The project

Our knowledge of ecology of migrants in their wintering grounds is extremely poor and severely hampers our ability to explain these declines and conserve this group of species. We lack even basic information about when birds arrive, the habitats they use and how they move around Africa.

The aim is to understand how Palearctic-African migrants use and move around the different vegetation zones found in West Africa, ranging from the semi-desert Sahelian region in Burkina Faso to the lush tropical rainforest in southern Ghana, and whether habitat change may impact them on their wintering grounds.

During the temperate winter of 2009/2010, using point count methodology and mist-netting, we recorded migrants along a degradation gradient at five different stations on a north-south transect. In 2010/2011 we plan to re-visit these sites as well as roving further afield to get a broader picture of migrant habitat use.

Ghana: 26-27 September. Atewa and Kakum

Danaë Sheehan writes: Augustus and myself head out of Accra before first light to reach the Atewa Range Forest Reserve which lie just west of the main Accra-Kumasi road. We had come here to have a look at an area that we had hoped to include in the project, but for which there was now a few concerns. It had transpired that there was a great deal of illegal logging in the area, and because of this it would be difficult to guarantee that either the fieldworkers, or their camp, would be safe. After a few hours looking around the area and walking into the forest at a few points, it was clear that our concerns had been justified, and so with regret, we left the area and headed off to search for an alternative. We had decided that the area around Kakum National Park would provide the best options, and headed down in that direction. Kakum National Park is less than an hour north of Cape Coast – west of Accra. It protects some of the most extensive rainforest habitat in Ghana, being predominantly moist semi-deciduous forest – with lots of rainfall! Having spent a good few hours exploring possibilities for transects, ringing sites and camp sites, we were confident that it would make a great team base for our southern-most Ghanaian site. An area of coastal scrub just west of Cape Coast added to the diversity in the general area, meaning that the team would also fairly easily be able to gather data from this interesting and important habitat too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.