Working for birds in Africa

Conservation

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 22:28 -- abc_admin
Ethiopian_Wolf

Ethiopian Wolf, Ethiopia

Image Credit: 
Claire Spottiswoode

Several categories of protected area are recognised in Ethiopia: National Park; Game Reserve; Sanctuary; and Controlled Hunting Area. National Parks and other strict nature reserves cover 161,600 km2 or 13.5% of Ethiopia's land area and include nearly all major habitat types found in the country.

Only Awash and Simen Mountains National Parks however have been formally gazetted and recognised legally.

A large proportion of the forests which remain outside the protected areas are designated as priority forest areas in order to conserve soil and preserve indigenous plant species.

Ethiopia is party to a number of international treaties including Biodiversity; CITES; Desertification; and Climate Change.

In common with many other countries in Africa, Ethiopia has a number of environmental issues which include deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management.

Conservation News

7th December 2007: Airline linked to parrot smuggling

Ethiopia Airlines, the state-run carrier, is to study claims that it was involved in wildlife smuggling - after 500 endangered African Grey Parrots were found on one of its planes. The birds were seized in Cameroon on Tuesday by a charity, the Last Great Ape Organisation, and Cameroonian troops.

Source: The Independent

25th August 2006: Syrian Northern Bald Ibis arrives in Ethiopia

Three satellite-tagged Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita from Syria have arrived in central Ethiopia.

Chris Bowden of the RSPB says "we thought we might never know for certain where the Middle Eastern population went in the winter when the Turkish population went extinct in the wild in 1989. With the rediscovery in Syria in 2002, and a successful collaboration between BirdLife Middle East, the Syrian Government and RSPB, three adult birds were fitted with transmitters (just two pairs are left! but its vital to know where they go so that measures can be taken to protect them)."

The birds have spent over 3 weeks in Yemen, (6 birds were successfully sighted on the ground, but 13 left Syria including this year's juveniles) and just when we thought they might be going to stay, they crossed the Red Sea (and Eritrea) to central Ethiopia!

15th December 2005: Local conservation group discover new flufftail site.

The Berga Bird Lovers IBA Local Conservation Group has found a third Ethiopian breeding site for the threatened White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi, greatly extending the scientific knowledge of this elusive bird's behaviour in and out of the breeding season.

Although known with certainty from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, the White-winged Flufftail is confirmed to breed only in Ethiopia. "No one knows whether the birds in these three countries are part of one population or are distinct," said Aster Tefera, community project coordinator for the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society.

In 1995 scientists from EWNHS rediscovered White-winged Flufftail in Ethiopia, at the Suluta Valley Wetlands. Two years later, a breeding site was discovered at Berga wetlands. A second, larger breeding population was discovered in 2001 at Wersebi wetlands near Addis Ababa. The birds at Berga stay perhaps just six weeks during July and August, after which the site begins to dry out and human disturbance resumes.

Members of the Berga IBA Local Conservation Group patrol the site during breeding to prevent grass cutting and cattle trampling, and monitor the birds and their nests.

Source: BirdLife International News

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