25.05.2013 > Senegalese Association pour la Protection des Almadies Read more... ... >
15.05.2013 - 19.05.2013 > Climate change and the changes in the ecosystems of the Langue de Barbarie Read more... ... >
28.03.2013 > Radio talk with environmental experts Read more... ... >
16.05.2013 > Successful project fundraising Read more... ... >
05.05.2013 > COTOA first private sector partner to support the Ecoproject of the month Read more... ... >
01.05.2013 > Stop nylon fishing nets! Read more... ... >
Welcome to our Ecoblog! Here is the place where we exchange ideas or spotlight green events that have come to our attention. Your comments or articles are welcome!
October is the month of the black tern at Dakar, Senegal. Last regular counting (2007) has recorded a maximum of 29,000 birds past Ngor over three weeks, though the authors recognise that this total may include some birds counted more than once. However, Dakar’s Cap Vert is shown as one of Africa’s three critical sites for black tern at the informative and elegant Critical Sites Network Tool website. The other sites are the Densu Delta and Songor Ramsar Sites in Ghana.
What black terns do for most of their time in Africa is something of a mystery and, compared to many waterbird species, the size of their breeding population is not well known, as the species ranges over a huge area of Russia and does not nest in large, easily countable colonies. Dutch research is summarised in Van der Vinden, J. 2002. The odyssey of the black tern Chlidonias niger: migration ecology in Europe and Africa. Ardea 90. 421-431. For those interested, a Google search on this article or the journal Ardea will allow you to download and read it.
In global conservation terns, black tern is of « Least Concern » and is abundant; 500,000 to 1,000,000 birds from Europe and Russia migrate to Africa, the vast majority to the east Atlantic, and another 150,000 to 750,000 form the New World sub-species. In The Netherlands, birds gather in huge numbers and on commencing migration fly high and it is thought direct to West Africa, where they are abundant at the well watched Banc D’Arguin, Mauritania, in September and October.
This photograph is from Ngor, but in May, showing the return migration of a small part of a large mixed flock, feeding close offshore with common terns, to give some impression of the spectacle. After October numbers decline and their location mid-winter is not known. It is speculated they may be out of sight of land in the Gulf of Guinea. The need to pick fish off the surface is assumed to require them to follows upwellings or whatever oceanographic features may make prey accessible (unlike larger terns they cannot dive to any depth), but where most birds are in these months remains a puzzle.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has just released its 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. 25% of mammals are threatened with extinction. The subspecies of black rhino is now officially "Extinct" in western Africa. The subspecies of white rhino of central Africa, the northern white rhino, is now on the verge of extinction, and classified as "Possibly Extinct in the Wild."
The results also show that the situation is critical for reptiles, amphibians and tuna. "Five of the eight species of tuna are in the Threatened or Near Threatened categories. Among them: three species of bluefin tuna, a species of albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tuna.
The organization tries to remain optimistic but calls for the involvement of men, "guardians of the earth."
Black Rhino Photo by Dr Richard Emslie / IUCN
Atlantic Bluefin Photo by Keith Ellenbogen Oceana / IUCN
The beach in Dakar, Senegal at Virage, east of Ngor and facing north-west into the Atlantic, is included within the Cape Verde Important Bird Area and we are lucky enough that our roof terrace looks out across just to the east of it and provides some elevated opportunities for watching for seabirds and dolphins between the prosaic activities of hanging out clothing to wash.
Yesterday morning, a 30 minute watch was remarkable for the sighting of another adult or second year Franklin’s gull flying north, after the run of observations of this American species in Dakar this summer, and a large whale of unknown species moving south.
The sea was flat calm and my limited experience suggests that observations of large whales in September and October when the sea conditions make observation possible are not uncommon. This one blew vertically and rolled twice, giving me only enough information to say it was not a humpback or sperm.
The beach is usually too busy with people for many waders, but two bar-tailed godwits fed rapidly at the edge of the rising tide, just after low tide.
This ringed plover nearby shows the yellowish legs, brown head (no black) and incomplete breast band of a juvenile.
A few northern wheatears have been migrating along the coast over the past two weeks. This one was on the beach.
From 1st November 2011 to 1st January 2012 In Bamako, Mali In 2011, the Bamako Encounters are featuring an examination of the search for a sustainable world, with the intention of drafting a status report and paying particular attention to the signs and forms of possible resistance. The widespread approval of the proposed theme merely confirmed the social and political commitment of African artists. Ecological concerns, formerly limited to a restricted circle of alert visionaries, are now part of our everyday life and at the heart of all debates. Global warming, the exhaustion of mineral and food resources, deforestation, water shortages are today at the centre of all planetary issues and balances. Economic liberalism based on the consumer society has improved productivity and development, but it has also reinforced profit and inequality at the expense of basic respect for people and their environments Fotos by Elise Fitte-Duval, « Vivez les pieds dans l’eau » 2009, Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo, « Erreur humaine » Abidjan, 2010, Adolphus Opara, « Neglet » 2010, Lien Botha, « Parrot Jungle » 2009, and Nyaba Léon Ouedrago, « L’enfer du cuivre ».
“I never created Oceanium. One day, in the 1980’s, I met Jean-Michel Kornprobst, a professor at the faculty of science at the University of Dakar, who loved the sea and who had opened an organic marine chemistry laboratory in Senegal. He is the founder of Oceanium.”
In 1975, Jean-Michel Kornprobst realized he needed a diving center for his research, since nothing of that sort yet existed in Senegal. In 1984, he created the Oceanium Club, lodged at first at the Savana, the neighboring hotel. Jean-Michel started all the club’s sporting activities, organizing the first underwater sea hunt Haidar participated in. Oceanium finally found its own space in the former Club des Provinces de France -- the CDPF -- and never moved. Diploma in pocket, Haidar quickly rose to become Oceanium’s Head Instructor, responsible for diving. “A real creature of the sea, more than anyone else,” Jean-Michel Kornprobst says of him.
“Jean-Michel’s passion for research and my passion for the sea made Oceanium what it is today. Jean-Michel shared his knowledge with me. I shared my passion with the divers. I don’t know how, but I have a talent for helping people find their passions. I dove a lot, but I didn’t have my monitoring license before Oceanium sent me to France. It was the Cooperation Française that made me pass the licensing exam there. Only then, could I really take a lot of people diving.
In 1988, I believe, Jean-Michel left. I took over the direction of Oceanium, now become a real diving school. I set about also really earning my livelihood as well. Oceanium became well known. Word of Mouth. Today, we are still well known, but for other things. People come and still dive, but less than before.” Oceanium has trained civil guards, military, firemen, Sea and Forestry agents. Many are those who have learned beside Haidar. A partnership soon developed between Haidar and the firemen. Oceanium is available for them to come and receive free trainings. At that time, Haidar also trained Paris’ diving firemen.