Mozambique’s forests are rapidly disappearing. This does not augur well for the indigenous birds which depend on these forests – the Green Tinkerbird (Unguana), the Olive-headed Weaver (Panda), the Green-headed Oriole (Mount Gorongoza).
Sally and I have just returned from a trip into Mozambique and saw the ongoing destruction of the Panda forest and the forests at Unguana – near Massinga.
In the Unguana forest:
And now Panda:
Urgent action needs to be taken if we are not to lose these forests. The relevant land custodians need to be convinced that it is in their interests to maintain the forests.
A system needs to be thought out whereby the resident population benefit by maintaining what is left of the forests. One suggestion is a community charge for anyone visiting the forests.
However that alone will not stop further deforestation. Too many people live in and around the forests and depend on it for their livelihood – wood for fires; wood for making charcoal to earn money; creatures as a food source.
Urgent action at the political level has to be found. NGOs sought and funds raised. Martin Taylor – BirdLife South Africa- is assisting with the development of AACEM, a bird orientated conservation organisation in Mozambique. Let us hope that this initiative is taken seriously by the Mozambique government and action is swiftly forthcoming. Otherwise Mozambique’s Green Tinkerbird, the Olive-headed Weaver and the Green-headed Oriole will follow the fate of the Dodo.