Working for birds in Africa



Wed, 02/06/2013 - 12:00 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records are taken from Bulletins of the African Bird Club and are for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 26.1

Two Ethiopian Swallows Hirundo aethiopica photographed in the centre of Macenta on 5 November 2018 are the first for the country (Figs. 15–16; BvH & WvZ); the species has been recorded recently in western Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, and is spreading west.

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

In July and November 2017, records from the Tougué area, Labé Region, included three new species for the country, if confirmed: Swamp Nightjar Caprimulgus natalensis (flushed several times in a wet bowal in July), Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea (up to three displaying simultaneously in July) and Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea (a group of six, including a male in breeding plumage, in November). The same area held White-rumped Swift Apus caffer (several), Rufousnaped Lark Mirafra africana (four observed at two sites), Preuss’s Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon preussi (near Labé), a pair of Sooty Chats Myrmecocichla nigra, Black-backed Cisticola Cisticola eximius (common at bowals), Common Fiscal Lanius collaris (regularly encountered near villages) and Heuglin’s Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini (two males in breeding plumage in July) (SC). The most remarkable report, however, was that of four Purpleheaded Glossy Starlings Hylopsar purpureiceps, photographed near Sérédou, in the south-east, on 16 November (WvZ); this confirms the few previous reports in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire of the species, which ranges principally in the Lower Guinea forest block—full details will be published in this journal.

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

Three seabird species recorded in May 2017 represent additions to the country list: Wilson’s Stormpetrel Oceanites oceanicus (ten photographed at sea c.12 km off Bel-Air, Boffa Préfecture, on 5–9 May; DB), Leach’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous (one at Bel-Air on 3 May) and Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus (one at Bel-Air on 10 May) (PA). A Black Stork Ciconia nigra ringed at Brzice, in the Czech Republic, on 19 June 2012, was found dead in Lébékéré Souspréfecture, in the north, on 3 April 2016 (MD per HR).

from ABC Bulletin 23.2

Records from Boffa Préfecture, in September–November 2016, included three new species for Guinea: Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus (one flying south off Foulaya on 4 November), Audouin’s Gull Ichthyaetus audouinii (a first-winter near Cap Verga on 28 October) and Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (an adult photographed near Foulaya on 11 November). The following were also observed in the Cap Verga area: 20 Northern Pintails Anas acuta flying south on 4 November (uncommon to scarce south of its main wintering areas in the Sahel belt), three adult White-backed Night Herons Gorsachius leuconotus on 5 November (this discreet species is seldom reported), up to two Kelp Gulls Larus dominicanus and up to four adult African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris on 6–12 November, four Mottled Swifts Tachymarptis aequatorialis on 5 November (Fig. 14) and two White-rumped Swifts Apus caffer on 6 September (PA). In Dixinn commune of Conakry, two Timneh Parrots Psittacus (erithacus) timneh were seen on 4 September, with 12 there on 7th, and a, probable immature, Longtailed Glossy Starling Lamprotornis caudatus on 4 December—although these may be escapes (there are many bird traders in the city), a wild origin cannot be eliminated. In the hills north-east of Coyah, 40–50 Mottled Swifts and a Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus were observed on 3–4 September, whilst a Whitethroated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita was present on a small river between Coyah and Maneah (BP). A Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus was photographed in Conakry on 11 December (Fig. 15; CA per HR).

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

A record from 2011 of a Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos has only recently come to light: the bird was photographed at Siguiri, north of Kankan in the north-east, on 13 January; this is an addition to the country list. 

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

In the south-east, three species new for the country were photographed at Mont Yonon, north-west of Nzérékoré, in May 2011: Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (a pale morph adult on 5 May), Black Spinetail Telacanthura melanopygia (two on 3rd, with the following species) and Bates’s Swift Apus batesi (four photographed amongst many more on 3rd). At the same site, a European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, photographed on 20 January 2012, constitutes yet another addition to the country list. In the Going (or Gouin) massif, east of Kérouané, a white-headed Ayres’s Hawk Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii was observed on 7 May 2011.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

During survey work on Mount Nimba in September 2011, 15 territories of Sierra Leone Prinia Schistolais leontica were found, all at the edge of submontane forest patches on slopes between c.1,065 m and 1,550 m. Species not previously recorded from the massif include Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (one calling while flying over camp at night at c.780 m), Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla (in savanna at the base of the massif), Red-winged Warbler Heliolais erythropterus (one nest building at 1,262 m on 15 September), African Blue Flycatcher Elminia longicauda (fairly common in gallery forest and forest patches on the slopes at c.1,200–1,600 m), Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus (in savanna at the base of the massif), Tropical Boubou Laniarius (aethiopicus) major (at least two pairs duetting in gallery forest and the edge of forest patches on the slopes, at c.1,500–1,600 m) and Splendid Glossy Starling Lamprotornis splendidus (a group of 17 at the base of the massif). Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus, observed twice, had not previously been recorded on the Guinean part of the massif; it was only found on the Liberian side in  2010: see below.

At Kabak Island, about halfway between Conakry and the Sierra Leone border, field work on 12–15 October 2011 found a flock of six Northern Shovelers Anas clypeata; this is only the second record for the country. Three adults and a recently fledged juvenile Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis were amongst a large concentration of terns on the mudflats, giving rise to the question as to whether the birds had bred locally. Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni was encountered on three occasions in mangroves; this species was previously known only from the north of the country along the Senegalese border.

Records of the following species, made during a survey of Pinselli Forest Reserve, c.45 km west-southwest of Mamou, on 18–22 October 2011, represent a small extension of their previously known ranges: Ayres’s Hawk Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii, Black-throated Coucal Centropus leucogaster, Black-shouldered Nightjar Caprimulgus nigriscapularis, Sabine’s Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini, Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush Stizorhina finschi, Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris, Ashy Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens (an adult with a juvenile), Little Green Sunbird Anthreptes seimundi (up to four seen and nest building observed), Velvet-mantled Drongo Dicrurus modestus (up to five seen daily in farmbush, shrub and wooded savanna, and carefully distinguished from Fork-tailed Drongo D. adsimilis), Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps, Grey-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapillus and Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch N. bicolor.

A search for Sierra Leone Prinia on Mont Béro, in the south-east, in November 2011, was successful: four territories were found at 682–964 m at this site, where the species was previously unknown.


Now that the vocalisations of the skulking and previously Data Deficient Baumann's Greenbul Phyllastrephus baumanni are known to a few active observers, the species is being found at an increasing number of sites. In October 2010, four individuals were found at two new sites in the Sangarédi area, in north-western Guinea.

In January - February 2010, a search for Nimba Flycatcher Melaenornis annamarulae in south-eastern Guinea found a total of 15 pairs at four of the seven surveyed sites. The species was encountered at Douama, souspréfecture de Binikala (four pairs), sous-préfecture Sengbedou-Macenta (three pairs), Tétini Forest Reserve (four pairs) and Mount Béro Forest Reserve (four pairs). It was not found in Diécké Forest Reserve, nor in the sous-préfecture de Bounouma or at Mount Yonon. In Guinea, the species was previously known only from Ziama, Déré and Pic de Fon.

In November–December 2009, a search for Sierra Leone Prinia Schistolais leontica was conducted at 11 sites in the Fouta Djalon, from ‘La Dame du Mali’ in the north to Dalaba in the south. The species was encountered only at Dalaba, where five pairs were located in a small and threatened forest behind the old colonial governor’s residence in the centre of town (10°40’N 12°16’W), at 1,196–1,314 m, on 11–12 December. There is only one previous record of Sierra Leone Prinia in the Fouta Djalon, involving a single pair near Dalaba at 1,160 m in October 1999.

An African Pitta Pitta angolensis was photographed by a camera trap in forest at Pic de Fon, in the extreme south-east of the country, on 2 April 2009; this is yet another addition to the birdlist of this important site, where 353 species have been recorded to date.

During survey work in the southeast, in October–November 2008, two male Blue Rock Thrushes Monticola solitarius were observed at Pic de Fon on 20 October; this is a new species for Guinea. With 352 species recorded at Pic de Fon to date, the site is the country’s Important Bird Area with the longest birdlist. Sierra Leone Prinia Schistolais leontica was found at 24 locations at 955–1,560 m, totalling 55 individuals (26 pairs or family groups and one single). The presence of White- necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus was revealed by photographs taken by a camera trap. A pair of Sierra Leone Prinias was also found at nearby Pic de Tibé and no fewer than 15 pairs were discovered at Mt Tétini Forest Reserve, to the south-east; neither site had ever been surveyed for birds.

At Tétini, the Data Deficient Emerald Starling Lamprotornis iris was observed in flocks of up to 22 birds. A few species were added to the list of Ziama Forest Reserve, including Rufous-winged Illadopsis Illadopsis rufescens and Copper- tailed Glossy Starling Lamprotornis cupreocauda. Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus appeared to be remarkably common and a few Black-headed Rufous Warblers Bathmocercus cerviniventris were also noted.

During survey work in April - May 2008, the first Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata for the country was found on a sandbank at sea off Yélitono Island, close to the Sierra Leone border. A sooty-black Sarothrura rail flushed from tall grass next to the Sassina River, south- west of Faranah, may well have been a juvenile Red- chested Flufftail S. rufa, a species not previously recorded in Guinea, but known to occur in nearby Sierra Leone. Baumann’s Greenbul Phyllastrephus baumanni was found at two new sites: on the slopes of Kounounkan Forest Reserve, near Moussaya, and at the edge of the Fouta Djalon just south of Mamou. Range extensions were noted for several species including, among others, Ahanta Francolin Francolinus ahantensis (observed south of Haut Niger National Park [=HNNP] and south of Mamou), Latham’s Forest Francolin F. lathami (found at Kounounkan, a westward extension and the species’ westernmost site), White- spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra (south of HNNP; not previously known from the park area), Thick- billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti (south of Mamou;  westernmost record), Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia (Kounounkan; westernmost record), Yellow-billed Barbet Trachylaemus purpuratus (Mamou; westernmost record), Cassin’s Honeybird Prodotiscus insignis (Mamou), Little Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis (Mamou), Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina (Mamou; third record for Guinea), Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes (south of HNNP) and Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens (Mamou). Black-faced Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata was found at two sites south of HNNP, west of Tokounou and east of Douako; there is only one previous record of this species in Guinea, from February 2002, when it was discovered at the confluence of the Bafing and Balé Rivers, in the north- east, on the border with Mali.

Records of the following species from the Koubia area, in the northern Fouta Djalon, in June–August 2006, represent slight range extensions compared to the maps in Borrow & Demey (2004. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa): Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria, Shining-blue Kingfisher Alcedo quadribrachys, Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus, Little Green Woodpecker Campethera maculosa and Grey-winged Robin Chat Cossypha polioptera (all observed in gallery forest), Turati’s Boubou Laniarius turatii (frequently seen in Koubia), Heuglin’s Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini, Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus and Cabanis’s Bunting Emberiza cabanisi. Yellow-mantled Widowbirds Euplectes macroura seen near Labe airport also represent an extension of their known range.

During a waterbird census held in January 2006 in Guinea's coastal wetlands, four species were added to the country list: Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (an adult with a group of nine African Spoonbills P. alba in Sangareya Bay, Dubréka, on 17th), Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (five on the Khoni Benki mudflats, Boffa, on 23rd), Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus (an adult with four Grey-headed Gulls L. cirrocephalus on Kindiadi beach, Koba, Boffa, on 20th, and another on the beach of Khoni Benki, Boffa, with 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls L. fuscus, on 23rd), and Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes (ten in the Koba ricefields, Boffa, on 19th).

Other interesting records from the same period include the following. A Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii was seen on the Bokaria Plain, Boké, on 22nd. Yellow-billed Storks Mycteria ibis were observed in Sangareya Bay, Dubréka (12 on 18th), at Khoni Benki, Boffa (ten on 23rd), and at Yongo Salé, Boké (60 on 2rd); these records show that the species occurs along the entire Guinean coast. Three Fulvous Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna bicolor were in a flock of 3,000 White-faced D. viduata at Yongo Salé, Boké, on 23rd; this is a rare species in Guinea. Sixteen Northern Shovelers Anas clypeata at Khoni Benki, Boffa, on 23rd, constitute the first coastal record. A Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus was seen near Wassou on 19th, and an African Crake Crex egregia in the Koba ricefields, Boffa, on 19th.

A pair of Black Crowned Cranes Balearica pavonina with a juvenile was observed in the Monchon Plain, Boffa, on 21st. In the Koba ricefields, Boffa, 985 Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola were counted on 20th; this species occurs along the entire Guinean coast. A total of 2,295 Pied Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta, counted on 16th and 26th is a high number so far south.

Six Black-billed Wood Doves Turtur abyssinicus at the Grandes Chutes, Kindia, on 27th, are an addition to the site list. Twenty-five White-rumped Swifts Apus caffer flew over Sangareya Bay, Dubréka, on 18th. Mottled Swifts Tachymarptis aequatorialis were seen over the Monchon Plain, Boffa (50 on 21st) and at the Grandes Chutes, Kindia (50 on 27th). Also at the latter site were 25 Rufous-chested Swallows Hirundo semirufa. In the Koba ricefields, Boffa, two Black-backed Cisticolas C. eximius were seen on 20th and a Black-faced Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis the day before.

A Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata was seen in Conakry’s botanic garden on 15 March 2005; a rather surprise find of this species in a very small patch of forest in the centre of a busy city.

During field work in Boké Prefecture in April-May 2005, some 50 species were recorded for the first time in the Kamsar and Sangarédi areas and their records represent more or less significant range extensions. Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio was found near Kamsar; this is a new species for the country list, although there is an unpublished sighting from Gaoual, c300 km inland, in 1992. Two Ovambo Sparrowhawks Accipiter ovampensis were seen near Sangarédi on 8 May; the species was previously known only from Haut Niger NP (=National Park) Two Marsh Owls Asio capensis were flushed from the edge of harvested rice fields near Kamsar on 27 April; there is only one previous record from Guinea, also from the Kamsar area. An African Broadbill Smithornis capensis was heard displaying near Sangarédi on 6 May; this is the westernmost record to date of a species which was previously known to occur only as far west as Sierra Leone. Baumann’s Greenbul Phyllastrephus baumanni, currently listed as Data Deficient, was found to be locally common in farmbush near Kamsar; the species was previously only known in Guinea from the extreme south-east of the country and its known range extended westwards to north-central Sierra Leone. The present records are thus the westernmost to date and a range extension of c300 km. Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina, observed near Sangarédi on 9 May, is an addition to the country's list. Black-backed Cisticola Cisticola eximius was found to be locally common in dry rice fields and partially burnt open plains near Kamsar. Two pairs of Velvet-mantled Drongo Dicrurus modestus were found at two localities near Kamsar; this species was previously known to occur only as far west as the Kounounkan area, near the border with Sierra Leone.

Other noteworthy recent and not-so-recent records include the following. Little Grebes Tachybaptis ruficollis were observed at Dalaba on 22 February 2001, 18 km south-east of Coyah on 3 May 2003 (five) and at Conakry on 26 October 2004; there are few records in Guinea. An Ovambo Sparrowhawk Accipiter ovampensis was photographed south-east of Coyah on 8 May 2005. Also there on the same day was a Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis, with four there on 22nd; this is a new species for the Guinea list. More than 60 Preuss's Cliff Swallows Hirundo preussi were counted near Coyah on 22 May. A Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus was found in Haut Niger NP on 28 February; there is only one previous record for Guinea.

Records from Dalaba, in the Fouta Djalon, from 10 to 13 February 2004, represent a new locality for Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis, Heuglin's Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini (common), Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii and Cabanis’s Bunting Emberiza cabanisi.

Surveys carried out in November–December 2003 in Déré, Diécké and Mont Béro Forest Reserves in the extreme south-east, produced ten additions to the country list: Sandy Scops Owl Otus icterorhynchus, Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus (at all three sites), Bristle-nosed Barbet Gymnobucco peli, Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis (at all three sites), Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis, Bioko Batis Batis poensis, Tiny Sunbird Cinnyris minullus, Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris and, most importantly, the endangered Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni, which appeared to be relatively common in mixed bird parties in Diécké forest.

New data on the distribution and status of a range of species were collected during training in field ornithology organised for Guinean and Liberian nationals by Guinée-Ecologie, a local non-governmental organisation, from February to April 2003. A surprising discovery was that of White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus in a small patch of gallery forest at the 'Grandes Chutes' south of Kindia; this constitutes the most western site to date for this threatened species. Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, found at the same locality on 4 April (three males together), was an addition to the Guinean list.

A primary feather picked up at the Chutes de la Sâla, near Labé, in the Fouta Djalon, on 15 March 2003, proved to be of Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis, a species not previously recorded from Guinea.

During fieldwork in south-western Mali, at the confluence of the Bafing and Balé Rivers, on the border with north-eastern Guinea, in mid February 2002, Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha, Dorst's Cisticola Cisticola dorsti and Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica were seen on the Guinea side, and added to this country's list.

During a preliminary survey of the Pic de Fon Forest Reserve, in the south-eastern Simandou Range, organised by Conservation International in November and December 2002, 233 bird species were recorded, of which six were new for the country: Fraser's Eagle Owl Bubo poensis, Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini, Willcocks's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi, African Broadbill Smithornis capensis, Baumann's Greenbul Phyllastrephus baumanni, Forest Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas leucosticta and Cameroon Indigobird Vidua camerunensis. In addition, a number of species were observed which are rare or poorly known in either Guinea or West Africa, including Blue-headed Bee-eater Merops muelleri, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide Melichneutes robustus, Western Wattled Cuckoo-Shrike Lobotos lobatus, Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus, Grey-winged Robin Chat Cossypha polioptera, Black-headed Rufous Warbler Bathmocercus cerviniventris, Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica, Dusky Tit Parus funereus, Emerald Starling Lamprotornis iris and Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii.

A report of Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica, observed near Dalaba in early 2001, confirms the occurrence of the species in the area, discovered in October 1999. A Grey-winged Robin Chat Cossypha polioptera was found in the Fouta Djalon, near Daralabé, on 13 December 2000; this is the westernmost record of this species to date.

Records from October 1999 representing new localities include a Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni excavating into tree termitaria near Dalaba on 16th and Grey-rumped Swallow Pseudhirundo griseopyga near Labe on 23rd. The record of a Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica carrying food to its nest and singing near Petel, Dalaba, would constitute the westernmost locality for this species, if confirmed.


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:40 -- abc_admin


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:39 -- abc_admin

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ALTENBURG, W. & Van der KAMP, J. (1991) Ornithological Importance of Coastal Wetlands in Guinea. Study Report No. 47. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge.

AVERSA, T. (2007) Bird observations from Dabola Prefecture, Guinea. ABC Bulletin 14(1) pp 45-54.

BARLOW, C. R., PAYNE, R. B., PAYNE, L. L. and SORENSON, M. D. (2006) Sierra Leone Prinia Schistolais leontica in the Fouta Djalon of Guinea, its song, distribution and taxonomic status. ABC Bulletin 13(1) pp 45-48.

BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

BROSSET, A. (1984) Oiseaux migrateurs européens hivernant dans la partie guinéenne du Mont Nimba. Alauda 52 pp 81-101.

de BOURNONVILLE, D. (1967) Notes d'ornithologie guinéenne. Gerfaut 57 pp 145-158.

DEMEY, R. (1995) Notes on the birds of the coastal and Kindia areas, Guinea. Malimbus 17 pp 85-99.

DEMEY, R. (2006) A rapid survey of the birds of Boké Préfecture, northwestern Guinea. In: Wright, H. E., McCullough, J. & Diallo, M. S. (eds.) A Rapid Biological Assessment of Boké Préfecture, Northwestern Guinea. RAP Bull. Biol. Assessment 41. Conservation International, Washington DC.

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Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:38 -- abc_admin

Guinea is party to several international agreements including Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea and Wetlands.

The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Guinea on 18 March 1993. Guinea presently has 12 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 4,779,061 hectares.

In common with many West African countries, however, Guinea has serious environmental issues such as deforestation, inadequate supplies of ddrinking water, desertification, soil contamination and erosion, overfishing, overpopulation in forest regions, and poor mining practices which have led to environmental damage. Forest elephants and other fauna have fended badly against poachers and loss of habitat through logging and the spread of cultivation.

WIWO has conducted 18 surveys in Africa which includes 2 in the Conakry area of Guinea. Contact address: Working Group on International Wader and Waterfowl Research (WIWO), c/o Driebergse weg 16c, 3708 JB Zeist, Netherlands.

A survey of the Pic de Fon Forest Reserve in the south-east of Guinea was carried out in late 2002 (DEMEY, R. & RAINEY, H. 2004).

A survey of Déré, Diécké and Mont Béro Forest Reserves, also in the extreme south-east, was carried out in late 2003 by Ron Demey and Hugo Rainey; a report is in preparation.

In 1992 an expedition was funded to the Kounoukan Forest which covers 5,032 ha near Moussayah, Forecariah Province, 90 km south-east of Conakry. 135 species were seen including White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus.

Conservation News

8th January 2007: Guinea declares Africa’s first vulture sanctuary

The Republic of Guinea has designated a specially protected area for vultures, the first of its kind in Africa. The ‘vulture sanctuary’ consists of approximately 450,000 ha in the Fouta Djallon Highlands, a region that holds a significant proportion of West Africa’s vultures. This is encouraging news for conservationists, who are seriously concerned by recent findings showing that populations of six vulture species in the region have plummeted.

“The decline in our vulture numbers is deeply disturbing” said Mamadou Saliou Diallo of Guinée Écologie, with whom BirdLife International has been working. “But by protecting vultures in this way, we are making our first steps toward their recovery in the region.” According to Guy Rondeau of conservation NGO Africa Nature International: “Vultures are vanishing from the skies of West Africa primarily because of human persecution. Indirect poisoning, caused by birds feeding on treated carcasses left out by livestock herders to control ‘problem’ animals (jackals, lions, hyenas), is also a significant reason for the drastic declines, and another factor is the increasing rarity of carcasses because of a decline in numbers of big-game throughout West Africa.”

Conservation organisations, including Fauna and Flora International, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands, have been working with Guinée Écologie under Africa Nature International’s Duga Programme on a regional West African vulture conservation project aimed at stabilising vulture populations in rural refuges and helping numbers recover in the sub-region. Recent surveys of vultures have confirmed the seriousness of the regional decline and also located relict vulture populations in Mali and Gambia, where numbers are also dwindling.

“Because of their role as scavengers, vultures are a crucial component of Africa’s biodiversity” said Hazell Shokellu Thompson, Head of BirdLife’s Africa Partnership Secretariat. “Helping to conserve them by protecting important areas has a positive ‘knock-on’ effect for other kinds of wildlife, many of which are facing similar threats.”

Source: BirdLife International

Books & Sounds

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:37 -- abc_admin

The western and central parts of Africa now have an excellent guide in the Birds of Western Africa by Borrow and Demey. It is a fantastic reference work and thoroughly recommended. It covers 23 countries south of the Sahara, from Mauritania in the northwest, to Chad and Central African Republic in the east, and Congo Brazzaville in the southeast, include the Cape Verde and Gulf of Guinea Islands. The paperback version is much more portable than the hard cover edition and it is ideal for the field, although there is less detail.

Birds of Africa south of the Sahara also covers the same countries except the Cape Verde Islands.


Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Western Africa, Nik Borrow & Ron Demey, Helm, Hardback.
Book description: 

Helm Identification Guide. 147 plates depicting over 1280 species in 2800 individual figures. Covers Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Rio Muni, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, part of Mauritania and the islands of Sao Tome, Principe and Bioko (Fernando Po). All the species described are illustrated in colour apart from a few vagrants, which are depicted in black-and-white in the text. Distribution maps are provided for the majority of species (except vagrants). 832 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa, Nik Borrow & Ron Demey, Helm, Softback.
Book description: 

Helm Field Guide. Utilises all the plates from the Helm ID Guide by the same authors, with a concise, authoritative text on facing pages, to create a guide covering all 1,304 species found in the region. The guide also contains an updated colour distribution map for each species and a number of new images have been painted just for this guide. Covers Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Rio Muni, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, part of Mauritania and the islands of Sao Tome, Principe and Bioko (Fernando Po). 512 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Second edition, including 500 new images and 400 updated distribution maps. Unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume. 2129+ species covered with an additional 101 vagrants briefly described. Revised to reflect the latest changes in taxonomy. Species descriptions give precise identification features highlighting differences between similar species as well as briefly reporting habitat, status and call. Annotated illustrations portray distinctive plumages as well as diagnostic flight patterns and major geographic variants where applicable.


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:33 -- abc_admin

Birding tours

We know of no organised tours to Guinea.


We know of no birding guides in Guinea.

Trip reports

There is a single trip report at Surfbirds submitted by Mary Crickmore and information about her trip is included in the hotspots section.


The cool, dry period between November and February is possibly the best time to visit. Independent travellers can fly direct to Guinea from Europe by a number of airlines, and Conakry is connected by air to other capital cities in West Africa. Bush taxi, bus and minibus operate between Guinea and neighbouring countries. There are domestic air services from Conakry to a number of towns and private buses operate throughout the country.


It is worth seeing the following websites or the embassy website for your own country for the latest safety and travel information US Travel and UK FCO.

A number of travel issues are similar to those for any other African country. Guidebooks, travel companies and the above websites provide much of the advice one needs, but some key points warrant repetition here. (1) be aware of the risk of malaria, seek current advice, sleep in a sealed tent or under a net and take prophylaxis as recommended. (2) always ensure you have sufficient water and some method of purification (even if this comprises a pot and a campfire for boiling). (3) do not under-estimate the danger of being in the sun too long. Ensure you use sun-block and drink plenty of water, and wear a hat. (4) The incidence of Aids is high (5) Ensure that you take a reasonably-equipped first-aid pack with you including a supply of hypodermic needles.


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:31 -- abc_admin

Few birdwatchers have been to Guinea and as a result, many areas of the country are under recorded. With a list of around 600 species in a country of similar size to Britain, birding can be done anywhere. The Important Bird Areas mentioned in Section 3 would be good places to visit but many of these do not have lists and have not been visited by ornithologists in recent years. Any section of the coast would almost certainly be worth watching including coastal sites around the capital, Conakry.

A visit to the town of Dalaba by Mary Crickmore in February 2004, for which the trip report is referenced in the visiting section, produced an interesting species list in the vicinity of the hotel. This included the following Palearctic migrants: European Bee-eater Merops apiaster, Common House Martin Delichon urbicum, Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis, Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos, Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca.

Of more interest, perhaps, for European birders were Stone Partridge Ptilopachus petrosus, Vieillot’s Barbet Lybius vieilloti, Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni, Fanti Saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-Shrike Campephaga phoenicea, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat Cossypha niveicapilla; Turati’s Boubou Laniarius turatii, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini and Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens.


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:31 -- abc_admin

Country checklist and status


We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Guinea checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

Endemic species

There are no species endemic to Guinea.

Near endemic species (found in 3 or less African countries)

Turati’s Boubou Laniarius turatii
Emerald Starling

Lamprotornis iris

The following species of the Upper Guinea forests Endemic Bird Area are also found in Guinea.

White-breasted Guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides
Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri
Brown-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes cylindricus
Western Wattled Cuckoo-Shrike Lobotos lobatus
Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius
Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus
Black-headed Rufous Warbler Bathmocercus cerviniventris
Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica
Sharpe's Apalis Apalis sharpii
Nimba Flycatcher Melaenornis annamarulae
White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus
Rufous-winged Illadopsis Illadopsis rufescens
Copper-tailed Starling Lamprotornis cupreocauda
Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni

Threatened species

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
White-breasted Guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides Vulnerable
Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri Endangered
Western Wattled Cuckoo-Shrike Lobotos lobatus Vulnerable
Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius Vulnerable
Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus Vulnerable
Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica Vulnerable
Nimba Flycatcher Melaenornis annamarulae Vulnerable
White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus Vulnerable
Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni Endangered

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd. For further information on Guinea’s threatened species, see BirdLife International.

Important Bird Areas

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:30 -- abc_admin

The avifauna of Guinea is poorly known and large areas of the country have yet to be surveyed. Over 600 species have been recorded of which almost a hundred are Palearctic migrants and 17 are species of global conservation concern. Parts of the Upper Guinea Forests Endemic Bird Area (EBA) extend into south-east Guinea and 12 of the restricted range species of this EBA have been recorded. The south-east and parts of the south-west are occupied by the Guinea-Congo Forests biome of which 148 species have been recorded. The Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome covers the northern two thirds of the country with 33 species of this biome recorded. The coasts are estimated to hold, at times, over half a million waterbirds, principally migrant waders.

A total of 18 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified by BirdLife International covering over 7,000 km2 or 2.9% of the area of the country.

The following five sites are coastal wetlands which reflects the importance of this habitat in Guinea for both breeding and migrant waterbirds: Iles Tristao west of the town of Boké has counts of over 5,000 Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor and breeding African Spoonbill Platalea alba and Caspian Tern Sterna caspia; Rio Kapatchez south of the town of Kamsar has Hamerkop Scopus umbretta and Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus nesting in the mangroves; Rio Pongo near the town of Boffa has breeding Goliath Heron Ardea goliath and Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis; Konkouré to the north of the Conakry peninsula has breeding Great White Egret Egretta alba and non-breeding Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta and Common Redshank Tringa totanus; and Ile Blanche some 10 km offshore from Conakry is a tern and waterbird roost.

Ile Alcatraz and Ile du Naufrage lie 40 km south-west of Iles Tristao and hold a breeding colony of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster and act as a roost for thousands of terns.

The following three forest IBAs are in the south-east of the country: Massif du Ziama situated 40 km south-east of the town of Macenta is contiguous with the Wonegizi mountains IBA in Liberia and has 287 species recorded including Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri and Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata; Monts Nimba is one of the very few sites in the country for Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica; and Diécké Forest Reserve has Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius, Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus, White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus and Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni.

The following five forest IBAs are in the south-west of the country: Balandougou is north-east of the town of Kindia and holds Emerald Starling Lamprotornis iris; Gangan, north-west of Kindia is now very degraded, with a long-established village and numerous cultivations; Grandes Chutes is north of the town of Mambiya beside the Conakry to Kindia road and holds at least one pair of White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus; Kabitai is located south-east of the town of Wassou and Kounounkan which is 90 km south-east of Conakry has Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata and White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus.

These eight forest sites between them contain all confirmed resident species of global conservation concern and species of restricted range.

The following three IBAs are situated in the north-east of the country and contain representative species of the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome: Badiar is north of the town of Koundara on the frontier with Senegal and contiguous with the Niokolo-Koba National Park in that country with Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea; Nialama is south-west of the town of Linsan with Fox Kestrel Falco alopex and Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki; and Chutes de la Sala due west of the town of Labé with similar species plus Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius, Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma and Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina.

Finally, Mafou is located in the eastern lowlands immediately west of the town of Kouroussa and includes the core area of the Haut Niger National Park. The park contains a diverse avifauna with over 300 species recorded including 11 species of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome and 28 of the 33 species of the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome recorded in Guinea. Species are similar to those mentioned for the previous 3 IBAs in the north-east of the country and include in addition Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla, Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae, Splendid Sunbird Cinnyris coccinigaster and Grey-headed Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.


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