The global project, started in 2013, includes four stays in Tami, where the ornithologist Ignasi Oliveras has collected information on ornithological diversity on the farm of the Tami Rural Training Center (CFRT) throughout the year.
This specific intervention begins on March 2016 and will end in 2017. Based on various consultations with experts of West African birds, such as Professor Robert Cheke of the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, it was considered to make different trips, the first of them between March and April 2013, as a direct antecedent of this project.
During the spring migration period, in the month of March 2016, Ignasi visited the CFRT of Tami, where he made a record of migratory birds on their journeys to the north. During the months of September - October 2016 the third visit was made during the period of autumn migration and end of rainy season, registering the passage of migratory birds to African countries located further south or east of Togo, and making it coincide with the end of harvesting some crops. A fourth trip is planned during the month of January 2017.
Thanks to the generous contributions of all those who have participated in this project, Ignasi has been able to make visits to the Tami Rural Training Center, where they have carried out 73 bird censuses (34 and 39 censuses in each of the two visits made in 2016). The field work was done at two times of the day: from sunrise and during the next three hours, taking advantage of the hours of lower temperature and coinciding with the maximum activity of the birds, and during the two hours before sunset , in addition to various nocturnal incursions.
On the last visit, Ignasi was able to detect 111 bird species, of which 16 are exclusive to Tami. The total number of species present in at least one of the three periods of visits amounts to 158, which represents 25% of the total species detected throughout the country.
The most striking fact about these visits is the detection of two new bird species in Togo to add to their official list. These are two weavers, the piquiblanco buffalo (Bubalornis albirostris) and the frontal weaver (Sporopipes frontalis), detected in the Rural Training Center of Tami in May 2013 and November 2016 respectively.
In addition to the study of biodiversity in Tami, Ignasi has also analyzed the interactions between birds and crops, coinciding with the study of the season of agricultural activity. The action of the birds affects the plantations of millet and sorghum in the lands of the area. In this sense, in continuous communication with the Brothers of La Salle who direct the Center and with the agricultural monitors, ways are being studied to minimize the negative impact of this phenomenon on the crops.
The sensitization to the local population about the importance of birds in the balance of ecosystems, foreseen during this last visit could not be carried out for reasons unrelated to the project, since the Togolese government delayed the beginning of the school year to the month of October . Therefore, it is planned to carry out this training during the month of January 2017.
Finally, Ignasi is in talks with local officials to, in the not too distant future, see the possibility of starting ornithological tourism activity in the area of Tami.
Thank you very much everyone for your collaboration!