Populations, Distribution and Habitat Utilization of the Endangered Mount Kupe Bushshrike, and Other Birds of Conservation Concern on the Obudu Plateau, Nigeria

24 May 2023 Obudu Plateau, Nigeria, Africa Birds | Education | Habitats

Kevin Acha Eyos

The Mount Kupe Bush-Shrike is an endangered bird species that was initially thought to be endemic to Cameroon until recent sightings of the species on the Obudu Plateau, Nigeria. Reoccurring sightings of the species in the region suggest that there might be a population in the area. The Obudu Plateau, has a total area of 72,000ha, an unprotected Important, Endemic Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA, EBA and KBA) located at an altitude of 1,500m with some peak rising to 1802m. Obudu Plateau is on the western extension of the Cameroon mountain range, located South-Eastern of Nigeria close to the border with Cameroon and boundary to North by another IBA NG010 - the Cross River National Park Okwangwo Division located, Boki Cross River (6.26’16’’N 9.19’26’’E). Obudu Plateau comprises of a large area of montane grassland and interspersed with multiple gallery forests and inselbergs in the valley and perennial streams taking its rise from the mountain flowing through the gallery forest in the valley. The Obudu Mountain Resort is located in the same region, covering some part of the plateau while the remaining land is owned by the local communities.

Mount Kupe Bushshrike on Obudu Plateau. © Kevin Acha Eyos.

Mount Kupe Bushshrike on Obudu Plateau. © Kevin Acha Eyos.

Our project on the Obudu Plateau intends to study the population, distribution, and habitat preferences of the endangered, and poorly known Mount Kupe Bush-Shrike and other species of conservation concern. We will take the first step in documenting the breeding behaviours, and habitat utilization of the species in Nigeria and raised awareness of the need to conserve the remaining gallery forest in the sites where the species has been recorded. Through Conservation education, we will equip local people with the skills to identify and report the species and other species of conservation concern to region and global citizen science projects.

Our study is important because it will provide critical information on the current populations and habitat preferences of Mount Kupe Bush-Shrike in order to enhance the conservation status. Human comprehension of vital birds will be improved through this project as well.

Header: Obudu Plateau. © © Kevin Acha Eyos.

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