The primary causes are changes in land use and other human activity, particularly the poisoning of livestock carcasses intended to kill lions and other large predators. Vultures quickly die after scavenging on the tainted carcasses. "Staggering declines in abundance were found for seven of eight scavenging raptors surveyed,” said co-author Munir Virani. “Better land management and a ban on certain pesticides are needed to preserve these keystone members of the scavenging community.” “The situation in Kenya perhaps mirrors the situation throughout eastern Africa,” Virani said.
The total found and reported by ornithologists is thus nearly 80, but this is surely just the tip of the iceberg. In the past, the area around Port Sudan was the most significant known stop-over site of Egyptian Vultures in Sudan during its autumn migration. However despite that the fact that the expedition took place in September / October during the peak migration period, very few were seen.
Removed by the CapeNature team the chicks were rapidly taken ashore by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's research boat, Lwazi (Knowledge), before being transported to SANCCOB'S rescue centre in Cape Town where they will be fed and cared for about three months. The chicks will then be released back into the breeding colony at Dyer Island.
The African Penguin was recently declared an endangered species. Dyer Island is one of the most important breeding colonies of the African Penguin but it now has fewer than 1200 breeding pairs following a 55% decline in the population.
Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco (Vulnerable), is a macaw-sized bird with scarlet and navy-blue wings, long tail and green-and-white head. It was first discovered among the personal effects of Prince Ruspoli after he was crushed to death by an elephant in 1893. As the unfortunate nobleman had not had time to label the specimen, its origins remained a mystery for half a century before the species was seen in the wild by an English naturalist in southern Ethiopia.
“There is every reason for us to protect the Gola Forest on both sides of our border, since doing so will ensure that it will continuously provide ecological services to the surrounding communities”, said presidents of Liberia H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Sierra Leone H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma in a joint statement presented at a recent conference in Sweden.
Tim Stowe, the RSPB’s director of international operations, said: “We are seeing the impact of European renewable fuel targets first hand with our work in Kenya. The Tana River Delta and the Dakatcha Woodlands are both hugely important areas for wildlife and they are currently at risk from irresponsible and unsustainable biofuel plantations.
Amboseli National Park lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area, and has a rich avian fauna with over 400 bird species recorded, including over 40 birds of prey including Vulnerable Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni which uses the site during its migration period.
Amboseli National Park is surrounded by six communally-owned group ranches that are wet-season dispersal areas for wildlife, and whose management has direct influence on the ecological stability of the park.
The Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus is the most severely threatened crane on the African continent. Recent surveys in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, countries long thought to be strongholds for the Wattled Crane, show that the global population is only half of what has been reported in recent years. Some of the greatest losses have occurred in South Africa, where a 38% decline between 1980 and 2000 left the national population Critically Endangered.
For biofuels in particular, the pressure on land is mounting in Africa and European governments, including our own are not able to identify good sources from bad – a fundemental flaw in policy that risks a wave of damaging landuse change.
Collectively termed the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, the region covers a total area of more than one million km2 across sixteen countries and is made up of three ancient massifs: the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Rift, the Albertine Rift, and the Ethiopian Highlands.