LEBANON: 10 April-1st May 2019

This particular travel destination had first a family purpose and then, at the same time, a naturalist one. .

We landed in Beirut, overpopulated megalopolis, polluted, excessively blocked with traffic, very animated daily and nightly and without nature. There is only one public park planted with trees, « horsh Beyrouth », where we sadly saw more birds in a square meter than in the country’s natural reserves. Moreover, we could approach them at a few meters as it’s probably the country’s only place where the hunters’ cartridge case don’t fly in every direction…


Lebanon is a small country, young, hurt by countless civil wars, occupations and bombings. The stigmata of all these wars are still visible and in recent years the 1.2 million Syrian refugees fleeing their war have swelled the country's population by 20%, all this on a territory smaller than the French-speaking part of Switzerland.... (10,452km2) In addition to these facts, successive governments have been highly professional in corruption.

Finally, this small country is home to at least 18 religious denominations, which does not simplify human relations. This complicated context explains why the protection of the environment is the last concern of the leaders and a majority of the citizens....


Lebanon still has many different natural environments; semi-deserts, high and medium mountains with various woodlands, relics of wetlands, all small areas that reminded us of Switzerland. As for the cedars of Lebanon, there is not much left, but deforestation started a long time ago, since antiquity...

The big problem we could daily note is a total disdain of every animal life, people hunt anything that flies all year round, to pass the time, even in the few reserves in the country.... Fortunately, there are people who try to oppose this barbaric behaviour and they deserve our greatest respect !


The big misfortune for our winged friends ist that Lebanon, especially Bekaa’s plain, is one oft he most important migratory roads for the palearctic… We saw eagles, storks, pelicans with plumage destroyed by lead, this in spring. What about autumn, the official season of slaughter?

Another environmental disaster visible throughout the country is the absence of land-use policy. The land is so much eaten-up by buildings...


The absence of State and laws’ application allows everyone who has money to blow up any part of mountains, with, we can imagine, some bribes, to be able to have his house or even his castle built.

We visited three sites of naturalistic interest : Aammiq swamp (Bekaa plain), Jabal Moussa reserve and Shouf natural reserve. We also made a small day trip from Beirut to a pine forest located between Qsaybeh and Ras el Mata, a place miraculously still preserved from fast urbanization. We mention it for the exceptional flora we discovered there.


List of observed species in Lebanon


Visited regions :


Pine forest near Qsaybeh and Aammiq wetland (Bekka plain)


Jabal Moussa biosphere reserve


Shouf biosphere reserve