Bulletin 39 - November 1989: Editorial

(The following article by Bulletin Editor Rob Western appeared on page one of Bulletin 39.)


The ENHG Committee is a fluid body, with office-holders coming and going with virtually every issue of the Bulletin, but it is not too often that there is a change of Chairman. This autumn, however, sees the departure of Ted Garside after 2.5 years at the helm. Besides his duties as Chairman, Ted has enhanced our knowledge of local astronomy both through lectures and evening visits to the desert. But perhaps Tedís most enduring achievement has been to work on a programme updating bird recordings on the Groupís new computer. These records had been on computer file, as it were, for some years and in view of the vast increase in bird observations, it is timely to have them updated. Ted has also been responsible for creating a new computerized accounting system for the Group. Nor should we forget Tedís wife, Muff, who behind the scenes has been quite a force in her own right. The Group wishes Ted and Muff a happy future. Which, of course, means a new Chairman in Peter Hellyer, who has been a Committee member for some years and who has promoted the groupís activities both through the media and via our Patron. As a well-known figure in Abu Dhabi, Peter can be relied upon to give forceful leadership to the Group in the months and possibly years to come.

This issue of the Bulletin has a distinctly nautical flavor, with articles on Qarnein Island, offshore bird records and turtles. The information contained herein on Qarnein is the result of the first-ever natural history survey of the Island, one of the few relatively undisturbed until very recently. Bulletin No. 40 will publish recommendations on managing the future of Qarnein as a compromise between its wildlife and human influence.

This issue also contains a useful article by Dave Heath who has previously contributed data from Das on dragonflies, bats and birds, besides his latest offering on turtles. Dave has now departed the UAE for a photographic venture to the Galapagos Islands and South America before settling down to the mundane routine of work in UK.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the publication of my pet project for many years, ĎThe Flora of the United Arab Emirates: An Introductioní. This work was sponsored by the Emirates University but all the background to the research, involving fieldtrips for collecting and photography was conducted under the auspices of the Emirates Natural History Group. I would again like to acknowledge the help extended to me my present and past members in helping to realize this project.


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