Working for birds in Africa

Introduction

Sat, 01/12/2013 - 23:25 -- abc_admin
Grey_necked_Picathartes_Cameroon

Cameroon Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas

Image Credit: 
Doug Peters and courtesy of Earthwatch Institute Europe

With a list of over 900 species and a host of endemic and near endemics, Cameroon is a key country for the enthusiastic birder. It is positioned strategically in both West and Central Africa with a wide range of habitats which includes forests, mountains, lakes and desert. As a result, it is a good place to see members of many bird families such as kingfishers, barbets, turacos, bee-eaters, hornbills, greenbuls, sunbirds, shrikes and weavers.

In the far north, large concentrations of waterbirds such as White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata and Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus can be found along with a great variety of raptors. Further south are the transition zones of the Adamawa plateau in the Mbam Djerem National Park and the lowland evergreen forests. In the western part of the country is the Cameroon Mountain Arc with the Afro-tropical mountain vegetation type. This is where the endemic species such as Mount Cameroon Francolin Francolinus camerunensis, Mount Kupé Bush-Shrike Telophorus kupeensis and Bannerman's Turaco Tauraco bannermani can be found. There are also several freshwater systems such as River Sanaga and Nyong and a few lakes e.g. Lake Magba and Lake Maga where waterbirds such as cormorants, darters, storks and herons can be seen. The south-west of the country has a 350 km coastline with a marine ecosystem that provides a roosting ground for a host of migratory species.

This document was written by Taku Awa II and its aim is to provide a summary of Cameroon and its birds for birders interested in the country and potentially planning a visit. It is intended to add new information as it becomes available. As such, readers are welcome to submit contributions by e-mail to info@africanbirdclub.org. You should note that the names of birds used in this document are those of the African Bird Club checklist.

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