“Is it flamingos you’re looking for? Come to my place after 1pm,” whispers Mustafa Ahmed Ali from inside his small shop, which is buzzing with bird sounds of all kinds. He has been selling birds – wild and bred – at the bird market in Amara, in Iraq’s Maysan province, for more than 30 years.
Bird poaching can be a lucrative business in Maysan, which is located between the Ahwar marshes – a Unesco world heritage site – and the border with Iran, putting it at the forefront of bird trafficking. The region is a poor one and the illegal