19 Shelley’s crimsonwing finch skins found in the US, but sadly we still only have two photos of the live bird

29 Aug

A pair of Shelley's crimsonwing skins. Photo Lorainne Ralph

 Great news, thanks to the hard work that Professor Sven Cichon and his good friend Martin Milautzcki have recently done a further 19 Shelley’s crimsonwing skins were discovered at the Field Museum in Chicago USA. One of the skins dates back to July 1946 and the rest of the birds were all netted between March 1990 and May 1991. With the exception of one of the birds , which was netted in Burundi, the rest were all netted in Uganda in the Rwenzori Mountains which are sometimes affectionately referred to as the Mountains of the Moon. All the birds were netted between 1960m and 3400m above sea level with most of them found at 2700m
 
The above information really is good news for the Rare Finch Conservation Group ( RFCG ) for the following reasons :
 
1 ) It is the first time that we have information on a number of Shelley’s crimsonwings that were netted in the same area . This gives us valuable insights to exact habitat etc. But sadly we still know nothing about the birds nesting and incubation data.
 
2 ) The netting period was not that long ago ( only 20 years ago) and hopefully the RFCG will be able to make contact with some of the original field workers . This in turn will hopefully provide us with the valuable opportunity to double-check on the exact process that was used when the netting work was done. Was the process similar to what the RFCG used for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of its field research work in Uganda or was it different ?
 
3 ) The RFCG identified the Rwenzori National Park as a ” must do area ‘” for part of its Phase 3 field research work. The other two areas identified are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park . All of the parks are in Uganda and all of them are high altitude parks
 
If you would like to make a donation to the Rare Finch Conservation Group then simply click onto the PayPal button below. All donors will be publicly acknowledged on the RFCG website

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation . It is totally dependent on donations and sponsorships for its future survival . The RFCG is currently raising funds to finance its planned Phase 3 field research work.  For more information on this pioneering conservation group please contact editor@avitalk.co.za

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