Scientific studies in the West Bekaa
Since the founding of A Rocha Lebanon in 1996, a great deal of scientific study has been undertaken and much has been learned about the flora and fauna of Lebanon and in particular the West Bekaa. Research has been conducted in the form of preliminary studies, short- and long-term projects and an ongoing monitoring program.
A number of short-term research projects have been carried out which have greatly increased the knowledge of bird life in Lebanon. These studies include:
- an autumn migrant bird survey (1998)
- a survey of birds on the mountain slopes above Aammiq (1999/2000)
- a survey of breeding birds in the reed beds of the Aammiq marsh (May 2000)
- a study of the autumn routes of migrating raptors and other soaring birds in Lebanon (2000)
- a study of the breeding ecology of the Pale Rock Sparrow (spring and summer 2000 and 2001)
- a survey of wintering wildfowl and waders (winter 2000 and 2001)
- a survey of breeding birds in the agricultural land of the Aammiq area (spring 2003)
- a survey of roosting Harrier species in the reedbed (from 2004)
- a “bird inventory” for the Tannourine Cedars Nature Reserve (2005/6)
A longer term project was the search for Important Bird Areas (IBAs) which was carried out with the Lebanese BirdLife International partner, SPNL. Together A Rocha and SPNL surveyed birdlife and general biodiversity at approximately 40 sites around the country between 2005 and 2008, and concluded with a workshop in April 2009.
Surveys of other fauna include a two-year butterfly survey in 2000 and 2001, a dragonfly survey in 2002 and 2003, a fresh water invertebrate survey in 2002 and 2003, invertebrate surveys in 2003 and 2004, frog surveys in the Springs of 2004 and 2005, and a survey of reptiles and amphibians at Aammiq and elsewhere in Lebanon in Fall 2007.