State of Lebanon’s Birds & IBAs”

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Here’s a look at what’s buzzing in the new publication “State of Lebanon’s Birds & IBAs” collated & edited by Assad Serhal and Bassima Khatib, the book is  the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive publication about birds and important bird areas in Lebanon.

The book is the latest outcome of the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project which aims to integrate conservation of visiting birds into these key economic sectors of our societies.

MSB Lebanon is hosted by the Ministry of Environment and implemented by the UNDP country office. It is technically supported by BirdLife’s partner in Lebanon, the Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL).

The highly anticipated book offers massively expanded and updated information, new illustrations by Husein Zorkot and others, and a new elegant design.

This book “State of Lebanon’s Birds & IBAs” is the first of its kind for Lebanon. It summarizes the scientific work on birds and their habitats for more than 30 years.

Its foreword by Richard Porter, the known ornithologist for the Middle East, which justifies its valuable importance for the biodiversity in Lebanon!

The book is divided into 4 main chapters, according to the strategy adopted by BirdLife International, as follows:

Section One: Important Bird Area Programme (Sites)

Section Two: Status of Birds in Lebanon (Species)

Section Three: Birds habitats in Lebanon (Habitats)

Section Four: Conservation & Management of IBAs & Birds (People)

Section ONE introduces the Important Bird Areas programme-IBA adopted by BirdLife International & the achievements on international basis; then concentrates on Lebanon, its importance for birds and migration, and the developments in the identification of IBAs. The national scientific survey implemented by SPNL and A Rocha Lebanon resulted in the declaration of 15 IBAs distributed over the country territory where details on their ecological value for birds is explained.

Section TWO concentrates on describing the richness of birds in Lebanon as compared to its size, and describes in detail the status of birds in Lebanon. It divides the species according to their presence in Lebanon, then dwells in detail about the status of each. It covers a specific section for soaring and non-soaring birds in Lebanon with their status, period and peaks of each. Another section is dedicated for game birds also detailing their current status. The chapter ends with a suggested action plan for selected migratory soaring birds.

Section THREE clarifies the relation between birds and habitats, then describes the main habitats in Lebanon. Each habitat is defined with examples from Lebanon in addition to a list of the most common birds that depend on this habitat and the threats affecting its status.

Section FOUR clarifies the important role of people in bird conservation efforts. The main examples of it are the revival of the Hima community based approach for conservation of birds and biodiversity and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources in addition to raising the level of livelihood for the local community. The second example is the achievements in the advocacy efforts for the adoption of the Hima approach on national, regional, and international basis. The third example is the development of species action plans for globally threatened species in Lebanon through scientific approach in parallel with community involvement and participation.

The book “State of Lebanon’s Birds & IBAs” is an important scientific resource collating all available data on birds, sites, habitats, and conservation efforts for birds and biodiversity in Lebanon.