Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

Update: please find the annual report for 2016 here!

Knowledge about the distribution of bird species in Nigeria has historically been presented in detailed checklists such as “The Birds of Nigeria” by Elgood et al. (1993), "Birds of Africa" etc. However, over the last 50 and especially during the last 20-30 years, the environment in Nigeria has gone through great changes mainly due to increase in the human population. This has increased the pressure on birds and other biodiversity and has certainly also impacted the distribution of the country's avifauna. A more recent and updated assessment of the distribution of the country's biodiversity is thus not only important but also very urgently needed.

Why are so many migratory birds spending the European Winter in the belt just south of the Sahara, a drought-stricken zone? While anywhere further south wintering conditions seem to be much better? It took eight years (2007-2015), 2000 plots to walk and 308,000 trees to check exhaustively for birds, to shed some light on this question, known as Moreau’s paradox. Recently we published the results in Ardea 103.

The Turtle Dove is in rapid decline, also in The Netherlands. There are various plausible causes for this unprecedented decline in most of Western Europe. Research points out the detrimental impact of our modern farmland practices. But what do our Turtle Doves encounter in their wintering quarters in Africa? And does hunting play a decisive role? Or could it even be that an outbreak of the Trichomonas disease is giving them the final blow?