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Friday, November 18, 2016

At the rubbish dump...

Over the last week the radiotagged vulture has spent some time at the Al Amerat/Al Multaqa Landfill site.  In the map below you can see it spent time (on 12, 17 and 18 November) where the new rubbish was being dumped.

Al Multaqa is one of the most modern land fill sites in Oman.  Good waste management need not be incompatible with conserving scavenging birds.  In fact, good waste management that includes separation of hazardous material benefits scavenging because it lessens the risk of inadvertent poisoning. Scavengers can actually help in the safe disposal of biological waste, by removing food waste that might serve as a vector for diseases that might affect humans, domesticated animals and other wildlife.  Oman is upgrading its waste management on a national scale.  Due consideration of scavengers when implementing new waste management practices will be a win for humans and a win for wildlife.

Locations of radio tagged Egyptian vulture at the Al Multaqa Landfill in mid-November 2016.



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Early November 2016

Over the past 2 weeks the Egyptian vulture that we have been tracking has been mostly in the area around Al Multaqa landfill site, south of Muscat.  Some nights it roosts in the steep cliffs of the Wadi Sareen Nature Reserve, but it seems to be roosting many nights on the pylons south of the landfill.  See map below.

Movements during 29 October-12 November.
The regular use of pylons by the vulture can be seen in the image below.  Locations of pylons are circled.

Location of an Egyptian vulture showing use of high voltage electricity pylons.  Pylon locations are circled.
As we know, electrocution of large birds happens in Oman, we just don't know at what scale.  In other countries, the power providers team with bird conservationists to reduce risks. This is a win-win for both because fewer birds are electrocuted, and the power company has to respond to fewer outages, thereby saving money.  Just last week, the Hungarian power company, Mavir, hosted a conference on the issue, which attracted people from all over Europe, Africa and North America. Click the logo below to access their web site.  Proceedings should be available in due course.