Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Anbody know what eagle this is ?
Obviously a weird morph of some kind ...Wahlbergs, / Spotted /Lesser spotted / Tawny/ or Steppe ?? Taken at Sarara in the Mathews Range Nthn Kenya 3weeks ago. Thx Simon Ball

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tana River Delta, Kenya added to the Ramsar List

The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Kenya has designated the Tana River Delta as a Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Ramsarâ??s MS Ako Charlotte Eyong, from the accompanying RIS, the Tana River Delta Ramsar Site (163,600 hectares, 02°27â??S 040°17â??E), an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Coast Province, is the second most important estuarine and deltaic ecosystem in Eastern Africa, comprising a variety of freshwater, floodplain, estuarine and coastal habitats with extensive and diverse mangrove systems, marine brackish and freshwater intertidal areas, pristine beaches and shallow marine areas, forming productive and functionally interconnected ecosystems.
This diversity in habitats permits diverse hydrological functions and a rich biodiversity including coastal and marine prawns, shrimps, bivalves and fish, five species of threatened marine turtles and IUCN red-listed African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Tana Mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus), Tana River Red Colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus rufomitratus) and White-collared Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis albotorquatus). Over 600 plant species have been identified, including the endangered Cynometra lukei and Gonatopus marattioides. As one of the only estuarine staging posts on the West Asia - Eastern Africa coastal flyway, it is a critical feeding and wintering ground for several migratory waterbirds such as waders, gulls and terns. The main human activities include fishing, small-scale family-oriented agriculture, mangrove wood exploitation, grazing, water supply, tourism and research (ongoing research on the protection and monitoring of breeding turtles and the conservation of dugongs). Kenya presently has six Ramsar Sites, covering an area of 265,449 hectares. Best regards, Dwight Peck, Ramsar. *********** Dwight Peck Documentation Officer Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Soda ash mining at Lake Natron is not economically viable

Mining of soda ash at Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania is not economically viable, experts have warned. A new Cost Benefit Analysis report shows that projected return on investment over the next 50 years would be a loss of between $44,354,728 and $492,142,797, even if exempted from paying tax by the Government. Read the whole story at Birdlife
All Photos: Copyright Stein Ø. Nilsen / tromsofoto.net

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fantastic chamaleons from Madagscar

These tiny little creatures are found recently in Madagscar, really neat!
Read the whole story at AfriCam

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Gaps 2012

Visit one of these squares and make notes of what you see and hear! Make an effort for the birds of Tanzania! Send your records to tzbirdatlas@yahoo.co.uk

Monday, February 6, 2012

BirdLife welcomes passing of law to secure transboundary ecosystems in East Africa

Fri, Feb 3, 2012 Africa, News Posts, Top Posts The Serengeti National Park is home to one of the last world’s last great mammal migration (amanderson2/flickr) The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has passed a crucial law that could transform how transboundary ecosystems and resources in East Africa are managed. EALA is the legislative arm of the East African Community, a regional block bringing together five countries, namely, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Hon. Dr. George Nangale, the former Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Tourism at EALA, and who moved the bill in 2008 was delighted to see it enacted. “I am glad to see this landmark bill go through, many thanks for the support from all stakeholders,” he said. The new law is considered critical since it establishes a mechanism for addressing developments of a transboundary nature that affect shared ecosystems. Among other things, it establishes a Commission that will supervise and monitor the implementation of policies on the management of such resorces. It emphasises the need for Environmental Impact Assessment of projects with impacts of a transboundary nature, with the Commission playing a key role in the approval process.
“This is a welcome development. East African countries now have a good chance to collaborate and share information on development projects of a transboundary nature. It will no longer be business as usual” Said Mr. Deo Gamassa, the new CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (BirdLife in Tanzania). The new regional legal framework is set to benefit transboundary ecosystems like Lake Natron and Serengeti National Park which, in the recent past, have drawn global attention as a result of proposed large scale development projects. At Lake Natron, the National Development Corporation proposed to build a $ 450 million soda ash plant to produce half a million tonnes of industrial sodium bicarbonate per year. However, concerned groups raised concerns, citing the sensitivity of Lake Natron as the only regular breeding site for Lesser Flamingos in Eastern Africa. Three quarters of the global population of the pink birds are hatched at Lake Natron -read more. The Transboundary Ecosystems Management Bill 2010 was passed on 31 January 2012 at EALA’s Third meeting of the Fifth Session taking place in Kampala, Uganda.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mystery bird sounds of Tanzania

Hope someone out there can help ID some of the species I've recorded in Tanzania.This one from Mazimbu area in Morogoro town.

And this is recorded in the foothills of Usambara Stein

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New viper snake species found in Tanzania!

The newly discovered snake, named Matilda's horned viper, has been described in the journal Zootaxa.
The exact location of the new species is being kept a secret, because it could be of interest to the illegal pet trade.
Campaign group the Wildlife Conservation Society said the snake's habitat, estimated at only a several square km, is already severely degraded from logging and charcoal manufacture.
See the whole story at BBC

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Birding in Tanzania?

Bring with you a checklist containing 1105 species found in this magnificent birding location!
You find it here as PDF
Roughwing, Kilimanjaro South Photo: Stein Ø. Nilsen

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Levant Sparrowhawk - observed in Ngorongoro,Tanzania

The 22nd November 2011 me and my family was heading for Ndutu lodge via the Ngorongoro crater. Due to heavy rain the days before the road conditions were so and so, and we were quite alone in the crater. Doing our way over the bottom of the crater we stopped for a lone elephant bull, and there to the left of us we observed a slimlooking young hawk perched in a thorn bush. 6-7 quick photos and the bird was gone, no views of the front and just knowing this was something we never saw before.

On our return to Northern Norway a quick look at the photos I was still uncertain of the ID and sent 2 photos to Ron Eggert tanzaniabirds.com and he sent it further to africanraptors and Rob Davies.
They concluded this is a fine young Levant Sparrowhawk A. brevipes. Thanks to Ron and Rob for the help with checking this out!

Checking Britton 1980 I soon found out this is a mega finding for Tanzania, 1-one historic record in W Tanzania only, and only four for Kenya! Only a handful records for Tanzania the last years (one Jan 2010, Neil and Liz Baker) and East-Africa makes this a very nice bird to see.
Observers: Stein Ø. Nilsen, Tone Malm and Stine Malm Nilsen
See all the photos at tromsofoto.net 
Copyright: Stein Ø. Nilsen 2011

Monday, January 2, 2012

Great news for TZ Wildlife!

Natural Resources and Tourism minister Ezekiel Maige (September 2011)
The government has banned the capture, importation and exportation of wild animals with effect from this month, specifying that the order does not cover insects.
A December 9, 2011 Government Notice, copies of which were distributed to the media yesterday by the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry, requires all licensed traders whose permits were still valid by August 18 this year to make sure that they exported their animals within three months from the date of the notice.
A press statement issued by the ministry in Dar es Salaam yesterday said the move is in partial implementation of The Wildlife Conservation (Capture of Animals) (Prohibition) Order, 2011.
It however said Tanzanians remain at liberty to use wild animals and related products for non-business activities including research in the national interest.
According to the statement, the timeframe provided to businesspersons to sell wildlife animals they legally own was in accordance with the Wild animals Capture Regulations of 2010 as published in issue No. 244 (July 2, 2010) of the Government Gazette.
It said sections 12 (4) and (5) of the regulations state that all captured animals ought to be sold within a period not exceeding 90 days since their capture.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it is still investigating the circumstances of late last year’s illegal shipping of 116 wild animals to foreign countries.
The saga over the scandal, which revolves around the controversial transportation of four giraffes and 16 wild birds worth some 170.57m/- aboard a Qatari military plane, unfolded on November 24 last year.
The government subsequently suspended Wildlife Division Director Obeid Mbangwa to pave the way for investigations into the scandal.
Natural Resources and Tourism minister Ezekiel Maige was later quoted as telling the National Assembly that two other senior officials in the division were sent on paid leave pending investigations into their alleged involvement in the scam.
He said the ministry intervened after failing to get satisfactory explanation on the manner in which the shady shipment of the wild animals was handled.
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda later told the National Assembly that the government had slapped a ban on the export of live wild animals.
He said that was meant to allow the government time to devise new procedures and conditions governing export trade in live animals export trade, including a thorough review of the relevant fees.
The PM explained the move was necessary because it was apparent that dishonest animal dealers were routinely short-changing the government and ending up with windfall profits.
He said the government would also draw up a list of wild animals which could be exported.
The clandestine export of live wild animals was the subject of heated debate as Members of Parliament deliberated on the 2011/2012 Budget estimates of the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry, with the parliamentary Lands, Natural Resources and Environment committee saying the government was shielding those behind the illegal business.
Grey-breasted Spurfowl is endemic to Tanzania, maybe it now is safe for beeing traded?
Photo: Stein Ø. Nilsen