Updated: Feb 26, 2021
IBCP Liyanage Fellow Dr. Sandra Goded joined presenters from Germany and the UK at the February 24, 2021, Migrant Landbird Study Group webinar to present her collaborative work on Afro-Palearctic migratory birds wintering in woodland-savanna habitats of northern Ghana. Many bird species that nest in Europe and winter in Africa have exhibited population declines, but in many cases the drivers of these declines are not well understood.
Most research on these species has focused on their breeding grounds, while their ecology and conservation on their stopover and wintering grounds remain poorly known. In her talk, Sandra presented highlights from two years of fieldwork performed by IBCP and collaborators on Afro-Palearctic migrants wintering in and outside Ghana’s Mole National Park. Using data from 111 individuals of 22 species, they compared bird species richness and abundance in and outside the park. Species richness was nearly double, and bird abundance over three times higher, inside the park, where they observed 62% of all raptors, 74% of all insectivorous songbirds, and 94% of all waterbirds detected.
These findings contribute to our knowledge of the winter ecology of Afro-Palearctic migratory birds and demonstrate the importance of protected areas in their conservation. In addition, Sandra discussed her efforts with IBCP to empower young West Africans in advancing bird conservation and research. These include mentoring students in field methods, data analysis, and scientific publishing, and supporting collaborators’ postgraduate education.