Saudi Arabia Pledges to Conserve Migratory Birds of Prey

Abu Dhabi, 13 March 2017 – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has today signed the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU), at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Raptors MOU was signed by Dr. Hany Tatwany, Vice President of the Saudi Wildlife Authority, establishing Saudi Arabia as the 57th Signatory to the Raptors MOU.

Forty-three (46%) of the 93 species of migratory birds of prey listed in Annex 1 of the Raptors MOU have been recorded in Saudi Arabia.  The country holds an internationally important breeding population of the Critically Endangered Lappet-faced Vulture and hosts several other threatened species of birds of prey both on migration and during the winter months.

'Migratory birds of prey are a spectacular component of the rich biodiversity that exists within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  By signing the Raptors MOU today, we are demonstrating our willingness to reach out and to collaborate with other countries along their flyways to ensure the long-term conservation of these sentinels of a healthy environment', said Dr Hany Tatwany, Vice President of the Saudi Wildlife Authority.

Nick P. Williams, Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU said: ‘Saudi Arabia occupies a landmass of over 2.1 million km2 and constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula.  It’s geographic position and climate means that it hosts internationally significant breeding and wintering populations of migratory birds of prey.  In addition, the country is strategically located on two major raptor migration flyways that join Eastern Europe and Western Asia to the African continent, which means that many hundreds of thousands of raptors fly across the country each spring and autumn.  There’s no doubt that Saudi Arabia has a critically important role to play in conserving migratory raptors, both within the region and far beyond too, so we are delighted to welcome the country as a Signatory to the Raptors MOU.’

Saudi Arabia became a Party to CMS in 1991 and in recent years has been actively engaged with two key initiatives led by the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU – the Saker Falcon Task Force which produced the Saker Falcon Global Action Plan (SakerGAP); and, the ongoing development of a Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP), which is due to be considered by CMS Parties at their forthcoming 12th Meeting of the Conference of Parties, scheduled to be held in Manila, Philippines in October 2017.

The Raptors MOU will enter into effect in Saudi Arabia on 1st April 2017.

 

Last updated on 14 March 2017

Type: 
News item
Country: 
Saudi Arabia
Species group: 
Birds