During the current Syrian Uprising, travelling even short distances around the country has become very difficult and is in most cases extremely dangerous. Vehicles are subject to frequent spot checks by security forces and, with tensions running high, travel is heavily curtailed.
Birders following The Amazing Journey have sent us several recent reports confirming that Sociable Lapwings are now on the move again and have started their long migrations back from their wintering grounds.
Last September, four Sociable Lapwings left Kazakhstan to begin their migrations fitted with working satellite transmitters but shortly afterwards we unfortunately stopped receiving any transmissions. We are however, pleased to now be able to report on a number of sightings we have recently received that confirm the presence of Sociable Lapwings in most of their regular wintering areas.
In addition to the eyewitness reports we’ve received confirming Sociable Lapwing migration is now well underway; Abaj, Dina and Dana, three of the four birds we are satellite-tracking this autumn, have also begun their post-breeding migrations.
BirdLife International scientists monitoring migrating Sociable Lapwings in the heart of the Great Steppe have recently discovered the largest single flock seen in Kazakhstan since 1939.
A positive signal from Abaj received in a transmission made on April 14th confirms he has now made it safely back to his breeding grounds in central Kazakhstan, just north-west of Lake Tengiz.
Following a number of ambiguous signals over the past few weeks, we have just received confirmation that Dinara has made it back to southern Kazakhstan.
Omar Fadhil is an ecologist and wildlife photographer working for Nature Iraq.
Delegates attending the inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group in Syria, last weekend, received the welcome news that Swarovski Optik will be providing further funding to help their international conservation action.
Conservation scientists and government officials from fourteen countries spanning three continents are meeting in Syria today to plan collaborative conservation action that aims to prevent the extinction of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing.