Kane has recently visited Kuwait where he assisted our colleagues from WWT Consulting on a project helping to develop a waterbird monitoring programme, the first of it’s kind in Kuwait!
The team, headed by WWT Consulting, travelled out to work with staff from the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAF) to help establish a long-term waterbird monitoring programme, as well as provide advice on habitat management and the integration of visitor access to Jahra Nature Reserve. During the trip, WWT staff enjoyed working with Kuwaiti nationals and others based in the country to provide training on bird identification, monitoring protocols and survey methods to PAAF staff and other local people who will form the future network of waterbird counters in Kuwait!
Whilst there, the team also undertook the first ever coordinated waterbird count of Sulaibikhat and Jahra Bays, with over 49,000 waterbirds being counted! It was during this survey that they were treated to fabulous views of large flocks of Crab Plover and Greater Flamingo and they even found a rare Lesser Flamingo (only the 5th ever recorded in the country).
This training programme will continue in the years ahead, with the next visit to Kuwait scheduled for January 2015 in order to undertake another coordinated count for the International Waterbird Census, for which few counts are undertaken on the Arabian Peninsula. This will therefore not only help to build capacity for waterbird monitoring in Kuwait, but also provide valuable data to be used in monitoring and conserving bird species at a global level. We’ll post updates from this project as we continue with this work over the coming years.