Country
Ghana

Areas
The project focuses on the areas Tono and Damongo

Project Title
The Migratory Bird Programme

Implementation
BirdLife Denmark’s Migratory Bird Task Force

Duration
10 years +

Starting date
January 1, 2008

Closing date
Not determined

Grants from BirdLife Denmark
C. DKK 280,000 annually

External funding
Funds, private companies, etc.

Purpose
The purpose of the Migratory Bird Programme is to create awareness of the livelihoods of migratory birds on their migratory routes and in their winter quarters in Africa, to provide knowledge about the conditions in Ghana, and hopefully to improve the conditions in Denmark.

Description
A large part of Danish migratory birds are declining for no obvious reason. This may have several possible explanations: climate change, destructions of habitats at the breeding areas and in the winter quarters, threats on the migratory route, etc. Our ringing and point counting projects tell us that the decline is gravest among the species that overwinter in the areas south of the Sahara. These species are for instance icterine warbler, garden warbler, wood warbler, willow warbler, pied flycatcher and redstart.

Our knowledge about the birds’ winter quarters is very small. We hardly know where the birds are actually staying, which biotopes they prefer, what the feed on, which other species they are competing with, and when they arrive at and leave the winter quarters.

Why Ghana?
We have chosen Ghana for several reasons. Ghana has many different types of nature, the country is well-functioning, the population speaks English, and Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) is a BirdLife partner and has shown a great deal of interest in the programme. The country is about 5½ times larger than Denmark with a population of 24 million. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the south to Burkina Faso in the north, and the many different types of nature spans from great lagoons and dry plains on the coast to rain forests, huge wood savannas, and dry bush savannas up north. 
 
In collaboration with GWS, BirdLife Denmark’s International Board will carry out counting, ringing and other studies on one or more localities in Ghana over a period of years. At the same time, there will be a close co-operation with the universities in the education of ornithologists, as well as with other BirdLife partners, who are already engaged in West Africa. 

Expected outcomes
We expect that the collected data about birds, biotopes, threats, climatic conditions, etc can provide us with the knowledge needed to effectively put a stop to the decline of migratory birds and perhaps also improve their livelihoods.

Voluntary work
An important part of the programme is to gather a number of members, who are interested in following the activities and working voluntarily either in Denmark or on trips to Ghana. Furthermore, we will give our members the possibility of travelling to Ghana to take part in counting, ringing, nature restoration, education, etc.