Bénin | Benin

SUB-REGION
West Africa

SIZE
114,760 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 580 recorded species

Anambra Waxbill (Thierry Helsens)
Grey Pratincole (Lionel Sineux)
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah (Tasso Leventis)

Birds best found in Benin but occurring more widely
Anambra Waxbill

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Western Buff-throated Apalis
Dahomey Forest Robin
Black-and-chestnut Weaver

Other taxa of interest
Ahanta Francolin
Grey Pratincole
Savile’s Bustard
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Baumann’s Greenbul
Puvel’s Illadopsis
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah

Puvel’s Illadopsis (Daniel Dankwerts)
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle (Adam Riley)
White-crowned Cliff Chat (Paul van Giersbergen)

MAIN HABITATS
Grassy river valleys, Guinea woodland, lowland forest, arid savanna

BIRD AREAS
6 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
>40 km north-east of Cotonou for Anambra Waxbill
W National Park for Guinea woodland and savanna species
Lama Forest for lowland forest species

TIMING (Oct–Nov, Apr)
Best to travel in the dry season (Sep–Apr) when access is easier and Palaearctic migrants are present
Most birds breed Apr–Jul
Avoid the middle of the rains (May–Jul)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)

Sounds
African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis

Further reading
The Birds of Benin and Togo: an Atlas and Handbook by Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire & Robert J Dowsett (2019)
Les Oiseaux du Complexe WAP by Gilles Balança, Daniel Cornélis & Roger Wilson (2007)
Benin by R A Cheke in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
W-Arly-Pendjari Complex – UNESCO World Heritage List
Benin Tours – Ashanti African Tours

Facebook groups
Birds of Pendjari , W and Arly Parks

ORGANISATIONS

There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Benin

Bird or conservation organisations active in Benin include –
Nature Tropicale (NT-ONG) – Musée des Sciences Naturelles
Benin Environment and Education Society (BEES-ONG)
Amis de l’Afrique Francophone-Bénin (AMAF-BENIN)
SOS Savane-ONG
Africa Mobile Nature (AMN-ONG)
Eco-Bénin
Union des Associations Villageoises de Gestion des Réserves de Faune (U-AVIGREF)
Coordination pour la Recherche et le Développement en Environnement (CoRDE-ONG)
Centre de Recherche et de Gestion de la Biodiversité et du Terroir (CERGET)
African Parks: Pendjari and W National Park
Association des Campements Touristiques pour l’Appui à la Gestion du Parc Régional W (ACTAG-PRW)
IITA-Benin

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