‘Looking for a flamingo?’: bird trafficking in Iraq – photo essay

‘Looking for a flamingo?’: bird trafficking in Iraq – photo essay

When flamingos migrate to the southern Iraqi marshes in the winter months, the poachers are waiting – and so are the customers who want them to decorate their gardens

Photographs by Chloe Sharrock. Words by Quentin Müller and Sylvain Mercadier

“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.

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