Tuesday, 3 April 2012

African Vulture Declines

I saw this hooded vulture in Tarangire this weekend, so they are still around!
I've spent a bit of time over the last few days analysing some of the data from the Tanzania Bird Atlas project on vulture declines in advance of a workshop happening soon in the Maasai Mara. The Asian vulture decline is quite possibly the fastest decline in any bird species ever recorded, with more than 95% of the Indian population of Oriental White-backed Vultures dying between 1988 and 1999, from one of the commonest large raptors in the world to one of the rarest. It's now well know that the cause of that decline with the veterinary use of a drug called Diclofenac which, happily, isn't in quite the same usage here in Africa - sick o dying cows tend to be eaten here, not treated with drugs and then left for the vultures. But although the declines haven't been as steep and there are still plenty of vultures in places here in East Africa, there's still a problem.

Monday, 2 April 2012

100th post!

Safari Ecology comes of age with this, it's 100th post! It seemed like a useful moment to review progress so far.

We set out to be a resource primarily for guides in East Africa, posting things about the ecology of the area and recent scientific studies that might make for useful or interesting information. With that primary purpose in mind it makes sense to announce that Ethan has organised a whole set of new guide training activities for April and May - as well as the obvious comprehensive 6ish week training course on natural history, ecology and the like, there are courses on first aid, psychology for guides and others too! The course should be suitable for anyone with a bit of guiding experience and should get you to a level that, once the syllabus is finalised, will be ready for testing under the new Tanzanian guiding standard that's being developed. Check the dates and things here and if you want to know more contact Ethan directly.
Daily visitors from the three top continents: Blue = Americans, Red = Europe, Green  = Africa