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Oman looks to contribute to global vulture conservation efforts

Muscat – Atheer

A collaboration between the Environment Society of Oman (ESO), International Avian Research, the Bernd Meyburg Foundation for Raptor Research and Conservation has seen thirteen endangered Egyptian vultures successfully tagged in Al Multaqah.

This comes as part of an initiative launched in 2014, that aims to monitor the movements of scavenging and soaring raptors (Egyptian vultures and eagles) in Oman.

Most vulture species and many species of eagle are in decline internationally, but recent research shows that Oman is something of a stronghold for these species and as such, can make important contributions to global conservation efforts.

The project aims to develop a greater understanding of the migration of the birds and is focused on tagging vultures and eagles with tracking devices, that allow for detailed monitoring of their movements.

Dr. McGrady, from International Avian Research, says “so far our work has focused on Egyptian vultures, but we have also been tracking two Steppe eagles, a species that is also globally endangered. The focus in coming years may shift somewhat towards eagles because we are currently tracking a good number of vultures. However, trapping these species can be difficult, so we take what we can get. Trapping the hybrid spotted eagle was a pleasant surprise, and already the data are fascinating.”

Maïa Sarrouf Willson, Research and Conservation Manager at ESO says, “We were glad to see the participation of students from Sultan Qaboos University in the tagging this time around, which reflects ESO’s mission to spread environmental awareness and education. We aim to continue our efforts, in whichever way we can, to conserve the various raptor species in Oman.”

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