The annual January 15th water birds census is always a top activity in the agenda of Wetlands International Africa. As usual, the organization actively coordinated the bird census alongside the National Parks Directorate of Senegal (DPN). Bargny beach and Sendou Careers (suburb of Dakar), were visited by birds lovers.
As part of its mission, Wetlands International Africa was instrumental on January 15th, 2015 for the annual count of waterbirds (ACWB) in Bargny and Sendou in the Senegalese region of Dakar.
From start, Commander Lamine Kane of Senegal's National Parks Directorate (DPN) explained the reasons for the annual bird count and why exactly it takes place on January 15th. As early in the winter periods, birds come here to escape the harsh climate in Europe; January 15 is considered by the Ramsar Convention as migration stabilization period, and a conducive period to collect information from them.
Commander Kane emphasized that gaps are often common in counting. ''When there is a huge bird colony, we can only make an estimate on the number'' he said.
“Knowing the actual number of water birds is an important tool, among others, to better manage biodiversity. But the bird count mainly helps to have an idea on the species that use to plight the Africa – Europe route”, said commander Kane.
The countdown began in the early morning and ended around 11am. Twenty species appeared before the watchful eyes of the team bird counters. They include great cormorants, little egrets, terns, egrets beef, brown gulls, sandpipers and sanderlings etc.
Senegal proceeds each January 15th, every year, to the annual water birds census together with other countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip. This year, other teams counted in the Senegal River Delta, the Saloum Delta River, in Casamance, the Petite Cote and Dakar among others key sites for waterbirds in the Senegalese territory.
Apart from the annual January 15, regular counts are made on various sites of the country each 15th of every month for a better monitoring of the water bird species.
Djoudj and the Senegal River Delta count over 3 million birds of dozens of species. The figures compiled by bird counters will be treated and published in wetlands International annual water bird state report.
By A.B Badiane, N.F Guéye and I. Sane (with the assistance of P.D Thiaré)