Moroccan girls not punished for kissing each other

This video says about itself:

4 November 2016

Two teenage Moroccan girls are facing jail time after they were caught kissing #FreeTheGirls

Fortunately, these girls are not going to jail.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Acquittal for kissing Moroccan girls

Today, 13:57

Two Moroccan girls who stood trial in Marrakesh because they had kissed each other have been acquitted. The teenagers were suspected of homosexuality. The judge ruled that the two should go back to their parents.

The girls, 16 and 17 years old, were arrested in October, after the mother of one of the teens had reported them. She had found on her daughter’s phone a picture of the girls kissing each other.

After the two were arrested, the mother said she was sorry that she had reported her daughter. At that time, the case could not be stopped any more. The judge ruled that the parents of the girls should pay the costs.

A lot of attention

The case sparked outrage in Morocco. In that land sometimes gay men are on trial, but it was the first time that two girls were persecuted for that reason.

Human rights organizations from at home and abroad wanted the authorities to drop the charges. That has not happened, but all that attention led to the girls being acquitted, according to correspondent Sjoukje Rietbroek.

Yellow-legged gull video

This 28 November 2016 video shows yellow-legged gulls (often amidst other gull species).

I was privileged to see yellow-legged gulls, eg, in Morocco.

Stop persecuting Moroccan girls for kissing each other

Moroccans demonstrate for LGBTQ rights, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Moroccans outraged about prosecution of kissing girls

Today, 14:56

In Morocco, a case of two teenage girls who are prosecuted because they have kissed each other has led to much outrage. The girls, 16 and 17 years old, are suspected of having had sex with someone of the same sex. For that they may get a prison sentence of up to three years.

The teens ended up in jail after the mother of them had gone to the police. The woman went to the police after she had seen on her daughter’s phone a picture of the girl kissing a girlfriend. The two were arrested immediately and are on trial today in Marrakech city for “deviant sexual behaviour”.

Human rights organizations say this is a shame and say that the authorities should drop the charges. “A Moroccan organization is campaigning for the girls,” says correspondent Sjoukje Rietbroek. “That says something, because that organisation does not often fight for the rights of LGBT people.”


Human Rights Watch also finds it incomprehensible that the teenagers are prosecuted. “They may have to go to jail because they showed affection for each other,” says a spokesman. In the North African country more often men are prosecuted for homosexuality. It would be the first time that women appear in court in such a case.

The mother who indicated her daughter now says she regrets her action. “But she has figured that out a little too late,” said Rietbroek. “The case is now already in court.”

On December 9 there will be the verdict. “Because there is so much attention from home and abroad for the case it is likely things will end up well for the girls.”

Egyptian vultures discovered in Morocco

This video says about itself:

11 December 2015

The communal roost of Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) found in the Middle Atlas, Morocco. For more details see here and here.

This video says about itself:

Communal roost of the Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) found in Morocco in June 2014.

The roost hosted 40 vultures of different ages, and the birds were roosting in small groups consisting of 3-12 individuals each. This video shows only one part of the roost.a group of 6 vultures.

The recording was made from a great distance using a coupler with a telescope (by Rachid El Khamlichi).

See also here.

Good bird news from the Mediterranean

This is a lesser kestrel video from Extremadura in Spain.

Translated from Marieke Dijksman of BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Less deadly traps for migratory birds in the Mediterranean

March 1, 2016 – For migratory birds the Mediterranean is a kind of minefield. They have to survive unscathed illegal hunting, power lines and wind turbines. BirdLife in the Netherlands is committed, together with their BirdLife partners, to provide protection for migratory birds in the Mediterranean. And that is more and more successful.

Successes in Croatia, Turkey and Morocco

Twice a year hundreds of millions of birds migrate along the African-Eurasian flyway. Along the way they must cross natural barriers such as the Mediterranean and the Sahara, as well as threats caused by human activity. On top of that there is the loss of key roosting areas and problems caused by climate change. However, recently there have been achieved good protection results with the project Flyway Conservation in the Mediterranean. Like in Croatia, Turkey and Morocco.

Saving lesser kestrels in Croatia

The lesser kestrel seemed to be extinct in Croatia. Until a small colony was discovered near the island of Rab in 2010. Exactly on the main feeding grounds of the falcons, the government wanted to build a new airport. By direct action of BirdLife Partner BIOM the lesser kestrel was placed on the Croatian Red List and airport plans were abandoned. Important not only for the lesser kestrel, but also for all Croatian birds, because it is the first time a negative impact on birds could not only be shown, but actually led to action. An important and welcome precedent in Croatia.

Protection of sociable lapwings in Turkey

The sociable lapwing is a critically endangered bird. Worldwide there are fewer than 6,000 pairs. From the breeding grounds in Kazakhstan sociable lapwings migrate through Turkey to the main southerly wintering areas. Doa Dernegi, our BirdLife Partner in Turkey, has addressed illegal hunting in the nature reserve Ceylanpnar, one of the most important resting areas of the species. A team of volunteer wardens now watches over the area and it is very successful. Illegal hunting has fallen sharply. Biggest success: the proclamation of a hunting-free zone in Ceylanpnar at the beginning of the hunting season 2015-2016. Sociable lapwings can safely pass through Turkey!

Rehabilitation of salt pans in Morocco

Two successes of GREPOM, the BirdLife partner of our Society in Morocco. GREPOM managed to prevent the construction of a wind farm in the Rif Mountains. The planned wind farm was right on a major route for migratory birds and especially for many raptors it would have become fatal.

GREPOM could convince the local government of Larache, a port city in northern Morocco, to restore the Loukkos salt pans. Which constitute an important stopover for migratory birds and a habitat for waders.

Stopping bird killing in the Mediterranean. By Claire Thompson, 4 Nov 2016: here.

The Mediterranean Basin: together for nature. By Shaun Hurrell, 11 Jan 2017: here.

Allen’s gallinule in Morocco, video

This video says about itself:

Allen’s Gallinule – Talève d’Allen (Porphyrio alleni) at Gleib Jdiane, Dakhla-Aousserd road, southern Morocco, 18 February 2016 (Mohamed Mediani).

Photos and text: here.

White storks migrating on Moroccan garbage dumps

This video is called Birds of Morocco: White Stork.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

Many white storks have shortened their annual trek to Africa, because they prefer to hibernate at large landfills in northern Morocco to flying for instance over the Sahara. This is evident from German research.

The researchers followed groups of storks during their annual migration. That study shows that storks from countries such as Germany and Spain did not get beyond big garbage dumps in the north of Africa.

Survival rates

They seem to thrive in their new places. They have a greater chance of survival because they have to make less effort to get food.

At the same time, it is questionable whether this is good for the species and nature. The storks may ingest plastic or poison. “The consequences of this change are incalculable,” said the lead researcher.

Food from dumps increases the reproductive value of last laid eggs in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia: here.

Breeding ecology of colonial White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) in northeast Algeria: here.

Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations: here.