The project

The Secretary Bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, is the only representative of the Sagittariidae family. This bird was uplisted from Near-threatened to Vulnerable by IUCN. This species entirely occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, where habitat loss due to human population growth is probably the main cause of its decline.

After noticing that the sightings of this species are increasingly difficult, we decided to conduct a first accurate census in the area of Serengeti/Ngorongoro and it will be relevant to carry it out to prove the effective reduction.

This project will allow us to better understand the ecological relationships between these birds and their environment in this ecosystem.

Secretary Bird associate in monogamous and territorial pairs and nests are built at a height of 4-8 m on trees by both parents as well as the parental care. They spend most of their time on the ground to hunt on foot reptiles and small mammals. For these reasons we decided to combine several approaches:

  • Survey nests during breeding season: useful to estimate populations density and collect datas on breeding sites peculiarities. This doesn’t require any special equipment and typically sets a good starting point;
    • Tagging chicks before they fledge making use of GPS/PTT’S transmitters;
    • Road transects.

Genetic analyses are becoming an essential prerequisite to properly assess the extent of diversity of endangered species or subspecies. However, very little genetic data are currently available for large African raptors (Seibold and Helbig 1995; Roques et al. 2004; Mahmood et al. 2014). For this reason, we will include a preliminary assessment, in the geographic areas under study, of the sequence variation of the entire mitochondrial DNA (mitogenome) for this species.

We will collect blood (in EDTA) from the brachial vein with a capillary tube. Additional samples (from muscles) might be added to the collection in case of findings of dead specimens. Blood and muscle samples will be stored at -20°C and sent to the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Pavia, where DNA will be extracted and the entire mitogenome of each specimen will be PCR amplified and sequenced following well established (Sanger and/or Next Generation Sequencing) protocols.

Field work will start on August 2019; daily excursions are planned making use of Tanzanian driver and a vehicle; any potential immobilization and physical handling of animals will be supervised by local veterinarians and rangers.

The project has been approved by TAWIRI (Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute) during the 45° Research Program Committee Meeting and will require financial support. Can you imagine a world without these extraordinary birds?

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Goals

  • 1° step: 10 000,00 € for research permits fees, census and gathering biological samples.
  • 2° step: 10 000,00 € for phylogenetic study, lab analysis and a second phase of survey.
  • 3° step: 15 000,00€ for GPS/PTT’s transmitters (almost 4) and monitoring tagged juveniles.

Video

Rewards

€25 African Wildlife Pic!

You will receive via e-mail a high definition pic of African Wildlife by EURAFRICA CONSERVATION PROJECTS

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • High definition Picture JPEG

€50 African raptors pic!

You will receive via e-mail a high definition pic of an African raptor by EURAFRICA CONSERVATION PROJECTS and special thanks on our Facebook page.

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • Thanks on our Facebook Page
  • African raptor pic

€100 African pics & special thanks

You will receive 2 high definition pics via email and special thanks on our Facebook page

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • Thanks on our Facebook Page
  • African raptor pic
  • African wildlife pic

€250 Pic of the Project

You will receive via email the high definition pic of Raptors in Danger project and special thanks on our Instagram and Facebook pages

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • Thanks on our Facebook Page
  • Secretary Bird pic
  • Thanks on our Instagram page

€500 The best pics

You will receive via e-mail 3 high definition best pics by EURAFRICA CONSERVATION PROJECTS, and special thanks on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • Special thanks on our Facebook Page
  • Special thanks on our Instagram page
  • Three high definition best pics
  • When possible, acknowledgment in the papers regarding the project and e-mailing of the papers

€2000 Safari with us!

For this special donation we offer our field guiding service for free. Contact us via e-mail before funding (eurafricaconservationprojects@gmail.com)

Items included:

  • Donation Certificate PDF
  • Thanks on our Facebook Page
  • Thanks on our Instagram page
  • Three high definition best pics
  • When possible, acknowledgment in the papers regarding the project and e-mailing of the papers
  • Safari with us

Team

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Elena Ramella-Lewis

Capo Progetto

Elena Ramella-Lewis

Capo Progetto
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Federico Romani

Capo Progetto

Federico Romani

Capo Progetto
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Antonio Torroni

Antonio Torroni

Contact

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Would you like to donate by bank transfer? click here


Would you like to donate more then 1600€ click here