These funds (£242,000) will be used by the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, the BirdLife Partner in the country, to work with local communities to reduce the impact of over-grazing livestock and prevent conversion of the land to arable farming. Helping the grasslands recover will benefit both the lark and the pastoralists living there.
ABO staff estimated the local population to be 30 singing individuals. The previous Burundi population was estimated as ten pairs in 1984. The bird currently faces many environmental threats as its habitat is under high pressure by the surrounding community looking mainly for raw materials for making mats or for thatching. At other valley swamps of the park, agriculture is growing and seriously jeopardising the suitable habitat for the species. Urgent conservation measures - targeting the valley swamps – are needed.
In 2009 BSPB started an initiative for creating of partnerships with the countries from the Middle East and East Africa aiming to survey the threats and and propose conservation measures for the Egyptian Vulture along its migration route and in the wintering areas. Three expeditions were held - two in Ethiopia (2009 and 2010) and one in Sudan (2010) together with the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS/BirdLife in Ethiopia) and the Sudanese Wildlife Society.
The primary causes are changes in land use and other human activity, particularly the poisoning of livestock carcasses intended to kill lions and other large predators. Vultures quickly die after scavenging on the tainted carcasses. "Staggering declines in abundance were found for seven of eight scavenging raptors surveyed,” said co-author Munir Virani. “Better land management and a ban on certain pesticides are needed to preserve these keystone members of the scavenging community.” “The situation in Kenya perhaps mirrors the situation throughout eastern Africa,” Virani said.
The total found and reported by ornithologists is thus nearly 80, but this is surely just the tip of the iceberg. In the past, the area around Port Sudan was the most significant known stop-over site of Egyptian Vultures in Sudan during its autumn migration. However despite that the fact that the expedition took place in September / October during the peak migration period, very few were seen.
Removed by the CapeNature team the chicks were rapidly taken ashore by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's research boat, Lwazi (Knowledge), before being transported to SANCCOB'S rescue centre in Cape Town where they will be fed and cared for about three months. The chicks will then be released back into the breeding colony at Dyer Island.
The African Penguin was recently declared an endangered species. Dyer Island is one of the most important breeding colonies of the African Penguin but it now has fewer than 1200 breeding pairs following a 55% decline in the population.
Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco (Vulnerable), is a macaw-sized bird with scarlet and navy-blue wings, long tail and green-and-white head. It was first discovered among the personal effects of Prince Ruspoli after he was crushed to death by an elephant in 1893. As the unfortunate nobleman had not had time to label the specimen, its origins remained a mystery for half a century before the species was seen in the wild by an English naturalist in southern Ethiopia.
“There is every reason for us to protect the Gola Forest on both sides of our border, since doing so will ensure that it will continuously provide ecological services to the surrounding communities”, said presidents of Liberia H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Sierra Leone H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma in a joint statement presented at a recent conference in Sweden.
Tim Stowe, the RSPB’s director of international operations, said: “We are seeing the impact of European renewable fuel targets first hand with our work in Kenya. The Tana River Delta and the Dakatcha Woodlands are both hugely important areas for wildlife and they are currently at risk from irresponsible and unsustainable biofuel plantations.
Amboseli National Park lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area, and has a rich avian fauna with over 400 bird species recorded, including over 40 birds of prey including Vulnerable Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni which uses the site during its migration period.
Amboseli National Park is surrounded by six communally-owned group ranches that are wet-season dispersal areas for wildlife, and whose management has direct influence on the ecological stability of the park.