analysis is being done for use in the development of a species action
plan for the endangered Black-cheeked Lovebird. A local conservation
group in the project area (Machile) has also identified land and has
plans to develop a community camp. Having worked closely with Open
Africa some Namibian birders have started visiting this IBA to see the
Black cheeked love bird. Work in this IBA has been undertaken
with the with funding from the Rufford Foundation under a small project
namely “Species protection and habitat conservation for the benefit of
birds and people – "Local Avian
Tourism and Black-cheeked
Lovebird Conservation Project”.
This lovebird lives in the mopane woodland in south western Zambia. It
is under threat partly due to climate change with the area becoming
much drier over the recent years, but also from disturbance at water
holes from farming. Black-cheeked lovebirds need to drink every evening
so surface water is essential to their existence. They will not drink
if there is disturbance and there is a conflict with cattle and humans.
The project is looking at ways to resolve these issues as well as
linking in avi-tourism.
The conservation group in the area has in the past made attempts to
cultivate bird friendly millet fields in support of this love bird.
is currently collecting data on
vultures in Zambia. He would appreciate any sightings to be
recorded and emailed to him on the enclosed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
The form can be downloaded from here.
Zambian Barbets (Lybius
Zambian barbets are endemic to Zambia and
occur within a limited range around Chisamba, Choma and the periphery
of the Kafue Flats.
Their population size had never been assessed before, and what was
known of their ecology was purely anecdotal. Thus their red listing
status was tenuous. With support from the RSPB, the African Bird Club,
the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Centre for Excellence at the Percy
FitzPatrick Institute of Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, a
series of surveys were conducted across Zambia to determine the red
listing status of the species. In 2009, the species was upgraded from
Near Threatened to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Research on the
ecology and population of the species is still ongoing at Nkanga River
Conservation Area in Choma, Southern Province and Chisamba IBA in
Chibombo District. Reports work work done so far on Chisamba will
be uploaded soon.
Read the technical report
of the survey for further details.
Shoebills (Balaeniceps rex)
The Bangweulu Wetlands in Zambia hold one of the largest populations of
Shoebills in the world. Recent surveys suggest a population of 250-500
birds (5-10% of the world population). Shoebills are listed as
Vulnerable by the IUCN. They are much sought after for bird tourism,
but are believed to face threats from habitat destruction, habitat
degradation (decrease in fish prey stocks), the bird trade and direct
persecution. Knowledge of the population size and extent and use of
suitable habitat for Shoebills is vital for their effective
conservation, yet this is poorly known in most sites, including the
Bangweulu Wetlands. Recently, the Bangweulu Wetlands have received
increased protection through the start of the Bangweulu Wetlands
Project and the creation of the 290 000 hectare Chikuni Community
Partnership Park within the 600 000 hectare project area. The Shoebill
is the flagship species for the area and considered essential for
long-term conservation sustainability. The project area is known to
host a large proportion of the population during at least part of the
year. Whether Shoebills are effectively protected within the protected
area structure is unknown. Africa Parks along with Kasanka Trust, The
Percy Fitspatrick Institute and WWF Netherlands are funding a 3 year
research project in this area of the Bangweulu Swamps. The goal
of the study is to formulate strategies for the
optimal protection of the Bangweulu population of Shoebills through
gathering scientific data on population size, ecology and threats, and
to improve community perception and valuing of the species.
Through the newly launched biodiversity monitoring project BWZ has
started working closely with the Bangweulu Wetlands Project. During one
trip into the swamp by BWZ staff a total of 66,137 waterbirds were
counted across 102 species. Bangweulu Swamp may be hosting between 175
to 200 species of waterbirds.
It would also be worth noting that Bangweulu Swamps are highly
threatened by a wide range of anthropogenic threats.
Dial in to PHOWN
PHOWN (PHotos Of
Weaver Nests) PHOWN is a monitoring
project aimed at determining the distribution of colonies or nests of
all weaver species globally. Counting weaver nests and taking photos
allows tracking of changes in weaver breeding effort. Many weavers are
common and this project provides an easy way of monitoring them, while
some weaver species are threatened and this project would help their
conservation. For details read the
whole article or go to http://weavers.adu.org.za/phown.php.