European Montagu’s harriers migrating to Africa

This video shows a young Montagu’s harrier in Lauwersmeer national park im the Netherlands, on 2 August 2015.

Translated from the Dutch ornithologists of Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief:

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The graceful silhouettes of Montagu’s harriers have become almost impossible to see in our country. Most have in fact begun their trek to the Sahel. Using satellite transmitters twelve Montagu’s harriers can be tracked on their journey.

On average, Montagu’s harriers travel some 5,000 kilometers to their wintering grounds. They do this in the fall at an average of 32 days. In spring, the migration takes about five days longer.

The birds which can be followed this season are Mark, Rowan, Roger and Rose from England, Astrid and Henry from Saxony-Anhalt [Germany], Geranda, Kees and Jürgen from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [Germany] and Leen, Ludmila and Yura from Belarus. Ludmila was the first bird starting her migration, already on 1 August. Geranda was on September 9 still at her breeding grounds. Of the remaining harriers, some have already crossed over to Africa, but most are still in Europe.

Britain: Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers: petition here.

Migratory birds arrive in Africa, help them

This video is called Where Do Birds Go In Winter?

From BirdLife:

Africa, it’s your turn – migratory birds need you!

By Shaun Hurrell, Thu, 03/09/2015 – 15:17

Make your garden, balcony or school bird-friendly with Spring Alive

Migratory birds have already started arriving in Africa after their epic migrations from Europe and Asia. Nature is getting ready for their arrival; are you?

Nature is providing things that birds will need: budding leaves and fruits; taking insects to the air; trickling water. Millions of birds fly enormous distances every year to feed in Africa and escape the cold winter, and they need your support too. Click here for 10 reasons to get involved!

All along their migratory routes, children and adults are excitedly preparing for the arrival of birds with Spring Alive, an international project that launches its 2015 African season this week. Spring Alive is a BirdLife educational conservation initiative organised by OTOP (BirdLife in Poland) that encourages children to take action for the conservation of the migratory birds they learn about.

“At this time of year, people of Africa need to celebrate and care for their amazing migratory birds; and the people of Europe and Asia will return the favour next spring,”

says Karolina Kalinowska, Spring Alive Coordinator.

This year Spring Alive wants you to make your garden or balcony bird-friendly to help support tired birds on their magnificent migrations! We need you to spring to action and make bird boxes, bird feeders and look after your birds as they arrive. Spring Alive educational events and web pages teach children and adults how. With a record number of 6.4million people reached through Spring Alive this year, this is potentially a strong force for the celebration and care of migratory birds on the African-Eurasian flyway.

As well as the bird-friendly garden theme this year, every year by posting their first sightings of Barn Swallow, White Stork, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, and European Bee-eater on the website, children from Europe, Central Asia and Africa create a real-time map of the incredible journeys these birds take every year. As well as by these migratory routes, Eurasian and African schools are also connected with matching initiatives like ‘Spring Twin’.

Migratory birds face threats from climate change including drought and mis-timing of the emergence of insects; agriculture; urbanisation; and hunting. With appreciation and support of local children and adults, hopefully these birds can find enough food and shelter to continue to return year after year.

Spring alive for birds! How you can get involved with Spring Alive in Africa this year:

  1. Check the Spring Alive events calendar and birds events map on the website to go to an event near you.
  2. Share in the wonder of birds with others from Europe to Asia to Africa. Share your photos of migratory birds, Spring Alive events, birds in your garden, and actions to make your gardens/balconies bird-friendly on the Spring Alive facebook page: Keep checking it for exciting photos and facts about the migratory species you can see, and tips on how to help them. 
  3. Get outside and take photos of migratory birds and birds in your garden as later this year we will be holding a photo competition on our flickr page:
  4. What would your ideal bird-friendly garden look like? Enter the “A Perfect Garden” drawing contest to show us and you could win a pair of binoculars, supplied by Opticron. Other prizes include a White Stork wall clock and bird book. Enter at
  5. Record your observations of Barn Swallow, White Stork, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, and European Bee-eater on the website.

Spring Alive was successful in 2015 in Europe & Asia; now Africa it is your turn!

Spring Alive poster

  • Over 6.4 million people reached
  • 104 371 observations
  • 629 events held (333 outdoors, 296 indoors)
  • 55 conservation actions organised
  • At least 185 new members gained for BirdLife Partners
  • 10th anniversary of the European season of the project took place this year
  • Over 3,400 teachers helped children learn about Spring Alive species and the phenomenon of bird migration
  • 54,694 children and 13,113 adults directly engaged in Spring Alive
  • 455 volunteers directly involved in Spring Alive activities

Spring Alive is an international campaign to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds. Spring Alive is organised by OTOP, the BirdLife Partner in Poland, on behalf of the BirdLife Partnership. Wildlife groups, teachers and others who would like to become more involved in Spring Alive should contact the International Manager, Karolina Kalinowska, at

For more information go to:

Follow Spring Alive on Facebook, YouTube and flickr.

New golden jackal species discovery in Africa

This video says about itself:

DNA analysis: The African golden jackal is a WOLF

1 August 2015

Golden jackals of Africa and Eurasia are two distantly related species.

This is according to new DNA analysis carried on both of the lineages.

Lineage of new species split from that of gray wolves 1.3 million years ago.

The Eurasian golden jackal lineage split about 600,000 years earlier.

From Wildlife Extra:

New Golden Jackal species discovered

For the first time in 150 years a new canid species has been discovered in Africa, by scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Golden Jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered the same species as the Golden Jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East.

However, recent research indicates that they are actually two different species and that some African Golden Jackals aligned more closely to Gray Wolves (Canis lupus).

This is surprising given the absence of Gray Wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species.

The DNA results of the study provide consistent and robust evidence that populations of Golden Jackals from Africa and Eurasia should be recognised as two separate and distinct species, and it has been suggested that the Eurasian species should be named Eurasian Golden Jackal.

Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species: here.

Aardvark baby born at Dutch zoo

This video says about itself:

5 January 2015

As the sun sinks over the African savannah, a whole new set of animals sniff the breeze, emerging from their hiding places, ready to begin their day. The Aardvark is one such creature. Shy, secretive, and just plain bizarre, these seldom seen myrmecophages begin their nightly venture into the black night. Join us as we follow one of these mysterious earth movers on its nightly sojourn into the African wild.

A week ago, a baby aardvark was born in Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands. This happens only rarely. Media were told about it only today, because aardvarks often die during or just after birth.

Military bases, neocolonialism get out of Africa, film

This video is a film by Aziz Salmone Fall, saying about itself:

Africom go home, Foreign bases out of Africa

19 February 2014

AFRICOM GO HOME: No Foreign Bases in Africa is shot within the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the “Independence” of African states (OAS 1963-2013). It’s an anti-propaganda, not-for-profit film dedicated to raising public consciousness by opening up a space for discussion and building a sound information base drawn from archival records.

This documentary represents my views, and my views alone, on geopolitical challenges to both Africa and the wider world. The contents of this film can in no way be ascribed to GRILA or any of its members. It addresses Africa’s leaders, all PanAfricanists, internationalists and especially the African Youth caught up in the maelstrom of Africa’s place in the world.

AFRICOM GO HOME illuminates a vision of freedom that comes down from the mothers and fathers of panAfricanism.

This documentary takes a personal look at how events have evolved in the wake of the signing of the declaration “AFRICOM Go Home” by fifty or so organizations from Africa and Germany that are united in their opposition to the presence of AFRICOM on either African or German soil. The film is a combination of images filmed or taken off the WEB. However, the authors of those images are in no way responsible for the production or point of view of this film.

This video helps us to understand events arising out of the “AFRICOM Go Home” Declaration and what has been achieved since then.

It shines a spotlight on the history and evolution of imperialistic, neocolonial military forces within Africa over the last fifty years.

It unpacks AFRICOM and how it came into existence, what it means and provides a way of interpreting imperialist rivalries and ambitions on the continent, including why they spy on each other and exposing the contradictions that have surfaced in the “fight against terrorism”.

It articulates disbelief in claims of humanitarian goals by those who established AFRICOM for Africa after building a whole network of bases stretching as far as Germany.

It explores contradictions that also arise between Africans and within African organizations as they try to defend themselves within a context of conflicts tied to the pillage of their resources and the appropriation of their ancestral lands.

It examines the urgent need for panAfrican and internationalist resistance as well as the re-politicization of our Youth for future democracy.

The film follows President Obama when he visits Germany and Africa, highlighting the attitudes of various European, American and African presidents as well as AFRICOM’s military chiefs. There is also footage on some of the men and women who make up the opposition.

It takes stock of security policies on the continent, paying special attention to the influence of American neoconservatives and how regional power blocs are already putting some of their policies into practice.

AFRICOM GO HOME exposes the machinations of both imperialism and neo-colonialism and shows how they operate to coopt our elites and military leaders as well as civil society organizations. It paints a picture of the damage to which Africans are exposed when these bases take up residence in their midst.

Clearly, our local elites are no less responsible than their foreign bosses for [what] has evolved.

The film urges all parties to review those bases already cached on the African continent or encircling it as well as NATO‘s position, the vulnerability and tutelage of the African Union and the presence of a ravenous pack of emerging nations under the rubric of BRIC.

By way of explanation, this video mounts a hypothesis that takes note of the repatriation of Germany’s gold which had long been held captive by the US, France and the UK; the now dominant position of China in the global monetary system as well as the reasons why the base was launched so precipitously in Germany. It then goes on to provide reasons for the crisis unfolding in Mali.

This 3 May 2012 video is called AFRICOM and the Conflict in Mali. Nii Akuetteh: Why did US trained officers organize the coup in Mali?

This film unveils the AFRICOM base in Germany before the eyes of the world. In doing so, it also draws special attention to the heroic efforts of members of the public and parliamentary representatives belonging to the Linke Party and acknowledges their court action against AFRICOM’s drone strikes and targeted killings.

Beyond the security question, this video demonstrates that the crisis in capitalism as well as endemic under-development are fertile ground for culturalism, integrationism, populism and terrorism which are tools that can both create divisions across the continent and abort sovereignty.

AFRICOM and NATO have concocted formulas that they claim will protect Africa.

However, this film is an appeal for more self-determination and balance in Africa’s development. It calls for the reemergence of progressive wings of African states as well as a plan for accelerating panAfrican integration within the context of internationalism and a polycentric world that upholds all of humanity’s common “good”.