Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Fri, 25/01/2013 - 11:58 -- abc_admin

Príncipe Kingfisher Alcedo nais

the island of Príncipe

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Of the total 144 recorded species, 72 are breeding residents and 25 are endemic to the islands. Of the endemic species, 12 are of global conservation concern of which 8 are restricted to São Tomé, 2 to Príncipe and 2 are found on both islands. All the endemics are restricted range species with each island being a separate Endemic Bird Area (EBA). São Tomé holds 21 restricted range species and Príncipe holds 12. There are 5 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering 250 km2.

São Tomé lowland forests are situated in the south-west. 32 species have been recorded here of which 10 are of global conservation concern and this is the only known site for São Tomé Fiscal Lanius newtoni, São Tomé Short-tail Amaurocichla bocagei and São Tomé Grosbeak Neospiza concolor.

São Tomé montane and cloud-forests cover the highest parts of the island. 21 species have been recorded here of which 6 are of global conservation concern. The majority of the population of São Tomé Olive-Pigeon Columba thomensis occur here as well as São Tomé Scops Owl Otus hartlaubi, Gulf of Guinea Thrush Turdus olivaceofuscus, Giant Sunbird Dreptes thomensis, Príncipe White-eye Zosterops ficedulinus and São Tomé Oriole Oriolus crassirostris.

São Tomé northern savannas is situated on the northern coast and a total of 59 species have been recorded here including 3 of global conservation concern. Restricted range species are well represented here including São Tomé Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba malherbii, São Tomé Kingfisher Alcedo thomensis, São Tomé Prinia Prinia molleri, São Tomé Speirops Speirops lugubris, Newton`s Sunbird Anabathmis newtonii and São Tomé Weaver Ploceus sanctithomae.

Príncipe forests cover the southern third of the island consisting mainly of lowland evergreen forest. A total of 28 species have been recorded of which 23 are forest residents. There are 4 species of global conservation concern as well as the species endemic to the island: Príncipe Kingfisher Alcedo nais, Dohrn's Thrush-Babbler Horizorhinus dohrni, Príncipe Sunbird Anabathmis hartlaubii, Príncipe Speirops Speirops leucophaeus, Príncipe Golden Weaver Ploceus princeps and Príncipe Glossy Starling Lamprotornis ornatus. The forests also hold several subspecies endemic to Príncipe.

Tinhosas islands are 2 small islands which lie 22 km south-west of Príncipe and shelter the largest seabird colonies in the Gulf of Guinea. Key breeding species are Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata, Black Noddy Anous minutus, Brown Noddy A.stolidus, Brown Booby Sula leucogaster and a small number of White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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