Indiscriminate shooting and taking of birds are serious issues IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) intends to tackle through a partnership with a local NGO, the LAMB (Lebanese Association for Migratory Birds) which is operating a primitive rescue centre concentrating on raptors and storks, through the launch of LOBR, «Levant Operation for Bird Rescue».
Raptors and storks are critical to many landscapes and habitats’ survival; they help clean up the environment from carcasses preventing the spread of pathogens, they are amongst the most common top predators and are likely to shape the species assemblages of birds and mammals, and are prey themselves for large carnivores.
Together IFAW and LAMB will work on developing and improving the rescue centre to rescue the injured birds, rehabilitate them, and ultimately release them to their natural habitatswhen possible.
Dr Michel Sawan, President of LAMB stated, As many as 408 bird species were recorded in Lebanon, and few sites were identified as important migratory bottlenecks (corridors) which the majoity of the birds recorded use but random and illegal hunting practices will unfortunately change these statistics if we dont protect them, now.
IFAW is consistently proving how the protection of animals in one place can impact others on different continents, emphasizing the importance of countries working together toward the conservation of endangered species, said Dr Elsayed Mohamed, IFAWs Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He continued, The LOBR project will have a greater impact beyond the Lebanese borders and will indirecly save the habitats in East and South Africa where IFAWs Room to Roam project operatesthe final destination for many of the migratory birds flying over Lebanon..
Hunting is an embedded practice in the Lebanese culture and is passed down through generations. However, with time, this practice branched out to include cruel trapping methodsnets, bow traps, and lime sticks to name a fewand in unsustainable, wasteful quantities. «LOBR» is urging hunters to fully conform to the laws concerning hunting.
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About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – The International Fund for Animal Welfare is a global non-profit helping animal and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems were up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org