The Grey Parrots Go Missing

 

These African Grey parrots were rescued from smugglers and released on Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria. The African Grey parrot is the single most heavily traded wild bird. PHOTO: CHARLES BERGMAN

These African Grey parrots were rescued from smugglers and released on Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria. The African Grey parrot is the single most heavily traded wild bird. PHOTO: CHARLES BERGMAN

In all that we write about conservation, a related tag – unfortunately – happens to be extinction. Brought about by forest loss, miscalculated development plans, social and political apathy towards ecosystems, lack of awareness – the reasons we’ve all heard of. Now, National Geographic reports on the disappearance of the ‘talking bird’:

Flocks of chattering African Grey parrots, more than a thousand flashes of red and white on grey at a time, were a common site in the deep forests of Ghana in the 1990s. But a 2016 study published in the journal Ibis reveals that these birds, in high demand around the world as pets, and once abundant in forests all over West and central Africa, have almost disappeared from Ghana. Uncannily good at mimicking human speech, the African Grey (and the similar but lesser-known Timneh parrot) is a prized companion in homes around the world. Research has shown that greys are as smart as a two-five year-old human childcapable of developing a limited vocabulary and even forming simple sentences.

Continue reading

Footstep by Footstep

soccer

This solar-powered football pitch in Lagos also uses kinetic energy generated by footballers playing. PHOTO: Edelman PR

There’s a host of ingenious solar projects impacting the developing world. Energy’s role in political, social, and economic development is being highlighted more than before and being energy-smart is the blueprint to a sustainable future. Clean energy is the way forward. And Lagos has an example. In the name of soccer.

Continue reading

A Case for the Wildebeest

According to the UNEP, wildebeest populations have declined in areas of southern and eastern Africa. PHOTO: Natural Habitat Adventures

The Great Migration of Serengeti National Park, designated a World Heritage Site, is legendary. The stars of this 1,200-mile odyssey are the wildebeest – 1.5 million of them – accompanied by 200,000 zebras. Every year is an endless journey for them, chasing the rains across 150,000 square miles of woodlands, hills and open plains. With them having firmly established their caliber as a species built literally for the long run, the migration spectacle should probably be the only space where the wildebeest find a mention. But conservation debates are hovering over these beasts – categorized as non-threatened by the IUCN – and looking at them as a keystone species.

Continue reading