My letter to the local press
A wildlife wake-up call to authorities(link)
Posted on » Saturday, May 22, 2010
Every time I go out bird watching I am never certain that I will still find my intended destination intact. The rate of change and the sheer negligence of the so-called concerned authorities here constantly astonish me. Trees uprooted, natural vegetation cleared, ditches filled, green spaces bulldozed flat, let alone more garbage than one can imagine thrown in the sea. It is always a surprise to me that Bahrain has any wildlife left worthy of note but of that which does survive, I often wonder for just how much longer.
Every day we read of some so-called green programme; recycling a tin can is not green, it's common sense. May I suggest instead therefore, people should start to worry about just respecting and protecting the few natural green areas we have left and the wildlife that use them?
What sort of world are we leaving for future generations when as the current tenants of this planet, we are determined to destroy every vestige of our wonderful natural world?
In Bahrain being green is the wrong colour to illustrate one's affinity to nature. Take a closer look at a brown and twisted twig on a desert bush. It has probably survived longer than you so as you flatten it with your 4x4, think optimistically as you destroy a hundred years of plant growth.
It's a sad reflection on Bahrain, which as a signatory to many international treaties and agreements, allows or rather turns a blind eye to, for instance, the capture, sale and mistreatment of animals and birds classified as vulnerable or highly endangered globally.
To me all native Bahrain species should be on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as well as those migratory ones. Bahrain is an island for those that hadn't noticed through a lack of access to the sea all the way around, but this does make the native species all the more important; it provides a unique gene pool.
This photograph is of a Lesser Kestrel, a migratory species, I found recently hanging dead on a fence not far from Al Areen Wildlife Park, that had been caught for sale in a local bird market for a few dinars. It had escaped but not before it had a fishing line attached as a tether to one leg which had then become entangled in the fence causing the bird to die a slow and lingering death.
To the so-called concerned authorities I say start getting off your backsides and get out there, apply the laws you have. Make a difference, the current generation might not thank you but future ones most definitely will.
Email me at
hmking.pmc at gmail
added June 4 2010