May 022017
 
Cheetah cubs were saved from the illegal pet trade just in time

Conservationists are applauding officials for taking swift action to rescue 10 young cheetahs from the illegal wildlife trade, who would’ve otherwise been destined to end up as pets. In all, 9 cubs and one adolescent were confiscated by the Somaliland Ministry of Environment and Rural Development (MoERD) with assistance from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). […]

Feb 242017
 
Group of 'extinct' antelope released into wild in southern Sahara

A group of scimitar-horned oryx, an antelope declared extinct in the wild, have been reintroduced to their original home on the edge of the Sahara desert. Fourteen captive-bred animals were released in a remote area of Chad and joined a first group reintroduced in August 2016, conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said. […]

Jan 132017
 
POLL: Should the UAE's exotic pet ban be adopted by other countries?

Cheetahs sitting in fancy cars. Tigers running on the beach. Lions playing with chew toys. It’s easy to find images on social media of pet owners in Gulf countries flaunting their exotic animals—but in the future there likely won’t be as many posted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country has banned residents from […]

Dec 192016
 
POLL: Should Arab sheikhs be allowed to hunt bustards?

One of Pakistan’s four provinces has banned Arab sheikhs from hunting a protected species of bird, defying Islamabad’s longstanding policy of giving hunting licences to key regional allies. Swaths of habitat used in the winter by the migratory houbara bustard are allocated in blocks to the some of the most senior people in the United […]

Jan 152016
 
Arabian Green Bee-eater – A new Arabian endemic?

The Handbook of Birds of the world have just split Arabian Green Bee-eater from Green Bee-eater. Philothrus cyanophrys Cabanis and Heine, 1860, Arabia = mountains of Al Qunfudhah, southwestern Saudi Arabia. Usually treated as conspecific with M. viridissimus and M. orientalis, but differs from both in its very short stub-ended central tail feathers; bright blue […]

Dec 252015
 
Highest ever count of Pied Kingfishers in Saudi Arabia – Sabkhat Al Fasl

As mentioned in a previous post there appears to have been a significant influx of Pied Kingfishers into the eastern part of Arabia in late October and early November 2015 with birds seen in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait as well as Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia there was a single female at […]

Jan 292015
 
Zimbabwe plans to sell baby elephants to global buyers

Tourists said they heard the families scattered by gunshots. They made for easy targets: great, grey figures stark against the golden grass. As the animals began to stampede, their terrified babies, unable to keep up, were roped together and taken away. Their capture tore apart families that in the wild could be separated only by […]

Feb 132014
 
Pakistan urged to ban Arab sheikhs from hunting endangered birds

Pakistan is witnessing a mounting backlash against Arab sheikhs who spend part of their winters hunting a rare bird that conservationists warn is at risk of extinction. Activists in the country say they are determined to end the annual killing of houbara bustards, an elusive bird that migrates each winter from central Asia to Pakistan’s […]

Jan 162014
 
Well travelled Youngster

Whilst out guiding for the day in the West of the UAE last Saturday, I had the good fortune to cross paths with a rather beautiful young Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca). Imperial Eagles are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Listing primarily due to habitat loss and degradation, adult mortality through persecution and collision with […]

Aug 072013
 
In search of Sooty Falcon

The Sooty Falcon has undergone a major decline in Arabia. Current status as per the EBRC (Emirates Bird Recording Committee) – “Highly endangered declining breeding visitor (5 nesting pairs in 2008, per EAD) to offshore Arabian Gulf islands. Rare migrant onshore”.So it was a pleasant surprise when an Emirati friend of mine reported a sighting […]

Jul 092013
 
UAE Pelagic Summary

Been a while since I posted, to be honest I have travelled a lot recently, taken a lot of pictures, been working hard and just not had time for the blog. However I find myself with 5 minutes to put together a small blog on a summary of some recent Pelagics I have been on […]

Feb 182013
 
A few bits and pieces in the UAE Part II

Ajban farms is a favorite site of mine , located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is a desert scrub area with large water lakes. Unfortunately the water is constantly being pumped into tankers for nearby constructions sites. Not sure how much longer there will be water there, once gone I am sure there will […]