BirdLife Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe

BirdLife Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe
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Evans S.W.,University of Venda | Evans S.W.,North West University South Africa | Monadjem A.,University of Swaziland | Monadjem A.,University of Pretoria | And 11 more authors.
Ostrich | Year: 2015

The global Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea was classified as Vulnerable in 2010 on account of its small and rapidly declining population estimated at less than 1 500 pairs. We undertook this study to gain a better understanding of the current status and threats facing this migratory species. Three previously unknown areas that might be part of the species' non-breeding range were identified in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Within its breeding range we identified three previously unknown areas of potentially suitable habitat, one in Tanzania and two in Malawi, which require further exploration. Population viability assessment predicted that the Blue Swallow population will decline by 8% in 10 years. The overall probability of extinction of the species in the wild is 3%. Minimum viable population size analysis suggests that a goal for the long-term conservation of the Blue Swallow should be to mitigate current threats that are driving declines such that the population increases to a minimum of 3 600 individuals. This should consist of at least 900 individuals in each of the four clusters identified, along with a minimum of 500 individuals in at least one of the meta-populations per cluster. The four clusters are located in (1) the southeasten Democratic Republic of the Congo, (2) highlands of southern Tanzania and northern Malawi, (3) eastern highlands of Zimbabwe and (4) South Africa and Swaziland. The current proportions of the Blue Swallow population in strictly protected and unprotected areas on their breeding grounds are 53% and 47%, respectively, whereas on their non-breeding grounds the corresponding percentages are 25% and 75%, respectively. Our reassessment of the Blue Swallow's risk of extinction indicates that it continues to qualify as Vulnerable according to the IUCN/SSC criteria C2a(i). © 2015 NISC (Pty) Ltd.


Evans S.W.,University of Venda | Monadjem A.,University of Swaziland | Roxburgh L.,University of Cape Town | McKechnie A.E.,University of Pretoria | And 9 more authors.
Ostrich | Year: 2015

The global Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea was classified as Vulnerable in 2010 on account of its small and rapidly declining population estimated at less than 1 500 pairs. We undertook this study to gain a better understanding of the current status and threats facing this migratory species. Three previously unknown areas that might be part of the species' non-breeding range were identified in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Within its breeding range we identified three previously unknown areas of potentially suitable habitat, one in Tanzania and two in Malawi, which require further exploration. Population viability assessment predicted that the Blue Swallow population will decline by 8% in 10 years. The overall probability of extinction of the species in the wild is 3%. Minimum viable population size analysis suggests that a goal for the long-term conservation of the Blue Swallow should be to mitigate current threats that are driving declines such that the population increases to a minimum of 3 600 individuals. This should consist of at least 900 individuals in each of the four clusters identified, along with a minimum of 500 individuals in at least one of the meta-populations per cluster. The four clusters are located in (1) the southeasten Democratic Republic of the Congo, (2) highlands of southern Tanzania and northern Malawi, (3) eastern highlands of Zimbabwe and (4) South Africa and Swaziland. The current proportions of the Blue Swallow population in strictly protected and unprotected areas on their breeding grounds are 53% and 47%, respectively, whereas on their non-breeding grounds the corresponding percentages are 25% and 75%, respectively. Our reassessment of the Blue Swallow's risk of extinction indicates that it continues to qualify as Vulnerable according to the IUCN/SSC criteria C2a(i). © 2015 NISC (Pty) Ltd


Mundava J.,National University of Science and Technology | Caron A.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Caron A.,University of Pretoria | Gaidet N.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 4 more authors.
Ostrich | Year: 2012

The spatial and temporal structures of waterbird communities are dynamic and complex with many driving factors. We used long-term waterbird census data at two lakes in Zimbabwe to explore the ecological and anthropogenic drivers of waterbird community composition and abundance. Ecological drivers predicted to influence waterbird communities include rainfall quantity and distribution, waterbird movement, breeding and moulting; anthropogenic drivers include activities such as fishing and agriculture. Results suggest that seasonal variations in resource availability influenced the waterbird community composition and abundance, as did movements at local, regional, and intercontinental scales. Bird numbers in the two perennial lakes experienced large changes in structure during two droughts. We also used the study as a baseline for considering the risk of spread of avian influenza virus (AIV) spread in waterbird communities in Zimbabwean lakes, which is likely to be higher in dry seasons and during drought years when waterbird abundance is high. Our study emphasises the importance of long-term ecological data in understanding crucial aspects of biodiversity conservation as well as pathogen dynamics in wild waterbird communities, with important management implications. © 2012 Copyright NISC (Pty) Ltd.

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