Grauer’s swamp-warbler nest discovered in Rwanda

Grauer's swamp warbler, by Tommy Pedersen

From BirdLife:

Survey uncovers Grauer’s Swamp-warbler nest


Recent surveys of Africa’s Albertine Rift Valley have shed new light on Grauer’s Swamp-warbler Bradypterus graueri, a particularly vocal Endangered bird that occurs nowhere else on Earth.

In the past, adult swamp-warblers have been recorded throughout the Rift Valley, in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

Yet breeding and nesting behaviour –two vital facets of information for conservationists working to save the species- remained largely unknown, until now.

“During our routine surveys of the Kabatwa Swamp in the Volcanoes National Park [in Rwanda], we came across a small cup-shaped nest perched in foliage 35cm from the ground.

The nest was built from Poa leptocrada and other sedges.

To our surprise there were two chicks sitting in the nest,” said Claudien Nsabagasani, Ornithological Researcher with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) and IBA Focal Point for Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda, ACNR (BirdLife in Rwanda).

“We revisited the Swamp-warbler nest daily from then on to acquire information on nesting and feeding behaviour before the chicks fledged a week later.”

The photos of the warbler nest are Rwanda’s first, shedding important light on the reproductive ecology of the species.

The surveyors, supported by funding from RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and DFGFI, had been monitoring Grauer’s Swamp-warbler over four seasons, starting in July 2006, in the Volcanoes National Park, an Important Bird Area (IBA).

“With threatened species, every nest counts,” said Paul Kariuki Ndang’ang’a, the Species Programme Manager at BirdLife Africa Partnership Secretariat.

Birding in Rwanda: here.

An Endangered Grauer’s Swamp Warbler Bradypterus graueri – so far found in the restricted range of swamps of Burundi, Rwanda and eastern part of DRC – was recently mistnetted at one of valley swamps of Kibira National Park called Mwokora. The bird was caught during a field work as part of the BirdLife International/MacArthur Foundation project: here.

2 thoughts on “Grauer’s swamp-warbler nest discovered in Rwanda

  1. Rwanda: ORTPN Launches Bird Safety Campaign

    New Times (Kigali)

    24 October 2007
    Posted to the web 25 October 2007

    Innocent Gahigana

    The Rwandan Office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) has launched a national campaign to safeguard rare bird species.The drive was launched over the weekend in Akagera National Park at Nyirabiyora Island in Lake Ihema, home to thousands of migratory birds.

    Fidel Ruzigandekwe, the ORTPN’s director of wildlife said on Monday that the campaign will continue in other areas outside the gazzetted sites.

    “This is a challenge to the general public to make sure that the birds are accorded value they deserve,” Ruzigandekwe said.

    He called for public engagement to save the 650 birds species in the country he said are being driven away by a variety of human-induced threats such as habitat loss and degradation.

    The campaign comes ahead of a global conference on birds’ safety slated later this month in Scotland.

    The conference, aimed at helping save rare birds, is expected to bring together experts from 60 countries to develop an international agreement to conserve endangered migratory birds around the world.

    The aim is to bring together expertise from around the world to monitor and protect the birds that generate revenue to the respective countries from tourists.

    According to a recent study by UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), more than 50 percent of birds are threatened either at the global or regional level.

    The activists will discuss the geographical boundaries of the proposed agreement, the species to be covered, and whether it should be legally binding.

    The agreement is expected to be finalised at a meeting in the United Arab Emirates in early 2008.


  2. Pingback: Gorillas destroy poachers’ snares | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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