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.

Birding crème de la crème: Africa – Ngorongoro Crater to Queen Elizabeth II National Park

10,000 Birds

The bird-richest region of Africa is its equatorial East: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi (unlike the rest, the last one, Burundi, is politically unstable and not recommendable). Tanzania Tanzania has 1050 bird species, of which about 500 to 600 may be observed in 3 to 4 weeks.

Africa’s endangered species

10,000 Birds

More than 150 bird species are known to have become extinct over the past 500 years, and many more are estimated to have been driven to extinction before they became known to science. The bulk of the recent bird extinctions has been on islands, where species are more susceptible to extermination due to smaller ranges, lower population sizes and a lack of adaptation for coping with introduced predators. A pair of Hooded Vultures in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania by Adam Riley.

Where America dreams of/goes birding?

10,000 Birds

Here are the results: 3 per cent of respondents (in no particular order): Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Tanzania, Madagascar. Yet, the fact that tiny Panama is as popular as huge Brazil, with twice as many bird species, speaks volume for Brazil’s stage of ecotourism development. A lot more needs to be done to protect and sustainably utilise that biodiversity, although with the Brazil’s current president, it seems highly unlikely.

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Weavers

10,000 Birds

The IOC world birdlist recognizes 90 species that bear the name “weaver” or “malimbe” Not all of these are true weavers as we will discuss below. There are currently 64 recognized species in this genus, a remarkable number indeed, and this includes the 5 Asian and 2 Malagasy species. This is the weaver standard, but as always in nature there are exceptions, especially when such a large number of species is involved!

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The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

Africa has more than its fair share of storks, with 8 of the world’s 19 species gracing the continent. Storks are typically viewed as wetland species and whilst some storks are restricted to aquatic habitats, others are not. This blogpost discusses and illustrates Africa’s stork species, with Shoebill added as a bonus or honorary stork! This is another wetland species that nests in sometimes huge colonies atop trees bordering rivers and lakes.

White-backed Vultures are Proper Birds

10,000 Birds

It can’t have escaped your notice lately that the blog has been overrun with articles about North America’s pseudo-warblers (or wood warblers, as some people, apparently unaware the name is taken by a proper European species, call them), and, even worse, no small amount of poetry. The White-backed Vulture is the most common species of vulture in Africa, although these days they are, like most vultures, globally endangered.

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We Should Kill More Lions

10,000 Birds

This Lion should not be shot, as it is a protected reserve that forbids shooting. There are times when acting in the conservation interest of a species or ecosystem means that the welfare of specific animals is compromised, which is a fancy way of saying that conservationists sometimes have to kill animals for the greater good. Take the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. Lion shooting over three years brought $75 million into the economy of Tanzania alone.

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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. That conservation uses the death of the species it is trying to save is both paradoxical and not. 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. Hi there.

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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. Or, one of the 145 species of Glass frogs living in the Cental and South American rainforests, I could look through the transparent skin on their undersides and see their internal organs. Thrity-seven species are probably already extinct. “Peek!” Plunk.

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