Working for birds in Africa


Tue, 02/05/2013 - 16:29 -- abc_admin

Up until a few years ago Zimbabwe was in the forefront of the conservation of the natural environment with state protected areas of Zimbabwe amounting to almost 50,000 km2 or 12.8% of the land area. However, the events of the last three years have turned most conservation matters on their head and it is almost impossible to ascertain the present position. There is no doubt that the "abandoned farms" have started reverting to natural vegetation which could be to the benefit of many bird species!

Whether the special areas like montane forest in the east will survive is presently uncertain. The nationalisation of all farmland also offers less hope for conservation than private ownership.

Zimbabwe is party to a number of international treaties including Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification and Endangered Species. Even before the problems of the last few years however, deforestation, soil erosion, land degradation, and air and water pollution have been issues. The Black Rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching.

Specific conservation programmes included Taita Falcon Falco fasciinucha captive-breeding using the offspring of birds sent to the USA in the 1980s together with wild-caught Zimbabwe birds.

The African Bird Club made a donation to the Ornithological Association of Zimbabwe (OAZ) to run a training course for A Level and undergraduate students.

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