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.
BirdLife International report that recent data have revealed that the African Penguin is undergoing a very rapid population decline, probably as a result of commercial fisheries and shifts in prey populations. Worryingly, the assessment notes that this trend shows no sign of reversing, and immediate conservation action is required to prevent further declines.
The Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus lived in a tiny area to the east of the Indian Ocean island. The species declined through the last century after the introduction of a Snakehead Murrel, a non-native fish. The demise of the grebe was accelerated by nylon fishing nets in which birds were caught and drowned.
Its death knell is featured in the latest Red List of endangered birds by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It brings the number of bird species to have become extinct since 1600 to 132, with one in 8 species now at risk.
"This is a clear example of conservation action succeeding in turning the tide for a highly threatened species", said Andy Symes, BirdLife's Global Species Programme Officer. "Where there is commitment and financing we can save species. We have the knowledge and will, but there needs to be better funding globally to address the loss of species."
In total, BirdLife is working in 22 countries in Africa in over 1,200 IBAs. While all countries have increased efforts to conserve biodiversity, much more is still to be done. The side event in Nairobi, Kenya, shared results from a monitoring project of Protected Areas at 117 sites, across seven African countries, implemented by BirdLife and RSPB and funded by the European Commission. The monitoring results clearly show that the state of biodiversity in Protected Areas is declining. Sites identified as being in a poor state increased from 43% in 2001, to 57% in 2008.
"A single vessel may use a line extending for 10 km, from which can hang as many as 20,000 hooks", said Dr Ross Wanless - Southern Africa Coordinator for BirdLife's Global Seabird Programme. "Globally we estimate that around 300,000 seabirds grab baited-hooks and drown each year".
“This bird has been around for probably at least a couple million years, it's old, but it’s new to science at least in the DNA age,' said Voelker, assistant professor of wildlife and fisheries and curator of birds with Texas AgriLife Research at College Station. 'Clearly, it was noticed before, because as we started to look at comparative material from other natural history collections, we saw that several specimens collected in 1910 were noted to have had gray eyes,' he said.
"This is an important step in ensuring the protection of this important species not only for Tanzania but also for the world", said Lota Melamari - CEO of Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST, BirdLife Partner). "This action plan provides Tanzania with an opportunity to ensure that threats facing Lesser Flamingo are thoroughly addressed", he added.
Tanzania is home to the most important breeding site in the world for Lesser Flamingo - Lake Natron. Of the world's global population of Lesser Flamingo, 75% breed at Lake Natron.