Tanzania – Africa at its best

10,000 Birds

Tanzania is without a doubt the quintessential African safari nation. Despite being a proud South African, my honest answer is Tanzania. This country boasts over 1,000 bird species, vast wildernesses, a superb network of protected areas, the greatest concentration of large game and predators on the planet, excellent lodges and friendly people. This 12,000 square mile ecosystem stretches across north-western Tanzania into the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Weavers

10,000 Birds

However many weavers have wide ranges across Africa, notably the most familiar of all weavers, the Village Weaver, but several are highly range-restricted including the mythical Yellow-legged and Golden-naped Weavers which are restricted to a few forests of inaccessible Eastern DRC, Clarke’s Weaver which occurs in just a few Kenyan coastal forests and the recently described Kilombero Weaver known only from its namesake swamp in Tanzania. Image taken by Adam Riley in Tanzania.

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White-backed Vultures are Proper Birds

10,000 Birds

As for the pseudo-warblers, I’m not actually against them so much, they are after all a family that, while wanting for a name that is descriptive and not derived from a misapplication of European names, are easy to identify and pleasant enough on the eye (with a few exceptions). The populations remain stable in Ethiopia, Tanzania and southern Africa, but have collapsed in West Africa and have declined in other parts as well.

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The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

Furthermore we have another very special stork-like bird, the regal Shoebill , previously known as the Whale-headed Stork but now placed in its own family. A Marabou Stork arriving at its roost tree, Serengeti, Tanzania by Adam Riley We’ll start off with the largest and ugliest of them all (measuring up to 60in (152cm) in height, a weight of 20 lb (9 kg) and a wingspan of up to 12ft), the Marabou Stork.

Can we talk about Cecil the Lion?

10,000 Birds

Tell me, what happens if we rip away hunting when hunting protects more wildlife land in Africa than national parks? Conservation is concerned about protecting populations, species, habitats, ecosystems. Most aren’t thrilled, but it protects a hell of a lot of land, and given the increasingly grim situation protecting habitat is a win. Given a choice of protecting the habitat exclusively for conservation and for hunting, we’d pick conservation.

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Summer Books for Kids (and the rest of us)

10,000 Birds

Meanwhile, forts were built to protect the island from invaders, war broke out between Spain and the United States, and the island became a U.S. The first, The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families , tells the story of Dr. Gordon Sato’s mangrove tree-planting project, which transformed the African village of Hargigo. My favorite was the Greater Flamingo in Tanzania (Pinkest bird!).

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Frogs and Toads of the World: A Book Review by a Fairy Tale Junkie

10,000 Birds

Or, Pygmy leaf-folding frogs, Afrixalus brachycnemis, from Tanzania, tiny climbing frogs who lay their eggs in leaves and then fold the leaves over them for protection, sealing the nest with secretions. For example, I was going to add “no tail” to the list of features above, what all frogs share, when I remembered that there are indeed a small family of Tailed frogs, four species in New Zealand and two in North America (though, the tails are quite tiny). “Peek!” Plunk.

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