Kenyan NP first to receive "important bird area" branding

Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for its population of up to 1.5 million non-breeding Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor, has become the first National Park in Africa to be branded as an Important Bird Area (IBA).

The branding is a triumph for BirdLife Partner NatureKenya, which began identifying IBAs within the country in 1995.

Some 450 bird species have been recorded in and around Lake Nakuru, including Endangered Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idea, Near Threatened Grey-crested Helmet-shrike Prionops poliolophus and Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus. The site is also key for regionally important numbers of congregatory waterbirds such as Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, African Spoonbill Platalea alba, Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus and Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus.

“The IBA branding makes Lake Nakuru National Park part of the global network of places recognised for their outstanding value to bird conservation”, said Kenya Wildlife Service Director Dr Julius Kipng’etich. He added that Nakuru’s new status was a huge boost to the KWS’s efforts to market the lake as: “The world’s greatest ornithological spectacle”.

Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo © Nick Clayton, from the surfbirds galleries

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