Tanzanian waterbirds threatened by climate change

This video series is about birds and other wildlife of Tanzania.

From Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam):

Tanzania: Aquatic Bird Species Face Extinction

By Marc Nkwame, 16 October 2012

Arusha — TANZANIA’s water bird species are in danger of extinction due to drying off of wetlands, a situation contributed by climatic change.

Speaking during the 13th Pan-African Ornithological Congress (PAOC 13), taking place here, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ambassador Khamisi Kagasheki, said effects of climate change and increasing human activities in reserves and wetlands are to blame for the situation.

The country is said to have more than 1,500 bird species, but already 30 of them are at the verge of extinction, with water bird species topping the list. Some of the endangered aquatic birds include ducks, geese, swans … Others are storks, herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills and pelicans.

The drying off of Lake Manyara which is one of the breeding sites for the pink flamingos is one of the examples cited. ‘The speed at which wetlands are drying off is worrying us, so there is need to put in place remarkable measures to address the situation, as water birds depend on such eco-systems for their reproduction and survival,” he said.

Ambassador Kagasheki promised that his ministry will work on the matter and rescue the important resource for the current and future generations. ‘Drying off of wetlands is a threat to water bird species, which depend on it for their survival. So, among other issues, PAOC meeting will provide a good platform for experts in wild birds to extensively discuss and exchange views on how to conserve the sector.”

He also noted that birdwatching, a popular hobby around the world, can present significant economic opportunities for countries through sustainable tourism. “Birding plays a significant and growing part in the tourism industry and creates direct and indirect economic benefits for many countries and communities, also amongst developing countries.

The minister, however, expressed concern on the threat facing wild bird sector in Tanzania, saying some bird species are in danger to extinct due to a number of factors. “For the sustainable management of birds in the country, we’re going to work in details on the entire sector, as we’re aware that there are 30 bird species, which are in danger of extinction and after that we’ll provide the government stand,” he said.

Mr Simon Mduma, who is the director general of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), said that the PAOC meeting is being held under the theme “Birds in a Changing Environment.” He said that the meeting brought on board researchers from almost all African countries.

“This is an opportunity for Tanzania to promote its wild birds‘ tourism to the outside world.” PAOC chairman, Dr Mshiiwua Manu said that the meeting aims at promoting the preservation of African birds as an integral part of the African heritage, to foster the appreciation of birds and discussion of African birds in relation to man.

Birds in Asia may need a helping hand to adapt to climate change, according to a new study led by BirdLife International and Durham University. It shows that many bird species are likely to suffer under future climate change, and will require enhanced protection of important sites, better management of the wider countryside, and in some of the most extreme cases may need to be physically moved to climatically suitable areas to help them survive: here.

4 thoughts on “Tanzanian waterbirds threatened by climate change

  1. Pingback: Lake Natron wildlife protection in Tanzania | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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