Tanzania: Sokoke birds on the verge of extinction

UNFRIENDLY human development activities are likely to wipe out bird species commonly known as Sokoke pipit (Anthus Sokokensis) at Zaraninge forest in Saadani National Park.

This was revealed in a preliminary research report by students of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) which focused on endangered bird species Sokoke pipit.

The research leader, Mr Robert Byamungu told ‘Daily News’ that a preliminary research report had showed that Sokoke pipit were disappearing from the forest because of increased human activities.

”These birds are available only in Zaraninge forest in Tanzania and at Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Kenya,” Mr Byamungu noted.

He said the one year research which started in August, 2010 was aimed at determining the density, distribution and habitat of species within the forest in order to protect them from

unfriendly human activities.

”The information collected will help in formulating the plan, involving the community, on monitoring the bird’s population within the forest”, he said.

Another researcher, Mr Muganda Michael said most activities such as beekeeping, clearing the forest for cultivation and charcoal production were likely to chase off the bird species.

Muganda said such unfriendly activities could be stopped if people would be involved in formulating development plans to protect the birds.

The research has been conducted under the sponsorship of the Conservation Leadership Programme and Save Our Species (SOS).