Migratory birds and Asian, African and European children

This video says about itself:

9 Jan 2014

Spring Alive has been spreading widely in Africa. Check how great they are doing in Nigeria where many children are enthusiastically engaged in birds oriented actions thanks to the Spring Alive project.

From BirdLife:

Spring Alive 2014 has arrived!

By Rebecca Langer, Thu, 06/03/2014 – 15:14

BirdLife and its Partners in 50 countries are proud to announce the launch of Spring Alive 2014. Now nine years old, Spring Alive brings together children, their teachers and families in Europe, Central Asia and Africa to observe and record the arrivals of five species of migrant birds:  Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, Common Swift Apus apus, and European Bee-eater Merops apiaster.

Spring Alive 2013 broke all previous records. During Eurasian and African seasons, a total of over 286,000 observations of migratory birds were recorded on the Spring Alive website, and by the end of the year over 54,000 children, 900 teachers and supervisors and 500 volunteers from 49 countries had joined in a range of Spring Alive activities.

While the program began as a pan-European project to track the northward spread of spring migrants, now it involves many more indoor and outdoor events to engage children, schools and the wider community in the conservation of migratory birds. One example is the new pilot program Spring Twin, which matches schools in Europe and Asia with schools in Africa. Children will exchange letters, emails and diaries, and send one another videos they have shot before publishing them on the Spring Alive YouTube channel.

Spring Alive is coordinated by OTOP (BirdLife in Poland), with national coordinators in each participating country. This year, with the announcement that Azerbaijan will be joining in, at least 50 countries will be taking part.

“2014 is set to be an even bigger year for Spring Alive”, said Karolina Kalinowska, International Spring Alive Manager. “Now that we have accustomed children to recording their observations of the first spring migrants, we want to get them more involved in the conservation of migratory birds.”

Although it is still early in the year, in the southern Mediterranean early signs of spring are already popping up. Unfortunately, the joy of spring and the promise of some of the best birdwatching of the year is overshadowed in Malta by the Government’s intention to again allow spring hunting season, in violation of EU law. This translates into 10,000 hunters being allowed to legally shoot European Turtle-dove and Common Quail returning to Europe to breed. Experience suggests that too many of them will also be illegally targeting protected species, from songbirds to waders, herons and birds of prey: here.

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Bird conservation in Nigeria

This video says about itself:

Closeup of Weaver Bird weaving nest, outside Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria

13 June 2013

Bird is using shredded palm fronds to weave the nest. Since there are hundreds of these nests in the colony, the palm trees around the hotel are in pretty sorry condition.

From BirdLife:

The Lekki Bird Club in Nigeria proves committed to bird monitoring and conservation

By nairobi.volunteer, Mon, 24/02/2014 – 09:38


The Lekki Bird Club (LBC) is a volunteer-based bird conservation group focused on increasing the awareness of bird conservation in Lagos, Nigeria and also on the generation of bird data. This is achieved via the involvement of amateurs and volunteers in bird related activities like bird-watching in local birding sites, organization of talks/lectures, and publications in the form of trip reports and newsletters. Membership is drawn from all walks of life, which gives LBC the uniqueness of leveraging on its own diversity to achieve the goal of bird conservation in Lagos.

Since its inception in March 2009, LBC has remained committed to this goal by organising numerous bird-watching expeditions that enable us collect scientific data during our leisure trips and other activities that encourage bird conservation. Our success story has provided a strong platform to replicate LBC in other cities across the country.

Birding Experience and Data Collection

As a bird club situated in Lagos where land development is highest in the country, birding has never felt better. Put differently, despite the obvious implications of environmental squalor around most birding areas in the city (e.g. degraded woodlands, polluted wetlands), we have had the opportunity to observe and collate an impressive checklist of birds as they adapt to our ‘urbanisation’.

Species of global significance including migratory and threatened birds have been recorded during our trips in Lagos. Some of them include Hooded Vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Whimbrel and the Open-Billed Stork. Others are Collared Pratincole, Common Ringed Plover and Wood Sandpiper, which are listed in the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). Some of the sites where these species have been recorded include the Tarkwa Bay, National Arts Theatre and Nature Reserve of the Lekki Conservation Centre. Other includes Majek Farms and Muritala Mohammed Botanical Garden.

However, the LBC is not just about globally important and threatened species, but also about the common species we see daily that have graced our gardens, nested in our cubbyholes, lurked around our windows and even orchestrated beautiful melodies to our ears. The Common Bulbuls, Woodland Kingfisher, Laughing Dove, Variable Sunbird, Didric Cuckoo, Village Weavers, Pied Crows and the likes, have all collectively maintained the ecosystem with their services and acted as indicators to the state of our immediate environment.

Other Activities

In May 2012, the club hosted members and other prominent nature enthusiasts to its first in the series of lectures. The well attended evening talk, which was hosted in the Chevron Club House, focused on the “Roles of Volunteers in Bird Conservation in Nigeria” and was delivered by Prof. E. U. Ezealor. The evening talk is part of the LBC’s effort to further propagate the club activities and reach a wider audience. The same feat is achieved with the publications.

Publications like trip reports and newsletters are also produced to give us a wide-eye and as much as possible, to delight our readers. Locally, our publications have stirred up nature’s excitement in some of our subscribers and have obliged them to be part of the club. Internationally, it has provided the platform to network with similar bird clubs outside the country and share experiences by featuring our articles in their publications.

In March 2013, LBC and the Nigerian Field Society (NFS) jointly organised a birding competition tagged “Lagos Bird-Watching Challenge” from 2nd to 3rd March, 2013. This was to further stir the interest of bird-watching among members of both clubs.

Partnership and Sustainability

The club has received support in form of birding equipment like binoculars and DSLR camera from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK and Idea Wild, USA. We also only recently received funds from the African Bird Club (ABC) Conservation Fund for a pre-establishment training workshop of Ibadan Bird Club.

Replication in other Nigerian Cities

In line with the objective of increasing the stake of bird conservation in Nigeria, we are at the threshold of establishing another local bird club in Ibadan by the name Ibadan Bird Club (IBC). We are currently organising a 3-day training workshop to hold from 5th to 7th March, 2014 for the prospective core members of IBC. This will focus on developing the capacity of participants to effectively promote the conservation of birds and their habitats in Ibadan. This program will be implemented together with our local partners in Ibadan; Forest Project in International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and department of Wildlife and Ecotourism in University of Ibadan. The replication of another bird club in Finima, Rivers State is also in the pipeline.

Story by Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

World Wetlands Day Celebrations at Marlborough Vlei in Harare, Zimbabwe: here.

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Nigerian governmental homophobia, satiric video

This video says about itself:

17 Jan 2014

Nigeria’s anti-gay lobby thinks homosexuality is a sickness. No wonder they’re celebrating Goodluck Jonathan‘s newly signed Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. But Ikenna has other ideas about the future of Naija‘s health…

What’s Up Africa is a video blog created and presented by Ikenna Azuike and filmed and edited by Sandesh Bhugaloo about creative Africa.

From AMERICAblog about this today:

Nigerian-British comedian Ikenna Azuike does a cute video about how Nigeria’s draconian new anti-gay law is going to end up turning all the straight people gay. …

“So you see, if this jail the gays law stays in force, the economy will collapse. Everyhone who calls in sick for pretending to be gay will be arrested for wanting to be gay. Jails will be full of people who claim to be gay, making jail a ‘gay institution.’ Therefore jails will be illegal, and the only solution will be to let the gay people out, and lock up all the straight people, so jail can be legal again.”

British rich homophobe: A former donor to UKIP has inexplicably responded to a Times columnist’s article condemning a Russian anti-gay law, by taking out an advert in the Telegraph and claiming that homophobia does not exist: here.

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Eurasian migratory birds need big African trees

This video from England is about a common redstart.

This blog reported already about the count this month of migratory shorebirds in west Europe and west Africa.

More inland in Africa, people count migratory birds as well.

There is an international BirdLife program: Living on the Edge; for improving migratory bird habitats and livelihoods in the Sahel region, just south of the Sahara desert.

In this program, there is participation from Burkina Faso NATURAMA, Mauritania, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) – Nigeria; and Senegal. And also from European countries where the migratory birds are in summer.

This morning, Vroege Vogels radio in the Netherlands reported about it. Where do Eurasian migratory birds like common redstart and spotted flycatcher spend their African winters?

It turns out they do so overwhelmingly in just about ten tree species, all in the Acacia genus. And much more so in older, taller trees than in small, young trees.

This research result means there should be more conservation of acacia trees, especially tall, older ones.

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West African lions in danger

This video is called Wild West African lion cub at the Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria eating a warthog.

From Wildlife Extra:

The West African Lion is dangerously close to extinction

January 2014: The African lion is facing extinction across the entire West African region reveals a paper authored by Panthera‘s Lion Program Survey Coordinator, Dr Philipp Henschel, and a team from West Africa, the UK, Canada and the United States.

The West African lion once ranged continuously from Senegal to Nigeria, but now, says the scientists, there are just 250 adult lions left in five countries; Senegal, Nigeria and a single trans-frontier population on the shared borders of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso.

These results follow a massive survey effort that took six years and covered 11 countries where lions were presumed to exist in the last two decades.

Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter said: “Lions have undergone a catastrophic collapse in West Africa. The countries that have managed to retain them are struggling with pervasive poverty and very little funding for conservation.”

The West African lion is genetically distinct from the lions of in East and southern Africa.

“West African lions have unique genetic sequences not found in any other lions, including in zoos or captivity,” explained Dr. Christine Breitenmoser, the co-chair of the IUCN/SCC Cat Specialist Group, which determines the conservation status of wild cats around the world. “If we lose the lion in West Africa, we will lose a unique, locally adapted population found no-where else. It makes their conservation even more urgent.”

Lions have disappeared across Africa as human populations and their livestock herds have grown, competing for land with lions and other wildlife. Wild savannas are converted for agriculture and cattle, the lion’s natural prey is hunted out and lions are killed by pastoralists fearing the loss of their herds.

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British government deporting ill woman to her death?

This video from Britain says about itself:

Graduate with kidney failure at risk of deportation to Nigeria

Roseline Akhalu, a university graduate from Nigeria, was diagnosed with kidney failure a few months after arriving in the UK in 2004. After a successful kidney transplant, the UK Border Agency rejected Roseline’s claim to stay in the UK. If sent back to Nigeria, she would be unable to afford the life-saving drugs she needs.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 15 July 2013


HER local Yorkshire community is defending Roseline Akhalu, a Nigerian-born kidney-transplant patient, from deportation and death.

The UK immigration authorities have hounded her, an ill woman for years. They claim she is a health tourist. Her doctors confirm that she is not.

On Thursday Roseline Akhalu yet again faces her accusers in court, as the Home Office tries to overturn earlier decisions by two judges to let her stay.

The local movement and the group Women Asylum Seekers Together, among others, have raised funds to hire a 49-seater coach.

Friends and neighbours are preparing to travel down to London to pack the public gallery at Thursday’s hearing – at Field House, Immigration and Asylum Tribunal (Upper Tier) Hearing Centre.

The other day, actor Colin Firth broke off from filming with Woody Allen in France to send a message of support.

He said: ‘I need hardly add my voice to the wholehearted love and support, surrounding Rose in her community and among her friends.

‘We all hope that the good sense and humanity displayed so far by the courts will now prevail and that her life will be saved.’

Campaigners said yesterday: ‘Roseline Akhalu is a kidney transplant patient who lives in Leeds.

‘Her doctors say she will die within four weeks if she is returned to Nigeria.

‘The Home Office don’t dispute this fact. They accept it. Yet still they relentlessly pursue Rose’s deportation as if medical evidence and judicial rulings count for nothing.

‘This is as if hers is just one more scalp in the continuing propaganda war against “benefits tourism” and “health tourism”.’

Tessa Gregory, Rose’s lawyer said: ‘Rose’s case is to be heard on 18 July at the Upper Tier Tribunal.
‘In truth, we should not be having to go through another appeal and Rose should have been left to get on with her life.

‘Rose is an upstanding and deeply loved member of her local community whose health and wellbeing has been seriously compromised by the cruel and senseless determination of the UK Border Agency to pursue her through the courts.

‘This is in spite of two judges finding in her favour and in spite of the unnecessary cost to the public purse which far outweighs the cost of her treatment.’

Rose lives in the Harehills area of Leeds in the home of Paul and Dot Cordy. Paul, a mental capacity advocate, and Dot, a retired nurse, have joined with others to protect Roseline from the Home Office attempts to deport her.

Why is the Home Office continuing a cruel and ludicrous campaign against a woman who they have accepted will definitely die if returned to Nigeria? Here.

Home Secretary, please call off the attack on kidney patient Roseline Akhalu: here.

Africans tortured in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya

This video is called LIBYA The Racist Lie Of “Black African Mercenaries” Perpetuated By Rebels, Western Media.

From the Daily Trust, in Abuja, Nigeria:

Libya Deports 1500 Africans

By Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar, 30 May 2013

Many Nigerians and some other African nationals are now stranded in Agadas, Niger Republic after been deported by Libyan authorities. Two people were reported dead on their way to Niger out of about 1500 Africans who claimed to have been tortured while in detention before transported in 10 vehicles which took them to Agadas.

Some of them who spoke to BBC Hausa Service said they were arrested in their houses and shops where they run their daily business.

BBC reported that among the deported persons included Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Cameroon, and Cote d’ Ivoire nationals among others.

A Nigerian explained that “when they arrested me, I asked them to let me wear my clothes but one of them said no, you are going to wear your clothes when you get back to your country, but not here.”

“They took us to a place where there were no toilets. Now we are here, some of us do not even have decent clothes,” he said.