Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire and Robert J. Dowsett have kindly provided 10 ornithological reports for use on this website. These reports are summaries of their travels to Benin and Togo and can be found at Benin/references and Togo/references. You will find a wealth of detail relating to habitats, locations, sightings and checklists. The reports are written in French, and some in English with a French summary.
A new organisation called the Madagascar Birding Association (MBA) has been founded to promote the protection and preservation of Madagascar’s birds, among other goals. MBA has since produced the first ever bird field guide in the Malagasy language with the collaboration of a local partner. It is entitled “Ny Vorontsika eto Madagasikara” – Our Birds in Madagascar. You can find more about MBA and its activities at www.madagascarbirding.org.
On the small island of Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea, a community beekeeping project is empowering communities to obtain honey in a way that doesn't risk their lives. This initiative is already restoring forests and enriching livelihoods.
Traditionally, honey collectors on Príncipe Island extracted honey from wild colonies found in the forest by burning their nests. Not only does this method kill most of the bees and risk starting forest fires, but it is also dangerous for the honey collectors themselves, who must scale tall trees with minimal safety equipment.
BirdLife Botswana (BirdLife Partner) is unequivocally condemning the recent poisoning of 537 highly endangered vultures by elephant poachers in the Central District of Botswana. This devastating incident has resulted in the country’s highest recorded death toll of vultures associated with a single poisoning incident and is one of the worst killings of vultures on the continent, rivaling a similar incident in the Caprivi area of Namibia in 2013, where between 400-600 vultures were killed.
Every year hundreds of thousands of seabirds die as bycatch in fishing gear. BirdLife is joining a call to reduce this number by enforcing mitigation measures through observer coverage. You can join the campaign by signing the petition here.
Djebel Babor forest in Northern Algeria was a National Park for 60 years before being stripped of its status. Now, despite political upheaval, the hard work of conservationists has paid off once again.
In Nigeria and across Africa, vultures are being killed so that their body parts can be used for various belief-based practices, including traditional medicine. This is a severe threat for a group of birds already beleaguered by poisoning and habitat loss.
We know that wind farms are one of the most environmentally-friendly energy sources. Besides using a renewable resource, wind turbines release minimal amounts of carbon dioxide and actually take up very little land space since their structures occupy the air, rather than the land. However, for animals that need that air space, they can pose big problems.
A major new global assessment provides a wake-up call to decision-makers: we are not on track to meet universal goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Individual successes show that we have the knowledge and tools to turn things around, but transformative change, through stronger and sustained political commitment, is urgently needed to safeguard and restore the natural ecosystems on which we depend.
The Steppe Whimbrel is the rarest and least understood member of the highly threatened Numeniini tribe (curlews and godwits). But considering they were believed to be extinct 25 years ago, it’s unsurprising that we know so little about them. A newly published report is beginning to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.