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Michael Mills and Martim Melo have launched the first birder’s checklist of Angolan birds published in Portuguese and English. It is available for free in pdf format and can be downloaded on the Birds Angola website: www.birdsangola.org/birdlist.htm
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Team Angola with the Angola Field Group team, proudly wearing Team Angola shirts, November 2013. Antonio Bartolomeu is third from the right and Captain Tita is in the centre.

Team Angola with the Angola Field Group team, proudly wearing Team Angola shirts, November 2013. Antonio Bartolomeu is third from the right and Captain Tita is in the centre.

The Angola Field Group offers its condolences to the family of Antonio Joao Bartolomeu, the crew member of Team Angola who perished in the storm that knocked him overboard during the Cape to Rio race, January 5th, 2014. All other crew members are out of hospital now except for Captain Tita who is reported to be starting to walk. Team Angola gave a presentation to the Angola Field Group on November 14, 2013. It was an evening with an atmosphere of happy anticipation as  Field Group participants sent the sailors off with well wishes.

The following information was released by www.bavaria-yachtbau.com:
The start of the Cape Town to Rio Race on Saturday (January 4) is overshadowed by a tragic death and many injured sailors and yachts in distress.

In a heavy south-west storm with wind speeds of up to 60 knots and waves with heights 6-10 meters, eight of the 36 starters in the 3600 miles long race from South Africa to Brazil on Sunday morning sent out several distress messages to the race committee.
A serious accident occurred on board the “Bille”, a Bavaria 55 that was sailing alongside her sister ship “Mussolo” for a sponsor from Angola, during which a crew member lost his life. The experienced crew of “Bille“ with their Portuguese skipper Luis Manuel de Oliveira Da Silva was already on the way back to Cape Town. Problems with the extreme weather conditions, the crew decided for security reasons to give up, on Sunday (January 5) around 15:00 hours, a gigantic wave broke over “Bille” causing a severe knock down. During this capsize the mast broke and a sailor was thrown from the cockpit into the water. The 46-year-old employee of a radio station Antonio Joao Bartolomeu from Angola could not swim back to the boat. He was one of the best sailors from Angola.
The crew of “Bille” was later rescued by a frigate from the South African Navy, and cared for there by the medical ICU. The “Bille” was recovered hastily by the Navy and initially taken in tow. The towing connection was later cut because the frigate had to attend to more injured sailors from other participating yachts.
“Our thoughts in these hours are with the Crew of” Bille “and relatives of the dead sailor. As we know, all the other crew members are now in safety and on the mend. The second Bavaria 55 from the Angola team has weathered the storm without major damage and is on the way to Rio, “says Daniel Kohl, Product Manager & Head of Marketing at Bavaria GmbH.

This Saturday December 14, 2013 all are invited to a coral music concert, accompanied by piano, violin, clarinet, percussion and flute music, all performed by Total staff. The concert will take place at Igreja da Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Rua Rainha Ginga) in Luanda starting at 20h30.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

 

Lesser Flamingos in Lobito in August 2013 taken by Angola Birder Chris Stavrou

Lesser Flamingos in Lobito in August 2013 taken by Angola Birder Chris Stavrou

Calling all nature enthusiasts and bird lovers! Thursday, October 31, at 7:00 PM at the Viking Club, before the Angola Field Group presentation, you are invited to join the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature. They are looking for new members. They especially want more Angolans to participate!

Angola is one of the most biologically diverse countries of Africa. This is reflected in the high number of bird species (more than 940) and its diverse natural environments.

To join the group, please bring with you a photo copy of your national identity document (if you are Angolan) or passport and visa (if you are not Angolan). Membership is free of charge.

Birding Field Trip: Chris Hines is organizing a birding camping trip for the long weekend (November 9th to 11th) to the Cambondo Forest in Kwanza Norte. It is now African Pitta bird breeding season. Open to all members of the Birds and Nature Association, no charge. For more details and to sign up, please see Chris on Thursday.

Sign up now to compete with runners from all over the world in the first ever City of Luanda International Half Marathon along the Bay of Luanda, on September 1, 2013. There is also a 5 km mini marathon. Click here for full details.

This event is not organized by the Angola Field Group but we wanted to share the invitation…

All are invited:

Tuesday, June 18, open to the public, at Epic Sana Hotel in Luanda

Capital flight and pro-poor development in Angola: An international conference organized by the Centro de Estudos e Investigação Científica (CEIC) of the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)

Conference programme (and download the same info here)
07.30-08.15: Coffee and Registration
Opening Session (08.15-09.00): Introduction and welcome
Panel 1 (09.00-11.00): Capital Flights in perspective
Session chair: Professor Alves da Rocha
Tom Cardamone (Managing Director of Global Financial Integrity, USA) ‘Numbers and Estimations of Illicit Financial Flows’. Paulo de Morais (Vice-Presidente da TIAC – Transparência e Integridade, Associação Cívica, Portugal) ‘Corruption as obstacle to development – worldwide and the Portuguese case’. Professor Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (Chr. Michelsen Institute Bergen, Noruega) ‘Banks and Capital Flight from Africa’. Henry Sinjwala Malumo (Africa Advocacy Coordinator for ActionAid International, Zâmbia) ‘To be announced’
11.00-11.30: coffee break
11.30-12.30 Q&A
12.30-13.30: Lunch

Panel 2 (13.30-15.30): Building a strategic fight for the future
Session chair: Sérgio Calundungo
Bruno de Conti (Instituto de Economia da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp, Brasil) ‘The recent Brazilian experience with control of capital’. Marília Poças (Directora do Departamento de Controlo Cambial, BNA, Angola), ‘Foreign exchange regulations ’. Isaac Ngoma (President Economic Association of Zambia, Zâmbia) – Implications of capital flight on poverty reduction: lessons from Zambia. Benja Satula (UCAN, Angola) ‘Capital Flight – Examining the Angolan legal regime’
15.30-16.00: coffee break
16.00-16.45 Q&A
Closing remarks and close of conference (16.45-17.00)

University professor Michel Morais and graduate student Sofia Pereira presented to a full house last week Thursday. Participants at the Angola Field Group presentation learned that the university’s Kitabanga Project has protected about 9,000 nests since the project started 11 years ago. Check the following link for more details in a newspaper article published the day after the presentation: www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-31/angola-s-sea-turtles-snap-back-in-number-after-conservation-aid.html.

Carmina Burana, a free concert June 15 at 8:30 PM at the Catholic church Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, which is located 2 buildings west from the Sonangol head office building on Rua Rainha Ginga. Scroll down to view the church.

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A Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios – Church of Our Lady of Remedies

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Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the death of American journalist and author Lynne Duke who passed away at her home April 19, 2013. In October 2010 we were graced with her presence at an Angola Field Group presentation which she gave on the slaving life of Dona Anna Joaquina, Angola’s most famous slave trader, about whom she was writing a book.  Lynne had only one small map as a visual during her presentation, but she kept the audience of over 200 people enthralled for 45 minutes to the point where, uncharacteristically, not one person got up from their seat to buy a beer. Lynne was obviously very engaged with her subject and the audience learned a lot about contraband slavery in Angola.  While she was here, she spent days  in the dusty national archives researching this notorious figure and travelled deep into the ‘denbos’ trying to uncover  more historical evidence.. It is our hope that all the work Lynne put into researching and writing her book will not be in vain. We in Angola have been waiting for her book since she told us the story and hopefully the publisher can get it to press. We want Lynne Dukes’ spirit to live on through the pages she spent precious days and weeks and months of her too-short life writing. Our sympathies go out to her husband and family.

Inspecting a nest, Angola Field Group annual overnight Turtle Trip. Photo courtesy Susannah.

Inspecting a nest, Angola Field Group annual overnight Turtle Trip. Photo courtesy Susana Borges.

Since 2004 the Angola Field Group has joined members of the Agostinho Neto University team of biology students who patrol the beaches of Angola during turtle nesting season from September to March.

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On December 2012 we camped at the project’s new site where Rio Longa empties into the ocean. While walking the beach at night hoping to find a turtle laying her eggs, we found instead 5 dead turtles in various locations along the beach.

Dead Olive Ridley female turtle. Photo courtesy Susana Borges.

Dead Olive Ridley female turtle. Photo courtesy Susana Borges.

One of the biggest threats female turtles encounter along the Angolan coast as they come ashore to lay their eggs, is the risk of getting caught in a fishing net and strangling. The number of nets launched too close to shore keeps increasing. Projecto Kitabanga works with fishing communities raising awareness and teaching them about the vulnerable condition of turtles in the world today. The university team also works with children and schools in the fishing villages. The project created the book “Tartarugando”, a colorful teaching tool.

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More than five hundred thousand baby turtles have been born on beaches under the protection of the Kitabanga Project.

Freshly hatched baby leatherbacks find their way to the water. Photo courtesy M. Mohlerova.

Freshly hatched baby leatherbacks find their way to the water. Photo courtesy M. Mohlerova.

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