Working for birds in Africa

Conservation

Sat, 01/12/2013 - 23:34 -- abc_admin

Cameroon is party to a number of international treaties such as biodiversity, climate change, desertification, endangered species and tropical timber. Since Independence, Cameroon has made conservation a priority with the objective of putting 30% of the national territory under some form of protected designation. There are many categories of protected areas including  National Parks, Faunal and Wildlife Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Hunting Areas, Game Ranches, Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Strict Nature Reserves, Protection Forests and Plant Life Sanctuaries. Some forest reserves (Production Forests) are designated for commercial exploitation or plantation.

The number of Cameroonians with a knowledge of birds has been growing steadily in recent years, especially since the foundation of the Cameroon Ornithological Club (now expanded into the Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society) in 1995 and the establishment of the BirdLife Cameroon Office in 1998. Apart from surveys carried out in the 1950s by Bannerman, in 1981 by Louette and in 1983 by BirdLife International, no consistent survey on the ornithology of Cameroon had been carried out until 1998 with the onset of the IBA process. One objective of this work was to train young Cameroonians to be able to identify, document and work towards the conservation and sustainable management of globally important areas for bird conservation. This project led to a nationwide survey of the birds of Cameroon and the establishment of baseline data.

There is ongoing work to conserve individual species, a good example being the Earthwatch project "Saving Cameroon's Rock Fowl". (Rock Fowl is an alternative local name for Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas). Further information can be found at Earthwatch Europe.

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