Bulletin 40 - March 1990: Comments


First, it is a very pleasant duty to welcome Terry Adams on to the ENHG Committee as Vice-Chairman. A paleontologist by qualification, Terry was instrumental in providing logistical support to Dr. Peter Whybrow's team studying the fossils of the Bainuna formation in Abu Dhabi's Western Region in both 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. Terry has been active with behind-the-scenes support for various aspects of the Group's work, and we look forward to his continuing interest and input.

This edition of the Bulletin concludes our two-part article on the Qarnein Expedition, undertaken by Group members for H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan in April 1989 (pp. 15 - 26). Bulletin 39 introduced the topic and outlined initial results of various wildlife surveys. We now move on to recommendations on conservation, and it is vital that measures are taken to preserve at least parts of Qarnein, an island both remote and still largely unchanged by man. Of the UAE offshore islands, Qarnein remains perhaps our last chance to maintain a site that is relatively undisturbed and the location of significant breeding populations of birds and turtles. Bill Bourne, an authority on sea birds of the area and a contributor to previous Bulletins, makes the point that bird colonies are especially prone to desert disturbed sites. Cormorants have already deserted Zirku Island, they look like to desert Qarnein, and surviving populations will be hard-pressed in failure to find any relatively undisturbed site in the lower Gulf. Terns are less of a problem, as they will adapt to more marginal locations, including oil installations at sea. Of more importance, perhaps, is the breeding colony of tropicbirds on Qarnein, though Bill makes the point that they are tough and hung on in places like Bermuda when other seabirds were lost.

In line with previous practice, I have included in this first edition of 1990 reports from Recorders received at the Annual General Meeting in January. Last year we only had four major reports, so it is good to see Archaeology and Geology re-introduced. As usual, a list of the 1989 presentations is included. Perhaps future meetings could also include accounts of weekend field trips from different Recorders and members.


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