Although generally associated with barren deserts, habitats in the Middle East are surprisingly diverse, comprising arid steppes, mountains, broadleaved forests, salt lakes, Mediterranean scrub, coniferous forest and marine environments. The Red Sea and Gulf have suites of endemic fish, and an astonishing richness of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, including brown bear, leopard, oryx and wild ass. Rapid economic development in the Middle East has resulted in dramatic loss of biodiversity, yet conservation in the region receives relatively little attention. This meeting will highlight the threats facing biodiversity in the Middle East, and provide insight into the protection of species ranging from cheetah in Iran to sharks in the Gulf.
Mudhafar Salim, Nature Iraq
Mohammad Farhadinia,Iranian Cheetah Society and WildCRU, Oxford University
Richard Porter, Author of ‘Birds of the Middle East’