Capacity for Waterbird Monitoring Reinforced in Mauritania

Bonn, 11 November 2019 - With support from the AEWA Small Grants Fund (SGF), the Mauritanian conservation NGO AMISO (Association mauritanienne des amis des oiseaux et de la protection des espèces animales menacées d’extinction) has successfully implemented a project designed to enhance technical and material capacity for waterbird identification and monitoring in Mauritania. The project has a focus on the Aftout Essahili lagoon, a peripheral zone of Diawling National Park (PND) in southwestern Mauritania. The Aftout Essahli is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and critical site for breeding and wintering of numerous waterbird species covered under AEWA, including the Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill and Great Cormorant.

Under the project, a three-day training course on waterbird identification and monitoring was delivered to 30 participants including Diawling National Park guards, staff from the Department for Protected and Coastal Areas (Direction des Aires Protégées et du Littoral - DAPL), which is the national AEWA implementing agency, and local community volunteers. The training was jointly organized and delivered by AMISO, Diawling National Park, BirdLife International (in the framework of the Coastal Migratory Birds Project Phase 2 – CMB2) and Nature Mauritanie, the Mauritanian BirdLife Partner. The course was delivered in French and Arabic in order to ensure that all participants could easily follow the proceedings. Two  field trips during the course offered participants some hands-on practice in waterbird identification and counting techniques, as well as the use of binoculars and telescopes in support of their monitoring activities.

The project funding also allowed for the acquisition of basic optical equipment, long-range walkie-talkies and dismountable mesh to protect Flamingo nesting sites during breeding seasons. The project thus contributed to enhancing the technical capacity for waterbird monitoring of PND eco-guards and enabled them to both communicate more effectively across the vast areas of the National Park while in the field as well as better protect nesting sites at Aftout Essahili against predators such as jackals.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat would like to congratulate AMISO on the successful implementation of the project, which it hopes can make a lasting positive contribution to the conservation of AEWA species at PND.


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Founded in 2008, AMISO is a Mauritanian conservation NGO with a special focus on birds. It has a partnership with Diawling National Park and has also been working in collaboration with Nature Mauritanie, the national BirdLife Partner. 

AEWA Small Grants Fund

The AEWA Small Grants Fund has so far benefited some 20 governmental and non-governmental organizations in 17 African countries by funding a wide range of conservation projects promoting AEWA implementation in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The AEWA Small Grants Fund is currently suspended, pending funding. Funding opportunities, when available, will be posted on the AEWA website.  

Last updated on 11 November 2019

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