Lebanon’s environmental wealth is threatened.. Will anyone save it?

What afflicts passing birds goes beyond the hunting story, according to what Fouad Itani, head of the Bird Protection Association in Lebanon, explains to “Nidaa Al Watan.” Many factors contribute to the damage, in addition to the overhunting of protected and endangered birds, including pollution, loss of bird habitats due to the invasion of construction, and the decline of forests. , the height of communication towers, high-voltage lines, power fans, the use of agricultural pesticides and climate change. Itani adds that the importance of passing birds is not noticed by most people due to a lack of awareness about the subject, because some of their species, such as storks, eagles, and hawks, destroy locusts, insects, and rodents that destroy agricultural crops during their daytime crossing, and so do birds that cross at night, such as owls. There are passerby birds, such as the brown vulture and the Egyptian and black vulture, which cleanse nature from the carcasses of dead animals, while smaller birds eliminate insects and worms, thereby reducing the need to use pesticides and thus enhancing the quality and health of vegetables. Swallows, for example, or harpies, are birds that eat what is equivalent to their weight. Of the midges, the sandalwood and the sandalwood eat the harmful insects that destroy cedars, sedges, and oaks, while the hoopoe, the falcon, and the cuckoo eliminate the harmful sandalwood that infects the pine.

While humans deal cruelly with birds for entertainment and trade, birds, unlike them, bestow many benefits on them. Expert Fouad Itani explains the benefit of what some types of birds do, in addition to eliminating insects and preserving ecosystems, in addition to the fact that small birds contribute to the reforestation of Lebanon’s forests. The chick, for example, swallows the seeds of slime in its stomach and then empties them again in another place, so it grows and grows. Abu Zureiq hides the acorns carried by the oak tree in places in the dirt so that he can eat them whenever he needs them, but he leaves many of them behind and they grow and turn into shrubs. It can be said that 30% of small birds are responsible for pollinating flowers, just like bees, and thus for the continuity of life…

Lebanon has an environmental wealth that is unknown to most of its people. It is rich in 420 species of birds that are distributed between passing birds that pass over it, and others that spend the winter or summer there to hatch their young, in addition to its resident birds such as the bulbul, the partridge, the sparrow, the goldfinch, and the blackbird. This diversity is due to the diversity of the Lebanese regions between mountainous, coastal and semi-desert, as in Ras Baalbek, which provides different habitats for birds, and this richness, in the opinion of Itani and environmental lovers, can be transformed into an eco-tourism item that attracts environmentalists, researchers, nature lovers and photography, provided that Lebanon preserves its birds. It respects agreements concluded with European countries to protect passing birds, most notably the stork, which is considered a symbol of Poland. Before its crises, Lebanon sought to conclude a stork protection agreement with Poland during the days of former Environment Minister Fadi Jreissati, which contributed to a significant decline in the hunting of this bird. However, with changing priorities and the accumulation of crises, monitoring was withdrawn and the passing birds returned to danger.

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