On Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Natural History Museum of Marrakech, a training workshop was held on the criteria for identifying Moroccan raptors. This training was given by Mohamed Radi of GREPOM (Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc), Karim Rousselon of AMFCR (Association Marocaine pour la Fauconnerie et la Conservation des Rapaces) and Fabrice Cuzin (Consultant in protected areas and impact studies), in partnership with Cady Ayyad University (UCA), the Natural History Museum of Marrakech and the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD).
The objectives of the training were to strengthen the capacity to identify birds in the wild, in particular within the framework of the ATLAS Programme for the National Census of Birds of Prey in Morocco. The ATLAS Programme should eventually allow the acquisition of data to better understand the dynamics of raptor populations in Morocco, in order to optimize the Conservation of species that have been deemed most threatened.
The audience present consisted of members of GREPOM and other NGOs, representatives of the DREF (Regional administration of the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification) and PhD students from the UCA.
The workshop started at 9am with a presentation by Mr Karim Rousselon of the ATLAS Programme for the census of raptors in the Mediterranean region initiated by IUCN, while emphasizing the contribution of HCEFLCD and Moroccan NGOs as well as the modalities for the implementation of this census project.
This workshop was attended by about twenty participants made up of members of GREPOM, representatives of the Regional Directorate of Water and Forests of the High Atlas (DREF), PhD students and a representative of a Saffron Association. The Powerpoint presentation was made by Mr. Radi Mohamed (Coordinator of the Marrakech-Haut Atlas-GREPOM unit) and was presented by Mr. Karim Rousselon, President of the AMFCR (Moroccan Association for Sausage and Raptor Conservation), with the participation of Mr. Fabrice Cuzin.
Frequent exchanges between participants and trainers punctuated the presentation. The quality of the presentation and the information provided by the speakers contributed not only to the acquisition of techniques and methods for identifying birds of prey, but also to the enrichment of knowledge of the ecology, behaviour and distribution of these birds in Morocco.
At the end of the presentation, the question and answer session was followed by a coffee break and the workshop ended at 12:30 pm, after the photo of the group of participants. Further such sessions will be organized in the future.