Plans are underway for Uganda to protect blue swallows
Plans are underway for Uganda to protect blue swallows. The Blue Swallows migrate from southern African countries during winter.
The head of Nature Uganda, Achilles Byaruhanga, said recent studies had revealed that the country provides habitat to more than 1,000 Blue Swallows out of an estimated population of 1,500.
He, however, said the birds were threatened by conversion of wetlands for agriculture purposes and settlement.
He said the habitats include Mabamba in Wakiso district, Nabugabo in Masaka and Sango Bay in Rakai.
â€œWe came across some of the blue swallows feeding in gardens because their habitats had been cleared for agriculture,â€ Byaruhanga said.
He said the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the National Forestry Authority and Nature Uganda would soon convene and discuss how to protect the blue swallows by making what he called a species action plan.
He said studies had indicated blue swallows are grassland birds in southern Africa where they breed, but the birds change to seasonally flooded wetlands when they migrate.
He said most of the blue swallows breed in South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe and migrate upwards to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda. and on to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but studies had never been conducted on their population.
Byaruhanga said the blue swallows were under threat in South Africa because of large-scale conversion of the grasslands into forest plantations.
However, he said BirdLife South Africa was engaged in lobbying government authorities to conserve the bird habitats because they were important for tourism.
Byaruhanga said the British Petroleum provided the teams under Nature Uganda, a BirdLife International partner with two grants to undertake the studies.
He said birds indicate areas that are rich in biological diversity (variety and variability of life forms) and that shores of Lake Victoria were critical conservation areas.
However, unsustainable practices such as encroachment on wetlands for agriculture and settlement due to population increase have caused pressure on the wetlands around the lake.
Uganda to protect the Blue Swallow