The workshop equipped project Partners in Africa with the requisite skills for handling data. It also drew attention to data-barriers faced in the conservation community and discussed ways to address these challenges. While some barriers are technical in nature, many are institutional, legal and cultural in origin. The workshop focused on the technical aspects of data collection, management, analysis and presentation. It covered tabular and GIS data, along with the more political aspects of data distribution both to partners in a project and to a wider audience.
Kamfers Dam is currently the depository for raw sewerage that flows from the currently dysfunctional treatment plant, a result of poor management of the sewerage works by the Sol Plaatje Municipality. The increased constant eutrofication has lead to severe algal blooms and may be responsible for the current lesions and abnormalities being recorded on some of the Lesser Flamingos.
Although the flufftail has been recorded at nine wetland sites in South Africa between November and March, the only evidence of breeding comes from three wetland sites in the central highlands of Ethiopia between July and September.
It is not known whether a single population migrates between Ethiopia and South Africa, or each country hosts its own sub-population. Studies by EWNHS have suggested that the birds which breed in Ethiopia remain well into the dry season, and may wander within the country, rather than migrating.
Another thing done at the workshop was to produce the "Gansbaai Declaration", reproduced below.
Please support the penguin conservation effort in whatever way you can, e.g. at SANCCOB, or the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's initiative to provide artificial penguin nests http://www.dict.org.za.
Paul Matiku, Executive Director of Nature Kenya (BirdLife in Kenya) said: “This decision is a national disaster and will devastate the Delta. The Tana’s ecology will be destroyed yet the economic gains will be pitiful. It will seriously damage our priceless national assets and will put the livelihoods of the people living in the Delta in jeopardy”. “The environmental assessment for the scheme was poor yet the government has defied even those very modest recommendations. We refuse to accept that this decision is final. The development must be stopped at all costs”
The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST, BirdLife in Tanzania) has determined that diclofenac is not licensed for veterinary use in Tanzania, contrary to information received last year. However, investigations by NatureKenya (BirdLife in Kenya) have found that there are no restrictions on the distribution and sale of veterinary diclofenac in Kenya. This is the probable source of diclofenac on sale in Arusha.
Measures include requiring boats to set their hooks at night when birds are less active, using a bird streamer (tori) line to keep birds away from the hooks, adding weight to lines to make them sink more quickly out of reach of the albatrosses, and dyeing bait blue to make it less visible. The fisheries are given flexibility to choose which two measures from this list are most suitable to their fishery. The meeting agreed technical specifications for use of these measures.
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