Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 40/1-4 | 2003 | 16-17

  Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) in Benin : status and conservation.
Lougbegnon, T.

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Article summary

Only few scientific data are available on the birds of Benin. Scarce information on storks is provided by census works (GREEN & SAYER, 1978; CLAFFEY, 1995; THONNERIEUX, 1998). Those works concern only three stork species : White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Abdim’s Stork (Ciconia abdimi) and White-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus). Only maps of migration monitoring by satellite (LIBOIS, 1996) and few rangers notes mention the seasonal presence of black Storks in Benin. Potential presence areas or wintering grounds are further north: the W national Park near Karimama (Pékinga and Monsey villages, Gouroubi forest), Malanville village near the Niger valley; the Diona Game Area and the Goungoun forest; Bénou forest surrounding Bembèrèkè, all in north-east Benin. Even if those wintering grounds are in areas where illegal hunting and sale of birds aren’t widespread, as in other parts of the country, other human threats exist. Those regions are, as a matter of fact, the greatest farming regions where annual bush fires, agriculture and cotton fields are responsible for the deforestation and loss of birds habitats. In addition, pesticides and chemicals used for fishing or agriculture in those agricultural and ecological areas situated near the wintering ground are threatening the environnment and birds conservation. Then, in wetlands, filling of rivers, ponds and cutting trees ecosystems. Finally, a lack of reafforestation politic, the extension of fishing practices and non-application of fish and game legislation could lead to a gradual disappearance of those birds. Facing this situation and take example in Europe, we must take actions to insure the conservation of birds and public awareness in Benin but, also to make sure that those ambassadors will be protected during their migration and wintering. Those measures should be explained first to local people surrounding Black Storks wintering grounds.

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