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Illegal hunting threatens biodiversity of Iraq's marshes

In the absence of deterrent laws and decisive actions by the authorities, hunters in Iraq are killing migrant birds on a large scale.

BAGHDAD — A video showing Iraqi hunters capturing rare flamingos in Maysan governorate, southern Iraq, was posted on Iraqi social media networks on Dec. 25, along with other videos showing people feasting on flamingo meat. On Dec. 27, a large number of flamingos were sold at a flea market in southern Iraq.

The illegal hunting of birds and wild animals has been a widespread phenomenon in Iraq. Nature Iraq, an organization created to protect, restore and preserve Iraq's natural environment, said in a statement on Nov. 11, 2014, “Large numbers of migrating birds to the marshes were shot by hunters using licensed and unlicensed firearms.”

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