The 2017 Leventis Lecture by Franz Bairlein: Fascinating wanderers: birds of two continents

What happens in Africa, does not stay in Africa. Millions of birds breeding in the northern hemisphere migrate to Africa to spend the non-breeding phase of their life. The decline in the populations of many of these migratory birds have been linked to weather and land-use practices in Africa.

Is bird conservation and economic development mutually exclusive? Not necessarily. There is evidence that what is good for the birds is also good for humans. One of the most commonly utilized tree by migrant passerines in Africa is the Ana tree (Faidherbia albida). The Ana tree also happens to be a very valuable economic tree. Its pods and foliage are used for livestock fodder, it supports bees, it is used as medicine and fertilizer, it controls erosion, and it helps with nitrogen fixation. Sorghum grown under the Ana tree produce higher yield than those that grow away from the tree.

Our sincere thanks to Professor Franz Bairlein, the Director of the institute for avian studies in Germany, for an enlightening and interesting Leventis lecture.