Working for birds in Africa

Conservation

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

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