Good News for the Endangered Basra Reed Warbler
Birdlife International has announced the discovery of breeding Basrah Reed Warblers far out of the known breeding areas of Iraq and Iran. 4 birds including a recently fledged juvenile were found in Israel's Hula Valley in June 2006. A newly discovered disjunct population would be great news for this ICUN Red-listed species. The revegetation of the southern marshes of Iraq also bode well for this small songbird whose population may have dropped up to 80% since the early 1970's. In Iraq the bird has been found in reed-filled marshes and riverbanks from Baghdad to the Shatt Al-Arab marshes in the south. In 1981 a survey reported breeding birds in the Jadriyah section of Baghdad right across the river from the Green Zone. The birds might survive in small patches in greater Baghdad, though the original site now has been significantly degraded. The stronghold remains the lower Mesopotamian marshes.