Turkish Journal of Zoology




The Basra Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) is an endangered songbird that breeds in the reed beds of southern Mesopotamia. Hydrological projects, war, and drought have greatly reduced the breeding habitat of this species, making its future uncertain. The first Basra Reed-warbler for Turkey was caught in a mist net on 22 May 2018 at the Aras River Ornithological Research Station, between the provinces of Kars and Iğdır. This represents one of only a few vagrant records in the eastern Mediterranean, and the northernmost record to date. It is likely that this bird was an overshooting spring migrant, but the existence of other small breeding populations elsewhere in the Middle East could lead to more migrants, or even breeding pairs, occurring in eastern Turkey in the future. Riparian oases such as the Aras River Bird Paradise are vital habitats for millions of migrating birds of hundreds of species and if more individuals of Turkey?s first endangered songbird are discovered, it would raise the conservation priority of the region?s wetlands even further.


Anatolia, avian ecology, bird banding, migratory bird, Middle East, mist netting, ornithology, wetlands

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