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Iran Becomes 51st Signatory to the Raptors MoU
People, Environment

Iran Becomes 51st Signatory to the Raptors MoU

Earlier this week, the Department of Environment hosted its first national technical meeting focused solely on the conservation of birds of prey.  Over 50 delegates from all 31 provinces within the country gathered on Qeshm Island, Hormozgan Province last week. The overall aim was to review the status of the 60 species of birds of prey and owls that occur in Iran, and to develop an Action Plan to tackle the many threats faced by these fascinating avian predators, according to the Conservation of Migratory Birds website.
At an official ceremony on the second day of the meeting, Dr. Ahmad Ali Keykha, deputy head of the Department of Environment (DoE), signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey (CMS) in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MoU) on behalf of the DoE. Welcoming Iran as the 51st Signatory to the Raptors MoU, Nick Williams, Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MoU, said: "Iran is a vast country that hosts internationally important breeding, wintering and passage populations of almost 60% of the migratory birds of prey covered by the Raptors MoU. It is particularly fitting that the Iranian government has signed the MoU at this unique gathering of specialist ornithologists from throughout the country who are all actively involved in the conservation of birds of prey."
Exciting information emerged during the meeting suggesting that Iran is one of the last remaining major strongholds for the rapidly declining and endangered Egyptian Vulture. However, widespread reports of illegal trapping and international trade in large falcons, including the Saker Falcon, gives cause for concern, although Iranian officials are clearly determined to effectively tackle this threat.
As a Signatory to the Raptors MoU, which will enter into effect on 1 April 2015, Iran is now better placed to engage in coordinated international initiatives to conserve migratory birds of prey in the region.

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