Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Iraq Natural History References and Iraq Fauna Wiki

I wish I knew what was happening at my other site Iraqfauna.wikispaces.com. The unique visitors are going through the roof! My hope is that it will be used primarily by Iraqis to share information on the country's animal biodiversity. So far I've been the only editor, so its not living up to its potential as a collaborative site. I have been working on the Iraq bird list and slowly adding Arabic names and links to both species photos and range maps, where available.

I've also added more links for people to explore. I'll copy them here to give them a wider audience. Remember anyone can edit the Iraqfauna wiki and add to it. All previous versions are saved so don't worry about wrecking anything.
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Iraq Natural History Links from iraqfauna.wikispaces.com
INVERTEBRATES
Longhorn Beetles (Cerambycidae) of the Western Palearctic - Michal Hoskovek and Martin Rejzek of the Czech Republic have compiled an illustrated list of the hundreds of species of this large and economically important group of beetles. Their site also has field trip reports from Iran, Syria and Turkey. A very impressive site.

The Sphingidae of the Western Palearctic - Tony Pittaway's comprehensive site covering all the Hawkmoths of the region. Detailed species pages have photos of adults, caterpillars and sometimes parasitoids. An excellent resource.

Scorpions of Iraq - A pictorial introduction to the species of scorpions in Iraq by Norwegian scorpion researcher Jan Ove Rein.

FISH
FISHBASE - List of Fish of Iraq This incredible resource has over 1000 collaborators and has a huge amount of info on Iraqi Fish derived from their database. Info includes pictures, bibliography, collection data.

Freshwater Fishes of Iraq - A project of Brian W. Coad, a scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. In addition to a great picture of a large Tigris Salmon (Barbus esocinus), this site has the most authoritative species list, a list of Arabic fish names and a huge bibliography of over 1500 entries.

BIRDS
Laura Erikson's Birderblog - Iraq Species Gallery - A selection of bird photos taken in Iraq by US military and civilians sent to Laura Erikson who runs Birderblog.

Birding Babylon - Natural history notes from Iraq. Started in March 2004 when Jonathan Trouern-Trend deployed to Iraq with the US Army.

Birdlife International's Important Bird Areas in Iraq - Link to descriptions and map pages of areas identified as IBAs in Iraq.

Birds of the Western Palearctic - Maps for all the birds on the Western Palearctic list. Iraq is on the far eastern border of the region.

Birds of Kuwait - Part of Abdul-Rahman Al-Sirhan's fantastic site on the wildlife of Kuwait. He has spent the last few years photographing and documenting the fauna of Kuwait and has a large number of great photos. Most bird species found in Kuwait can also be found in parts of Iraq. Google's Arabic-English translation tool can be used read the Arabic parts of the website.

Environmental Organizations working in Iraq
Birdlife International

Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative

Eden Again/Iraq Nature

Iraq Nature Conservation Association

UN Environmental Program - Marshlands Project

Iraqi Marshlands Observation System - a collaborative project that uses satellite imagery and landcover analysis to document the restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshes in Southern Iraq. Includes weekly imagery. April 2006 - Marsh Vegetation at 58% of pre-drainage levels - In March 2003 the marshes were down to approximately 7% of historic levels.

Academic and Governmental Organizations
Ministry of Environment - English language website for the Iraqi Ministry of Environment in Baghdad.

University of Basrah Marine Science Center - An institution devoted to studying the study of the biology and environment of the southern Iraqi Marshes, the Shatt Al-Arab and the Arabian Gulf. Publishes a newsletter and the Journals Marina Mesopotamica and the Journal of Aquaculture.

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