Working for birds in Africa

Directory of Important Bird Areas in Egypt

Sat, 22/12/2012 - 00:07 -- abc_admin
S. M. Baha el Din. 1999. 113pp, several maps and line drawings. BirdLife International & Palm Press, 34 El Mansour Muhammad Street, Zamalek, Cairo 11211. ISBN 977-5089-25-5. No price given.
pages 152-153

This is a valuable addition to the growing number of individual country Important Bird Area (IBA) listings. Introductory chapters detail the rationale, objectives, selection and categorisation of Important Bird Areas in general, describe the Egyptian avifauna and bird habitats, examines problems and challenges facing conservationists in the country, and presents an overview and guide to the data presented in the site list. Thirty four IBAs are described under the following headings: Protection Status, Description, Importance for Birds, Importance for Other Species, and Significant Conservation Issues. Coordinates, the area's size, relevant governorate and criteria under which the site qualifies as an IBA, along with a location map, are also included. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most sites are either wetlands, coastal sites, islands or raptor watchpoints. Appendices include a short glossary, gazetteer and list of English and scientific names of species included in the text, while a reference list completes the work. In addition to conservationists and planners, at whom the book is specifically addressed, birdwatchers and ornithologists visiting Egypt, given the current lack of a detailed site guide, are also recommended to study this valuable addition to the country's avifaunal canon. Much headway has been made in Egyptian ornithological studies in recent years, capitalising on Goodman & Meininger's superb status and distribution guide published in 1989, although one suspects that, given the lack of work in several poorly visited parts of the country, surprises still await more adventurous birders.

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