New Shelley’s sightings in Uganda

16 Aug
Public awarness poster at Ruhija Gorilla Mountain Lodge which is next to the Bwindi Impentrable Forest in Uganda. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Public awarness poster at Ruhija Gorilla Mountain Lodge which is next to the Bwindi Impentrable Forest in Uganda. Photo Eelco Meyjes

On the eve of the Rare Finch Conservation Groups 8 th anniversary it conducted a survey amongst all of its conservation partners to establish the exact status of the Shelley’s crimsonwing finch. BirdLife International , Uganda Wildlife Authority, Nature Uganda, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Prof. Derek Pomeroy etc. all contributed and the great news is that in the past 18 months an additional sighting had been recorded at Ruhija. And 2 new sighting areas, in January a sighting in Buhoma , where the UWA Bwindi Impentrable Forest head office is, as well as in October 2012 a sighting up in the very Northern part of Uganda at the Rwenzori Mountain National Park. Conservation work is not about lofty ideals coming from an ivory tower or simply being an arm-chair critic. It’s all about working with and understanding why a particular species maybe threatened in a certain area and then very importantly engaging with the local community and its culture.

A map of Uganda. The Bwindi Impentrable Forest is in the bottom south western part of the country just above Rwanda and next to the DRC. The Rwenzori Mountain National Park is in the far northern part of the country next to the DRC and below the Sudan

Picture7In August last year public awareness posters were put up at Buhoma and it is our intention, funds permitting,  to soon put up public awareness posters in key areas surrounding the Rwenzori Mountain National Park. The more the local population and authorities in Uganda can be made aware of the rarity of the elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing the sooner one can expect greater local participation from relevant organisations to help find the threatened Shelley’s.  UWA Warden of Tourism at Buhoma, Godfrey Balyesima and RFCG birdguide and field manager Benson Bumatura in front of a Shelley’s public awareness poster Photo Eelco Meyjes

 

 

Photo Eelco Meyjes

A 1500 km fund raising ride was done from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Photo Eelco Meyjes 

Meanwhile in South Africa awareness of the Rare Finch Conservation Group, and its work , is steadily growing. Talks at birder clubs are taking place and events such as ultra long distance cycle rides and participation in one day cycle events such as the 94.7 in November are all helping to generate some much needed additional funds for the RFCG

If you would like to become a donor, sponsor or participate in one of our exciting fund-raising EcoTours then please contact Russell Kingston at indruss@bigpond.com or Eelco Meyjes at editor@avitalk.co.za. The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation

Still after 8 years the World’s only known modern day photograph of the Shelley’s crimsonwing. Visual courtesy http://www.gorilla.org

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