By Vesela Todorova
Delegations from more than 30 countries gathered in the capital yesterday with one common aim - to save the Saker falcon.
A migratory species found in 70 countries, the Saker is important to falconers in the UAE and other Arabian Gulf states, but its numbers have been in dramatic decline over the past two decades.
Traditionally, Bedouin herders would trap the birds in autumn, hunt with them in winter and release them in spring, just in time for their migration to breeding grounds in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.
More than 50 experts will discuss the first draft of a global action plan by the Saker Falcon Task Force to save the species.
Established in 2011, the task force operates under the Convention on Migratory Species Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia.
The three-day meeting is "a culmination of the task force's work", said Nick Williams, head of the convention's coordinating unit.
The presence of countries such as Hungary, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia at the meeting is a positive sign, Mr Williams said. More....