The Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus is the most severely threatened crane on the African continent. Recent surveys in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, countries long thought to be strongholds for the Wattled Crane, show that the global population is only half of what has been reported in recent years. Some of the greatest losses have occurred in South Africa, where a 38% decline between 1980 and 2000 left the national population Critically Endangered.
For biofuels in particular, the pressure on land is mounting in Africa and European governments, including our own are not able to identify good sources from bad – a fundemental flaw in policy that risks a wave of damaging landuse change.
Collectively termed the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, the region covers a total area of more than one million km2 across sixteen countries and is made up of three ancient massifs: the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Rift, the Albertine Rift, and the Ethiopian Highlands.
Field work carried out in 2009 and 2010 with support from BirdLife International, RSPB, CEPA and Chester Zoo strongly suggests that a major population crash is underway. Compared with 2001, sighting rates in April-May 2009 had dropped by about 38%; repeated counts done in September-December 2009 and May-July 2010 showed even larger decreases, approaching 80%. This means that the global population of the apalis might now be reduced to only 60-130 individuals, almost all of which are located in a single forest, Ngangao, which is only about 120 ha.
The road will be funded by the Tanzanian Government and the section from Serengeti to Musoma is estimated to cost £144 million. The Government has contracted two companies - one Indian and the other based in Tanzania - to jointly undertake an Environment and Social Impact Assessment, which we believe is to be completed before the end of the year. If the project is given the go-ahead then construction is likely to start at the beginning of 2012.
Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira is Europe’s rarest seabird and one of the rarest birds in the world, nesting only on a few mountain ledges in the rugged central massif of Madeira island. Once on the edge of extinction with numbers down to a few tens of pairs, intense conservation action over the past 20 years, led by the Natural Park of Madeira (Parque Natural da Madeira - PNM) with support from SPEA, the Freira Conservation Project and Funchal Municipal Museum, has seen its population grow to almost 80 pairs.
"This appears to indicate that the full 50,000 hectare project is still under consideration for conversion to biofuel plantations", remarked Paul Matiku - Executive Director NatureKenya (BirdLife Partner).
The tracking of its incredible 3,000-mile odyssey was made possible by using a tiny "data logger" locator device fitted to the bird which has lifted the curtain on one of wildlife's great enigmas: where exactly do our migrant birds go in the winter? The discovery is likely to prove vital in finding out why many of these species, such as spotted flycatchers, wood warblers and whinchats, have begun to decline sharply in Britain and Europe, as it may be on their African wintering grounds that they are running into trouble.
Dakatcha is an extensive tract of relatively intact coastal woodland, north of the Sabaki River and between 25 and 50 km inland from the Kenyan coast. It is an IBA and Key Biodiversity Area for many Globally Threatened species such as Endangered Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi.
Dakatcha is also the ancestral land for the indigenous minority Watha community. The Watha gain invaluable ecosystem services from the forest such as clean stream water for drinking, and a sustainable supply of firewood for cooking and lighting.
Betting on the outcome of World Cup games will be big business and conservationists believe superstition and sorcery will be powerful attractions for gamblers desperate to increase their chances of a big win, placing even more pressure on the Cape vulture, which is already classified as facing global extinction.