Luanda – a rise in crime and long queues in supermarkets. But in rural Angola the people are as friendly as ever, their level of poverty has changed little, they were always poor. And the countryside is as beautiful as ever. Get out of town and experience the diversity of Angola. Then share what you have discovered with a new Facebook page, Angola Ambiente:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1045499302182009/
The Angola Ambiente Facebook page was set up to give people the opportunity to post interesting observations on all aspects of Angolan natural history. Contributors are encouraged to post photographs and observations in order to further our knowledge of Angolan fauna and flora.

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Biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s Fourth Trimester 2015 Report with photos of Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese, now on our Giant Sable page.

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Small herd of giant sable with the bull in lead in Luando reserve.

Both Cangandala and Luando are the only two locations in the world where the Giant Sable can be found. They are protected areas yet this critically endangered mammal continues to be threatened to extinction by poachers. Here is an update from the final months of 2015.

In Cangandala Park, there’s good news and bad news. First, the bad news:

“…there had been a poaching incident with shooting involved which resulted in one of the rangers being wounded…….. “This is another sad reminder that even in Cangandala, poaching still remains a very real threat…”

The good news:

“Other than this tragic event, things seem to be going well in the sanctuary where at least the sable are breeding well and look healthy.”

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                       Lots of calves and young in Canangdala Park.

In Luando Reserve, also good news and bad news. The bad news again involving poachers:

“…..another mutilated giant sable, tragically a very young female who had been collared in 2013 when two years old, and who should now be attending her second calf. It is another animal lost for breeding, so for the population it is as good as dead.”

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Angolan air force tracking injured giant sable in Luando Reserve.

The good news:

“On a positive note, the military decided to step up their support to the shepherds in Luando reserve, making a few joint ground anti-poaching operations with ministry rangers, and subsequently deploying a few weapons to the shepherds who from now on will be better equipped to tackle the poachers.”

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Some more good news, birds and frogs continue to thrive in Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve….

 

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Visit our Giant Sable page to read Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full report and previous reports.

Download the 2015 Annual Report (Relatório Anual) of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature (Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza), in English and Portuguese, compiled by Michael Mills, on Bird Conservation and Research Activities in Angola (click on the cover to download PDF):

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This year saw significant changes in the logistics of running our projects in
Angola, with Michael Mills moving from Luanda to Cape Town, and Aimy Cáceres moving to Luanda. A single field visit to Mount Moco allowed us to maintain the project there, which included preparing new areas for planting and expanding the nursery. The Kumbira Forest Project received a funding boost due to a second round of funding from the Conservation Leadership Programme. Aimy Cáceres is busy finishing off her PhD and will lead this project next year, working with Ninda and Sendi Baptista and Michael Mills. Another landmark achievement was raising funds to print 3000 copies of the bilingual book on The Common Birds of Luanda, which are now in Luanda and ready to be distributed to schools in 2016.

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The nursery at Mount Moco Continues to work well

 

 

Biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full Second Trimester 2015 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese, is now up on our Giant Sable page.

The major defining component in the Park and Reserve during this trimester is, “grass, lots and lots of grass”.

mercury              Mercury, now you see him…

just horns         … now you don’t!

“Mercury has now fully matured, and his behaviour is what would be expected from a master bull, calmly arrogant and imposing.”

005-0027-028-1-0-Mercury marking the territory at salina 19


The birds and the bees of Cangandala National Park (slideshows)

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Survival of the fittest in the park

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And the unknown

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Visit our Giant Sable page to read Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full report and previous reports.

Now available to download, 2014 Annual Report of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature, in English and in Portuguese.

Click to download PDF.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PDF.

This year saw good progress with our two main projects: at Mount Moco tree planting was accelerated and the nursery expanded, and 80 fuel efficient stoves were finally delivered to the community at Kanjonde, to reduce their reliance on fire wood.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

At Kumbira, a forest in Kwanza Sul province, seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres and colleagues, where a detailed study of Gabela Akalat range sizes and habitat use was undertaken, and tree biomass evaluated.

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Additionally, good progress was made with the registration of the Associação Angolana para Aves e Natureza (the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature) with the registration certificate now issued. Other highlights? The bilingual book on The Common Birds of Luanda was completed and will be launched with the launch this year, 2015, of the NGO.  Several peer-reviewed publications were produced.

Calling all birders! Check out the Birds Angola website for two new papers to download, regarding the Short-winged Cisticola and the Dusky Twinspot. The Birds Angola website hosts all the latest news and information about birds in Angola, including the latest research and conservation updates. Click here to read the two new papers.

 

Angola is one of the countries in Africa with the highest bird diversity – 938 native species – including a high number of endemic and threatened species. Despite its richness, Angola is still one of the least known countries for birds. This lack of knowledge is mainly a consequence of both the Portuguese Colonial war and the Angolan civil war which together lasted 41 years (1961–2002), halting scientific studies and expeditions.

Click here to read this recent paper on historical data on birds of Angola based on the Angolan ornithological collection held by the Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT) in Lisbon, Portugal.