducted a rapid search in the area of Kfar Selouan to make sure that Timmu was not a victim of illegal hunting. Nothing was found in the area. The wintering storks in southwestern Europe started Autumn migration in the second week of August. Timmu started migrating on 14 of August, it was very fast moving but it didn’t send data regularly. According to current data, Timmu arrived in Ethiopia and will winter in the border between Sudan and Ethiopia near the Atbarah River, also known as the Black Nile. This spring Vedru, another Black Stork, was lost in a car accident in Syria. SPNL was in contact with Eagle Club of Estonia and the person that was trying to rescue it in Syria but unfortunately, it didn’t survive.

On 29.08.2020 Vedru visited the trap during a week after trapping. A day before migration still hoping for food in trap

The Anti-poaching unit works as a Liaison between the Sustainable Hunting program for SPNL ​(Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon), and the Middle East Sustainable Hunting Center (MESHC) in partnership with the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS). According to Assad Serhal SPNL Director General "things are beginning to change with the establishment of the Anti-Poaching Unit-APU, which is fighting illegal hunting, by teaming up with local authorities and responsible hunting associations, in collaboration with internal security forces; to educate hunters, to patrol the key sites and ensure these birds have safe passage during their annual migrations. This will be crucial for the success of shaping education and a sustainable hunting model. The head of the Middle East Sustainable Hunting Center (MESHC), Adonis Al-Khatib,announced that " the APU has been working relentlessly on the ground to stop crimes against birds and report all incidents to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. However, it is vital that more resources are made available to the police and APU to monitor compliance and improve enforcement in the future". Lebanon lies on one of the world’s most important corridors for migratory birds as they travel between Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. For iconic species such as storks, lesser spotted eagles and pelicans, Lebanon provides a resting hotspot to refuel on their long migration, twice each year. The Eagle Club of Estonia has been set up to bring together eagle friends dedicated to the protection, research and introduction of eagles and black storks. The black stork is a symbol of Estonian primeval nature. Its habitats indicate the existence of native lands. On the eastern and western shores of the Baltic Sea, black storks have been considered a sacred bird, the so-called Toonela bird, which foretells death. It was believed that the black stork would fly with the soul of the deceased along the Milky Way to Manala. Unlike its cousin the white stork, the black stork has a solitary way of life and nests in large forest massifs far from human settlements. Estonia is a borderline for black storks and does not nest in Finland. The Black Stork is a migratory bird. Its wintering grounds are from the Mediterranean to the equator, mainly in central Africa between the Sahara and the equator. The black stork returns to its breeding grounds from the beginning of April to the beginning of May. The peak of autumn migration is in the second half of August, but non-breeding birds can start autumn migration as early as the end of June.  

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