Pink Pigeons grabbed the attention of conservationists world-wide when a few of the birds - thought to be extinct like the Dodo - were discovered in a tiny section of the forest in the 1970s. Efforts to save the bird have been fairly successful, despite the danger posed by rats, cats and monkeys brought to the island by settlers 400 hundred years ago.
Thanks to institutions like the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation there are now Pink Pigeon sanctuaries in Mauritius and the numbers have increased to some 400 birds - enough to suggest the bird will survive into the future.
"The sighting of the Ibadan Malimbe in Ifon Forest Reserve indicates an extension of the earlier range, and have raised interesting research questions about the distribution of Ibadan Malimbe in south-western forests", said Ademola Ajagbe of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF, BirdLife Partner Designate in Nigeria),
“Global change in biodiversity is hard to measure and effective indicators are still in short supply”, said Alison Stattersfield, BirdLife’s Head of Science and lead editor on the State of the Worlds Birds report. “This is where birds can really help, as we know much more about them than for most other animals and plants. Birds provide an accurate and easy to read environmental barometer, allowing us to see clearly the pressures our current way of life are putting on the world’s biodiversity.”
At the recently concluded 12th Pan-African Ornithological Congress (PAOC 12), held near Cape Town, South Africa, the experts expressed concern that the proposed soda ash mining at Lake Natron raises serious questions about the future of the lake and its flamingos.
“Flyway conservation at work – review of the past, vision for the future” is the theme of the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). AEWA is an international treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds such as ducks, waders, storks, flamingos and many others which migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyways. Countries which have become Parties to the Agreement commit to putting measures in place to conserve the region's waterbird populations and the habitats on which they depend.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, Sanderling C. alba, Red Knot C. canutus and Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres are the major components of the summer wader assemblage.
They had called for action to tackle pollution of the dam, which is being blamed for swollen joints and lesions on the legs of many of this year’s 9,000 lesser flamingo chicks. In addition, plans to build a commercial park, shopping mall and 6,400 upmarket homes within the wetland’s protective buffer zone could force these vulnerable birds to leave.
The newly found Olive-backed Forest Robin Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus was named by the scientists for its distinctive olive back and rump. Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.
The MEC said his plan would provide a more sustainable solution than de-proclaiming part of the reserve. The plan includes improving service delivery, better access to clinics and schools and increased interaction with communities.
Communities surrounding the reserve live in poverty and have little arable land. Early last month the Bhekabantu and eMbangweni communities cut the park's fence and occupied land, demanding that they be allowed to farm inside the park.
Management actions might be urgently needed to restore the habitat, and we fear that very similar situations might occur even on Mt Kenya and Mt Elgon. What we might find is that no Sharpe's Longclaw (or very few) occur inside National Parks.