Video about lesser flamingos

This is a National Geographic video about lesser flamingos of lake Bogoria in Kenya, Africa.

3 thoughts on “Video about lesser flamingos

  1. Kenya: Turning to Birds to Boost Revenue

    The Nation (Nairobi)

    28 November 2007
    Posted to the web 28 November 2007

    Jeff Otieno

    After registering success on beach and wildlife tourism, Kenya is now turning an eye to its priceless birds to shore up revenues.

    Though part of the wildlife, bird tourism has for long been ignored despite its potential to bring in extra foreign exchange earnings.

    Currently, there are only 250 ‘birders’ also known as bird watchers, who come to Kenya each year, spending about Sh45 million.

    But the problem that has left many players desperate for answers is that despite having less bird diversity than Kenya, some African countries have managed to attract more visitors, hence making more money from bird watching.

    In South Africa, for example, bird watchers, who form the largest single group of eco-tourists, contributed between $11 million to $24 million to the country’s economy in 1997.

    This is what Kenya is trying to emulate in a bid to put the country in the league of the world’s leading tourist destinations.

    In fact, more than 1,090 bird species have been recorded in the country, making Kenya one of the most attractive bird watching destinations in the world.

    According to Nairobi-based organisations Nature Kenya and BirdLife International, all conservation outfits, the country holds one of the world records for most birds seen within 24 hours – a high of 342 species.

    In Nairobi, for example, over 600 bird species have been recorded, more than in any other capital city in the world.

    Unlike South Africa, Kenya’s potential in bird tourism has not yet been translated into an industry.

    However, the noble dream might not achieve much, if a recent report on Kenya’s important bird areas, status and trends, compiled by Nature Kenya with the help of BirdLife International secretariat in Nairobi, is anything to go by.

    The study shows that some of the rarest forest-dependent birds are under threat of extinction due to wanton destruction of the ecosystem. It says about 50 per cent of the threatened birds in Kenya inhabit the forests, with a chunk of them being in indigenous forest lands.

    “The Coastal forests, combined with the Taita Hills complex and the mountains east of the Rift Valley, account for almost all the rare forest biodiversity in Kenya, with a few other rare species scattered across the large blocks of montane forests,” the study adds.

    The endangered species

    The study cites birds like the Sokoke scops owl, only found in Coast forests, the Taita white-eye and east coast akalat are some of the endangered species.

    “The species prefer undisturbed habitats. Endangered birds like the Sokoke scops owl is only found in Coastal forests composed of dense cynometra trees, preferring the denser habitat structure with no selective logging,” says the study conducted by Nature Kenya with the help of the Ornithology department of the National Museums of Kenya.

    It says many of the endangered species, like the Taita white-eye and east coast akalat prefer natural forests to plantations.

    “The Taita white-eye is absent in forest plantations but abundant in undisturbed indigenous forest fragments and the east coast akalat is absent in areas devoid of dead wood,” the document titled: Kenya’s Important Bird Areas Status and Trend, says.

    The problem is that some of the important birds, which are under threat, are the ones that attract many bird watchers.

    Bird species decrease with the interference of the ecological balance in forests and all studies point a finger to human activities.

    Distribution patterns

    This is because the activities, be they economic or social, affect population densities and distribution patterns of key bird species.

    The report shows a worrying trend, which must be reversed if the country is to reap from bird tourism.

    The study funded by BirdLife International and the UK-based Royal Society for Protection of Birds, says that from 2004 to last year, agricultural encroachment on bird habitats increased from 22 per cent to 62 and over-grazing, due to increased animal population, from 43 per cent to 62.

    The document says illegal logging and vegetation destruction increased from 32 per cent in 2004 to 60 per cent last year.

    And with the recent lifting of the ban on logging, which has been imposed for several years, there is fear that illegal cutting of trees will be on the increase.

    “Uncontrolled firewood collection increased from 32 per cent and 58 between 2004 and 2006,” it says.

    The report also argues that destructive mining activities increased by eight per cent in the last two years, while infrastructural development, involving expanding of old roads and construction of new ones, increased by six per cent.

    Blocking of migration corridors, mainly in areas neighbouring national parks and game reserves, also increased by six per cent.

    Unsustainable water abstraction, mainly in the arid and semi-arid regions, also increased by 28 per cent. However, the good news is that forest fires registered a significant drop from 43 per cent in 2005 to a mere three last year.

    “Overall, the monitoring data showed increased pressure on bird habitats but the state is still stable,” the report adds.

    It is good news that despite the destruction, the status of bird life is, to a large extent, still stable. But for how long?

    Birds are sensitive and respond rapidly to changes in their environment, and that is why several species are disappearing from their usual natural habitats.

    Though natural ecosystems take some time to change, the report warns that the status of bird areas in Kenya will be tremendously affected, if nothing is done.

    The document argues that the absence of species such as the east coast akalat in many parts of Kenya is full proof of the lack of a suitable habitat as acreage under indigenous forest cover diminishes.

    In Kenya, some of the important bird sites that host threatened birds and need to be protected are Taita Hills, highland grass lands, Lake Nakuru and papyrus swamps like the Yala, Dunga, Kusa and Koguta on the shores of Lake Victoria.

    To reverse the trend, Nature Kenya, in partnership with Tourism Trust Fund, has developed an avi-tourism project to increase the number of bird tourists to Kenya.

    This project targets to double the number of bird tourists within one year, which will translate to a revenue of about Sh81 million to the country.

    Apart from the Nature Kenya-Tourism Trust Fund project, Kenya is also set to benefit from another regional project, whose objective is to assess how well conservation goals are being achieved at site level.

    The four-year project is funded by the European Commission on Environment in Developing Countries.

    The Sh127 million project is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, supported by the BirdLife International Africa partnership secretariat, whose offices are in Kenya and Ghana.

    Kenya will share out the money with other seven African countries that are biodiversity rich.

    The money will help the country meet the Convention of Biological Diversity obligations, which requires that countries implement conservation measures on protected areas.

    World’s richest resources

    CBD requires that by 2010, national and regional systems are established to enable effective monitoring of protected-areas, status and trends.

    Though boasting some of the world’s richest resources, Africa is yet to satisfy the requirements on implementing programmes that protect rare birds and animal sites.

    However, Kenya is an making effort to satisfy CBD requirements and was the first African country to pilot biodiversity monitoring using a simple but robust approach.

    The monitoring framework was developed by Nature Kenya and customised to fit the national standards by engaging the Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, National Museums of Kenya, research organisations and rural community groups, commonly referred to as the Site Support Groups.

    Monitoring its biodiversity

    Due to the success of the project, seven African countries, namely Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are now set to follow Kenya’s example of monitoring its biodiversity.

    Despite the good efforts made by conservation organisations, the million dollar question that Kenya has looked for an answer to is how to increase bird tourism earnings, while at the same time protecting their habitats from human encroachment and activities.


  2. Pingback: African bird count update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Save Tanzania’s lesser flamingos | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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