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Basra Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus griseldis) breeding in Israel

Yoav Perlman, Israeli ornithological Center, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

During July 4th – 7th 2006, I ringed together with Amit Geffen, Itai Shani and many others (Eran Banker, Nir Sapir, Gev galili, Jonathan Halevi, Rami Mizrachi, Amir & Aviv Ben-Dov, Tomer Landsberger and Ifat Davidson et al.), at Lehavot Habashan fishponds, in the eastern fringes of the Hula Valley. We were amazed to catch four Basra Reed Warblers: 2 males, 1 female, with a brood patch, and a very fresh juvenile, at the last stages of its wing and tail feather growth. The juvenile was initially trapped and then retrapped together in the net with the same male (perhaps one of its parents?).

This species was known to breed only in the shrinking Mesopotamian marshes of southern Iraq. It is classified by the IUCN as endangered, due to an 80% decrease in its population sized during the last three decades. These news about breeding in northern Israel or nearby raises hopes for the long term survival of this species.

Basra Reed Warbler Basra Reed Warbler Basra Reed Warbler Basra RW (back) in comperison with Great RW Basra Reed Warbler Basra RW (left) in comperison with Clamorous RW Basra Reed Warbler Basra RW (left) in comperison with Great RW

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