Survey finds over 500,000 waterbirds in Barr al Hikman

Muscat - 

A survey in Barr al Hikman has counted over a half a million waterbirds. The survey was conducted by Wetlands International between January 20 and February 3.

Wetlands International revealed the results of this survey at a technical engagement session in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), Environment Society of Oman (ESO), Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and other industry and interest groups, stated a press release.

The outcomes of this survey reinforce the global importance of Barr al Hikman as a critical habitat for the Great Knot, an endangered species.

Ward Hagemeijer, the project leader, said, “Barr al Hikman is one of the 25 most important sites in the African Eurasian flyway zone that qualifies as a critical site for more than 28 waterbird species like waders, gulls and terns. What is also truly unique about the counting survey we recently conducted is that it provides important clues about trends in an otherwise poorly monitored flyway.

Among the most interesting findings was that about ten per cent of the world population of crab plover, a species largely restricted to the Arabian Sea region, were counted in Barr al Hikman.”

In January, Wetlands International launched a year-long campaign ‘Let’s make it count’ in partnership with its national and International Waterbird Census (IWC) partners, volunteers, government bodies, corporates and others to mark the 50th count of the census. With this campaign, Wetlands International hopes to increase the number of important wetland sites covered by the annual count.

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