OSME celebrates 50 Years


2018 marks the 50th anniversary of The Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME), which began in 1968 as the Ornithological Society of Turkey (OST). 1978 saw an expansion to include the Middle East while in 2001 the southern Caucasus and the new countries of Central Asia were included. 

Its well respected journal Sandgrouse is published twice a year, and contains articles and news from throughout the region. Since OSME’s Conservation Fund launched in 1982, it has provided £120,000 to various projects; in 2017, £15,500 was granted to work on White-headed Duck, Bar-headed Goose, Great Bustard, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sociable Lapwing and Steppe Eagle, as well as education programmes in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

OSME is particularly proud of its latest initiative – the first-ever Arabic language bird identification app developed by NatureGuides, following publication of the Arabic version of Birds of the Middle East. Launched in April at the Birdlife Summit for the Flyways Conference in Abu Dhabi, the app is completely free to download and will hopefully inspire both a new generation of birders, as well as those people in the region who already support and cherish nature.

This year’s Annual Summer Meeting (this year’s theme: bird conservation in the OSME region) will be held Saturday 30 June at BTO Headquarters, Thetford, Norfolk, from 10 am-5.15 pm. Non-members are welcome and there is no attendance charge. Talks range from 'Dangers of a journey south: illegal bird slaughter on Cyprus' to ‘Conservation in the Iraq Marshes’ and ‘Birds and Birdwatching in Iran’. There is an optional dinner at the Mulberry in Thetford. Contact Sajidah Ahmad at secretary@osme.org for further details or visit www.osme.org/content/osme-summer-meeting-and-40th-agm.