- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinian scientist receives international recognition
- Date: 1st November 2010
- Summary: QLD INTERNATIONAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD 2002 ON AL-ATRASH'S DESK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IMAD AL-ATRASH, ORNITHOLOGIST, SAYING: ''Palestine is considered as being a bottle neck for the global immigration of birds. It's one of the most important crossings for birds, especially around the basin of the Mediterranean. It's one of four main areas.'' JERICHO, WEST BANK (OCTOBER 03, 2010) (REUTERS) AL-ATRASH CATCHING BIRDS IN NET BIRD IN NET VARIOUS OF AL-ATRASH AND HIS ASSISTANT, TRYING TO FREE BIRD FROM NET ASSISTANT PUTTING BIRD IN BAG BIRD IN TENT VARIOUS OF AL-ATRASH CHECKING BIRD VARIOUS OF ASSISTANT CARRYING BIRD VARIOUS OF WORKERS AT PALESTINE WILDLIFE SOCIETY WEIGHING BIRD MAN WRITING DETAILS OF BIRD CLOSE OF PAPER WITH DETAILS OF BIRDS AL-ATRASH AND ASSISTANTS LETTING BIRD GO VARIOUS OF BIRD
- Embargoed: 16th November 2010 12:00
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA9YB40EAT1IQEK4VFXIZXI1WS0
- Story Text: Looking out for birds in the West Bank, Palestinian ornithologist Imad al-Atrash keeps track of the different species in the area.
Al-Atrash is a prominent Palestinian Ornithologist known for his work in the field and his efforts to preserve nature and that of the habitats of birds in the region since 1995.
But now his work has been marked by the International Ornithological Committee in Brazil, making al-Atrash the first Palestinian member of their international society.
The society itself was set up in 1881 and is made up of around 200 ornithologists from around the world.
As a keen bird watcher al-Atrash had been surveying and monitoring the wildlife across many sites in the Palestinian territories. He uses the information from his field work to enrich environmental knowledge at national and international levels.
"This is a consequence from the scientific research, as you can see from today, led by the Palestine Wildlife society which was established in 2000. A lot of our research, especially to do with birdlife near the Dead Sea and the eagle were published in many international magazines," said al-Atrash whilst gathering data in the field.
There are more than 400 bird species in the area which includes eagles, thrushes and warblers. But al-Atrash said their ecosystems are slowly being destroyed, which could lead to a decrease in the number of species.
''It's all threatened with extinction because of the Israeli settlements, opening roads and building the racist separation wall, because it's prevented the movement of animals, and eliminated the growth of wild plants, which are specific for the environment of birds and animals,'' said al-Atrash.
The 55-year-old scientist is also a member of the Palestine Wildlife Society, which works out of an office in the West Bank's Beit Sahour. Al-Atrash is the executive director of the society which carries out conservation education in the region. For more than a decade he has set out to preserve the birds in Palestine.
''Palestine is considered as being a bottle neck for the global immigration of birds. It's one of the most important crossings for birds, especially around the basin of the Mediterranean. It's one of four main areas,'' said al-Atrash.
Around 30 species of migratory birds travel through the region.
The keen bird scientist can add his appointment to the International Ornithological Committee to that of the books he has written and to his award in 2005 for his film, "Birds of Palestine". The film won an award at the Environment and Agriculture film festival in the Czech Republic.
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