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BirdingRob Wednesday 21st March 2012 07:33

Adding to my western palearctic list
I bird in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Once a month, I treat myself by flying to other parts of Saudi Arabia to bird.

I want to be clear where the boundary of the Western Palearctic is for when I travel to the northern cities.

The boundary used in the "Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic" seems to be the most accepted. Furthermore, I understand this is followed by the most popular Western Palearctic checklist, i.e. the Association of European Rarities Committees (AERC) list.

So Kuwait for example is in but Bahrain is out.

However I haven't seen the exact boundary in writing. From a map I have, it looks like its set at the 27th degree parallel Am I right that the accepted boundary in the handbook is exactly the 27th parallel?

For my purposes I can fly easily to 4 northern cities. Tubuk, Hail and Arar are well above the 27th parallel but Jubail is exactly on the line. I presume if I bird in the north of the city I am OK but if I bird in the south of the city, I'm not!

PS I am aware of other researchers putting the boundary further south but the rarities committees don't accept them and I am comfortable with that decision!

However, I do think it' s all a bit of a game but while I'm in Saudi Arabia for a year or two I might as well add birds which I otherwise can't get on the list.

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