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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.




We are glad to announce the 7th Annual A. P Leventis lecture scheduled for  November 15, 2017at the University of Jos, Multipurpose Auditorium, Main Campus by 11.00am; under the distinguished Chairmanship of Professor Sebastian Seddi Maimako ( B.Sc, MBA, Ph.D, FCA), Vice Chancellor, University of Jos.

The lecture will be presented by Prof. Franz Bairlein, Director of Institut fΰr Vogelforschung (Institute of Avian Research), Germany. He will be speaking on the topic” Fascinating Wanderers: Birds of two Continents”.

Prof. Franz Bairlein is Professor of Zoology with research interest in Ecology and physiology of migration with special emphasis on migration strategies, avian nutritional ecology with special emphasis on the internal and external control mechanisms of migratory fattening.

Please be there!!!

Chima Nwaogu – Life history traits and the immune function in Common Bulbuls

My project aims at understanding how variation in life history traits and immune function of birds arise due to variation in environmental conditions in space and time. Research questions cover aspects of the breeding ecology, diet and immune function of Common Bulbuls. I utilize field observations over spatio-temporal scales around Nigeria, captive diet experiments in outdoor aviaries at the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute and immune/microbial assays to test whether timing of annual cycle stages such as breeding and moult and baseline innate immunity respectively, vary in a manner that suggest adaptation to variation in rainfall, food availability, diet or pathogen pressure over aridity gradients in space and time.

Dr. Mary Molokwu-Odozi recognised for contribution to biodiversity conservation in Liberia

We celebrate one of our own, Dr. Mary Molokwu-Odozi who leads Fauna and Flora International’s (FFI) work in Liberia.



Dr. Mary’s immense contribution in helping to build local capacity for biodiversity conservation in Liberia was recently recognised with an award by the William R. Tolbert Jr. College of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Liberia on 8th December 2016 during the 97th convocation ceremony of the University.


Very big congrations to Dr. Mary and we at APLORI are all very proud of you!


Sad news: Baba Izang Ajiji (Old soldier) passes on

It is with sadness, that we announce the demise of one of our colleagues, the late Baba Izang Ajiji (father to Admin Thomas Arin Daniel) who died on 4th June 2016 after a period of illness.


Until his death, the late Baba Izang was the chief security officer of APLORI. Burial details will be communicated duely.

Please pray for comfort.
Thank you.


The course is designed for young West African Biological Scientists with a craving for career opportunities in conservation of renewable natural resources.

Entry Requirements:

Admission is opened to all holders of at least a Bachelor of Science Degree Second Class Honours (Lower Division) from a recognized University, in any of the following disciplines: Zoology, Biology, Botany, Forestry and/or Wildlife, Wildlife Management, or any Environment Science.

Aspiring students should visit the University of Jos website ( ) to purchase, complete and submit the form. A copy of this completed application forms together with a motivation letter containing the applicant’s email address and telephone number must then be returned to the institute before 31st July, 2016. Applications that do not contain all the requisite materials including; O’level Certificate, B.Sc Certificate and Academic transcript, NYSC discharged certificate  will not be processed. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a combined written and oral interview. Contact us on 09033655620. Email: OR for further enquiries.




BirdLife Africa’s Director Dr. Julius Arinaitwe visits APLORI; gives lectures and also talks about the decline of Africa’s Vultures

Dr. Arinaitwe visited APLORI from 20th January 2016 for two weeks during which he had intensive lectures on conservation Biology with the APLORI M.Sc students. On 2nd February, 2016 he presented a seminar titled “The challenge of conserving Africa’s Vultures” at APLORI. He said Vultures in Africa face extinction in our lifetime and urged immediate action in order to avoid this from happening. He also encouraged the audience to contribute in helping BirdLife stop the Vulture catastrophe especially considering that Africa still holds 11 species of vulture, 6 of which are found nowhere else in the world.


Dr. Arinaitwe (5th from Left) with APLORI MSc students

Professor Les Underhill visits APLORI and gives the 4th Annual Leventis Lecture at the University of Jos

Professor Les Underhill is the Director of the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town South Africa. He visited Aplori in the second week of November 2014.

Follow Les’s visit and lecture slides:

Follow Les’s examples of “snapping and mapping”

International recognition for our very own Dr. Manu

A very big congratulations to our very own Director, Dr. Manu on the international recognition of his exceptional work in advancing ornithological research in Nigeria.

Photo by Nick Caro
The Marsh Award for International Ornithology was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh to Dr. Manu on Wednesday 29th October 2014 at an event hosted by the BTO and the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) at the Mall Gallery in London.
Photo by Nick Caro
The APLORI family in the UK including Tasso Leventis, Phil Hall, Will Cresswell, Dayo Osinubi, Mark Wilson and Sam Ivande were present along with many other important guests and friends to witness and celebrate this important occasion with him.
See below also for the BTO news release describing the event:
Nigerian scientist receives prestigious British Ornithology award
At a ceremony in London, Dr Shiiwua Manu was awarded the Marsh Award for International Ornithology for his exceptional work in advancing the knowledge of birds in Nigeria.
Dr Manu is head of the A P Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), the Biological Conservatory of the University of Jos, Nigeria. Under Dr Manu’s guidance up to eight West African students per year enrol in a MSc programme in Conservation Biology, with the aim of building much needed biodiversity conservation capacity in this part of Africa. The programme has been running for 12 years and has been hugely successful, with many alumni now working in renowned international conservation agencies operating in Africa.

APLORI also hosts many researchers from Nigeria, other African countries, and around the world. These researchers work on a broad range of topics, from the ecology of the birds of the Jos Plateau, to broader questions about bird migration and wintering ecology of long-distance intra- and intercontinental migrants. The institute also supports research on other biota, including plants.

Additionally, APLORI  undertakes community development work in the institute’s vicinity, to help educate local people about the region’s biodiversity requirements, as well as to promote sustainable living alongside the birds and other wildlife supported by their immediate and wider surroundings. Many of the local people are employed in APLORI, and this contributes significantly to the local economy and fosters invaluable goodwill towards the conservation efforts of APLORI.

Dr Manu oversees all of these initiatives, skilfully navigating the bureaucracy that can impede such endeavours in Nigeria. He thus ensures that APLORI remains a powerful force for conservation in West Africa.

The award was presented by The Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony hosted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) at the Mall Gallery in London.

Dr Shiiwua Manu said,  “I am most grateful to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), UK , for this humbling recognition. The A P Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) University of Jos Nigeria provided me the enabling environment for achieving this recognition. All my colleagues in APLORI as well as the Laminga Community (our host), from where we operate, contributed immensely to this recognition. I am also grateful to my family for supporting me always. I thank you all for bringing this propitious and wonderfully exhilarating occasion to be.”

Andy Clements, BTO Director said, “The Marsh Awards for Ornithology enable BTO to recognise the excellent work of ornithologists at a variety of scales, all of whom are partners with BTO in ensuring science contributes to conservation.  Dr Manu Shiiwua is an exceptional winner of the International Award, and his institute in Nigeria is a key partner in BTO’s work to understand the ecology of our migrant birds in Africa.”

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