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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.  

Saturday, June 4, 2016

That was quick

Yesterday I reported that the bird we have been tracking had moved from Wadi Sareen and was in Muscat. Well, he did not stay there long.

0400 it was in Wadi Sareen
0600-0900 at Muscat Landfill at Al Multaqa
1000-1100 in Al Amerat, S. Muscat
1300 in Wadi Sareen, south of Salifah

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 3 June 2016.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Vulture back in Muscat

Just a quick note to say that the vulture we have been tracking since January, has finally made it back to Muscat.  Almost six months after we fitted this bird with a transmitter at the Muscat municipal landfill, it returned and spent about 3 hours around the landfill before heading farther north to a location in the Al Amerat section of Muscat.  During those months this bird has spent time around the rubbish dump at Quriyat, the landfill at Tahwa, areas around Ibra and the Wadi Sareen Reserve.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 3 June 2016.  Times are in GMT, so this bird visited the Al Multaqa landfill during about 0600-0800 in the moring.