Climate Climate change affects migratory birds in Uganda

Climate Climate change affects migratory birds in Uganda

Changes in the climate globally have affected the movement of both migratory and resident species of birds, Nature Uganda has said. "We used to see strange birds perched up on that tree. But nowadays we chance on one after a long time," Ssonko, a nature lover says while pointing at the seemingly old tree.

He says some of the “strange birds” had tags on their legs. “I don’t know what has happened these days,” he adds.

Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather.

Uganda is home to over 1000 species of birds. says there are over 10,000 species in the world.

The programmes manager at Nature Uganda Michael Opige says they have noted that there is delayed arrival of migratory birds, which they can attribute to climate change.

Opige says they used to carry out studies of monitoring programmes targeting both resident and migratory species twice a year.

He adds that they used to conduct monitoring programmes for migratory birds from December to around February. For resident species, the monitoring used to be done from June to August.

“What we have noted is that the birds which used to come between December and February somehow have delayed now. And we believe that these delayed arrivals are due to the climate change and we can only take note of that.” Opige says.

Opige adds that apart from that kind of monitoring programme, Nature Uganda is going to carry out a specific four year climate change study to establish how climate change is going to affect biodiversity along the Albertine Rift.

“We are going to develop a model out of this and see how the changes are happening along the altitudes. This will take four years and we are still into the first year. We shall come up with concrete evidence.”

Nature Uganda has set up many sites, across the country to monitor both the resident and migratory birds.

The official says they have started doing preliminary analysis on this and the results indicate both a decline and improvement of some bird species: resident and migratory.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, scientists established declines of up to 90% in some bird populations, “as well as total and unprecedented reproductive failure in others.”

Nature Uganda was established over 100 years ago. It is an affiliate of Birdlife International.

According to the World Conservation Society, the Albertine Rift (the West of the East African Rift) is one of the most biodiverse regions of the African continent.

The Rift covers parts of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It runs from Lake Albert to Lake Tanganyika.

Source :