Friday, April 08, 2011

Focus on threatened birds

In summer, Southern African (mainly Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa), is home to most of the population of the Black-winged Pratincole, Glareola nordmanni. However, just how many breeding birds remain is unclear. In the early 2000s, the most pessimistic estimate was approximately 15 000 pairs: this has now being revised upwards to between 68 000 and 90 000 pairs. Whatever the true population size, there seems little doubt that this pratincole has undergone a dramatic population decrease since the mid-1800s, to such an extent that it is now listed as globally near threatened. The cause of this decrease is thought to have been primarily the cultivation of this steppe breeding grounds, but this might not be the whole story. Full coverage of this report is available in the latest edition of Africa Birds & Birding in the ORI Library.

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