World Bird News May 2008

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Madagascar Pond-heron thrown a lifeline...

02-05-2008

The Endangered Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae has received much-needed attention from all its range states.
Delegates from nine African countries recently came together in Nairobi (Kenya) to develop a Species Action Plan to reverse the heron’s alarming population decline. The species was considered to be common half a century ago. It is now listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
The Madagascar Pond-heron breeds in Madagascar, Aldabra, Europa and Mayotte - all Western Indian Ocean Islands. Outside the breeding season it migrates to mainland Africa, where it frequents small, tree-lined freshwater pools.The estimated world population of less than 6,000 birds is spread over an area of 2 million square kilometers. There are now indications that if action is not taken soon, the species may be on a fast track to extinction.
“The number of breeding herons at one site declined from 232 birds in 2007, to none in 2008”, said Julien Ramanampamonjy, a founder member of ASITY Madagascar - an NGO dedicated to protecting Madagascar’s bird.
In response, delegates attending the Nairobi workshop developed a Species Action Plan to help save the heron. In his opening remarks to the workshop, Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson (Africa Regional Director of BirdLife International) emphasised the need for not only an action plan, but also for concerted effort to implement any recommendations. “Since the Species Action Plan looks at threats and identifies priorities, it is a useful tool for advocating action to save the species”, he said.
Participants made several recommendations for action to enhance the Madagascar Pond-herons survival. Key recommended actions include the gathering of further information on the species’s occurrence and ecology, raising its profile and protecting breeding sites.
The Action Planning workshop was organised by the Africa Partnership Secretariat of BirdLife International - in liaison with the Secretariat of the Agreement on the conservation of Africa-Eurasian Waterbirds (AEWA). Financial support was provided by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) represented by UNEP-CMS Secretariat.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World Bird News 2008 |  World Bird News May 2008

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