Lesser Flamingos in South Africa are in trouble. You can help by signing this petition to urge officials in Kimberley to take action and remove threats to the colony of Flamingos at Kamfers Dam.
Category Archives: Africa
We recently visited the Sinai Peninsula for a birding and scuba holiday. One morning we visited the sewage ponds outside of Sharm El Sheikh. Here’s our report, including map and photos. “Storks falling from the sky at Sharm El Sheikh sewage ponds in Egypt”
One of the largest known bird of prey roosts was discovered by French BirdLife researchers in Senegal in January. The roost is thought to contain over 28,000 Lesser Kestrels and over 16,000 African Swallow-tailed Kites.
It is not unusual for raptors to roost communally during the non-breeding season, but the discovery of this ‘super-roost’ is remarkable because of the large number of individual birds. The roost may contain birds that breed in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France.
Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) by Lip Kee, Creative Commons on Flickr
The results of parallel surveys run in the same part of West Africa in 1971 and again in 2004 show an alarming decline in the large bird populations there.
Birds like Arabian Bustards and Lappet-faced Vultures were once numerous in the West African Sahel region, but are virtually extinct today. The ostrich used to be widespread in this area but now is extinct in Africa west of Chad.
The dramatic decline in vultures can be in part attributed to the near extinction of wild antelopes and gazelles in the region, as well as poisoning of predators and intensified use of farmed cattle.
The report which accompanies the survey urges immediate actions including reintroduction of the Ostrich to the area.
The last Madagascar Pochard, a diving duck, was seen in 1991. This month a group of conservationists discovered a group of at least 25 pochards while searching for a rare hawk on the island.
Most ornithologists believed the duck, Aythya innotata, to be extinct. The living colony of pochards were found by a steep-sided volcanic lake, a different environment than the marshy lakes they were believed to prefer.
Researchers recently rediscovered the Madagascar Pochard, a duck that was previously considered extinct. The biologists were working for the Peregrine Fund and conducting a survey in the northern part of Madagascar when they found nine adult and four juvenile pochards. The last known sighting of the duck was in 1991. Read the full article.
More than 1% of the global population of Barn Swallows winters in the Mount Moreland Reedbed, an Important Bird Area in South Africa. The site is close to Durban, where an airport expansion threatens to clear the area to make way for landing aircraft. BirdLife South Africa opposes the proposal. The swallows breed in Europe and then migrate down to South Africa to spend the winter there. Read more about the proposed expansion.
Juv Barn Swallows by chapmankj75, Creative Commons on Flickr