- Latest surveys of Ifon Forest Reserve, Nigeria, have confirmed sightings of endangered Ibadan Malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis, which is endemic to south-west Nigeria.
Made between November 2007 and March 2008 , these surveys and earlier sightings according to Birdlife have led Ifon Forest Reserve to be proposed as Nigeria's newest Important Bird Area.
"Sighting of Ibadan Malimbe in Ifon Forest Reserve indicates an extension of earlier range, and have raised interesting research questions about distribution of Ibadan Malimbe in south-western forests", said Ademola Ajagbe of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF, BirdLife Partner Designate in Nigeria).
Birdlife further shows that Ibadan Malimbe was known only from a small area circumscribed by Ibadan, Ife, Iperu and Ilaro in south-western Nigeria.
Reports indicate that in December 2006, species were first discovered in Ifon Forest Reserve of Ondo State, where six sight records were obtained during a ten-day survey.
Foraging pairs were reportedly seen on two separate incidents, while lone males were recorded twice.
Records of this species from Kakum National Park, Ghana, in February 2002, September 2004 and February 2005 are yet to be confirmed.
According to Birdlife, one male was identified during eight-day survey in 2007, while two males were identified at two different locations during eight-day 2008 survey in central and northern portion of reserve.
It was difficult to confirm presence of female Ibadan Malimbe during 2008 survey as males were observed in company of several Red-headed Malimbe M. rubricollis pairs, report say.
Widespread forest clearance for subsistence agriculture is reportedly cited as a possible cause of Ibadan Malimbe's decline since the 1970s, and human pressure on forests within its range is ongoing.
Most of forest patches within species' current range are community-owned forests and their preservation is dependent upon local communities, Birdlife shows.
NCF was commissioned in 2006 to serve as Technical Partner to develop a management plan for Ifon Forest Reserve in Ondo State.
A biodiversity survey of reserve was reportedly carried out as first phase of this project. Results of survey according to reports, has led government to ban all illegal activities in reserve.
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