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Environmentalists warn about coronavirus impact on birds


The Jordan Times


AMMAN – In an online session held on Monday, environmental experts marked World Migratory Bird Day and discussed the importance of protecting them as a “vital component of nature”.
Director of Aqaba Bird Observatory Firas Rahahla warned about the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on birds, citing scientific studies that discussed the extent and nature of the repercussions that could follow.
The studies Rahahla pointed to have been recently published as predictions of how disruption to normal human life could affect wildlife as well.
He said during the session, titled "Birds Connect Our World,” that Jordan recorded 17 rare types of birds during the past 10 years, among which have been two species that crossed its borders for the first time, namely the Egyptian goose and the Lesser White-fronted goose, the latter of which is threatened with extinction globally.
Rahahla said that "the path of the crumbling pit, which is the second important path for bird migration in the world, is crossed by more than 7.5 million birds, and Jordan is part of it."
During the session, which was organised by the Debbin Society for Environmental Development and in partnership with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, it was noted that Jordan also contains 27 important sites for resting migratory birds, which number up to 436 species.
The session marked the World Migratory Bird Day. Rahahla noted that "this day is celebrated by nearly 69 countries around the world, given the importance of birds in all vital wildlife systems."
The session was described as “aiming to shed light on the importance of the World Migratory Bird Day globally and hoping to highlight birds as a nature component needed by ecosystems in order to survive and thrive”.
President of the Dibbin Society for Environmental Development Hala Murad said that "community awareness… is an important part of the work to preserve birds.”
“Know their role in nature, and the importance of creating bird observatories and protected natural sites is a vital element in the Kingdom’s response to protecting these species,” she said.
The session comes within a series of specialised seminars held by the Dubai Society in cooperation with its partners under the title Green Electronic Meetings.
Murad noted that environmental civil society institutions have an “important role to play, which is to spread awareness and pressure official bodies to take positive steps in terms of the environment as well as restoring and protecting its various systems”.

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