On a couple of small lakes some 300 km north of Antananarivo are fewer than 20 Madagascar Pochard. Although once part of an extensive wetland system throughout the central plateau these are now the last remaining unmarred high elevation volcanic lakes of their kind.
Southern Africa's birdwatchers are making a massive contribution to one of the country's most important biodiversity research projects. Ornithologists and conservationists are tapping into the skills and enthusiasm of Southern Africa's birdwatchers to collect information about the distribution and relative abundance of its 850 or so bird species.
Conservationists fear that if nothing is done soon, the iconic African Penguin is in danger of becoming extinct. Oil spills, predation by seals, disease and a few other problems have contributed to the situation. But by far the major culprit is food scarcity, say scientists.
The paradise-flycatcher is the only Seychelles species still listed as Critically Endangered. Formerly Critically Endangered Species including Seychelles Magpie-robin Copsychus sechellarum, Seychelles White-eye Zosterops modestus and Seychelles Scops-owl Otus insularis have all been downlisted as a result of conservation action. The population of the paradise-flycatcher has been steadily increasing in recent years. In 1996 there were 69-83 pairs; this had risen to 104-139 pairs by the last comprehensive survey in 2000.
The CLP is a partnership between BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International, Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and BP. The Mpingo Conservation Project (MCP) was first supported by the CLP in 1996 to provide much needed basic information on the distribution, ecology and exploitation of the East African Blackwood tree Dalbergia melanoxylon, also known as Mpingo.
Waders are a group of relatively small waterbirds including species like lapwings, plovers, godwits, curlews and sandpipers. Many of them undertake long distance migrations from their Arctic breeding grounds to wintering areas as far away as Southern Africa. Some concentrate in huge numbers at just a few sites, making these wetlands critical for their survival.
The Rwenzori Ramsar Site covers a 99,500 hectares area of the mountain region located in western Uganda and bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the DRC, the mountains are part of Virunga National Park, which is also designated as Ramsar and recognized as a World Heritage Site.
“For the first time, the species was tracked from its winter feeding grounds all the way to its only breeding site across thousands of miles of ocean,” said Dr. George Wallace, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for International Programs. “The data revealed a substantial overlap of Spectacled Petrel feeding grounds with the preferred fishing areas of the Brazilian longlining fleet, indicating that the birds are at high risk from drowning on longline hooks.”
At today’s meeting H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said:"The long-term benefits of the conservation of the Gola Forests far outweigh the short-term benefits of extraction and destruction. As I have said since I was elected in 2007, the Gola Forests will become a National Park in Sierra Leone and mining will not be permitted".