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Blog posts after 1 Feb 2018 about Steppe eagles tracked from Oman can be found at the Steppe eagle blog

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Early June 2016

Well, for the last couple of weeks the tracked vulture has been spending more time in Wadi Sareen. Perhaps it is cooler there, but still within striking distance of villages and rubbish dumps.  The map below shows that the tracked vulture visited the Al Amerat area of Muscat, the Muscat municipal rubbish dump at Al Multaqa, locations around Ibra, Wadi Sareen and villages nearby.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 1-18 June 2016
Despite its globally endangered status, and Oman's position as an apparent stronghold for breeders, sadly, relatively little has been done on this species in the country, although opportunities exist.     ESO did a survey of the birds on Masirah (that showed the island held more than 4 times as many as was thought and is the second most densely populated area in the world), which was published in Sandgrouse, and a follow up study of scavenging bird use of rubbish dumps, Al Farsi & McGrady published (also in Sandgrouse) information on scavenging bird use of the Al Multaqa rubbish dump (which showed that globally important numbers of Egyptian vultures use the site), and then there are these tracking efforts over the past 1.5 years, which have revealed new information on movement and causes of mortality, including electrocution.

Although it has always been known that vultures use Wadi Sareen and it is a bit late for this year, it would be good to have a survey for breeding Egyptian vultures in Wadi Sareen.  It would also be good to have a routine of collecting data on vulture sightings by the rangers in the reserve, and try to assess the area's importance to non-breeders or the occurrence of communal roosts.  More generally, opportunities exist for important conservation activities for scavenging birds in Oman that build on what has been done by ESO and others so far.  

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