The nature

The power of one, perhaps the most surprising aspect of nature is the power of one. Each living species has a key role in nature. As such, each of us can help save our mother nature.

Accordingly, the Association Djibouti Nature standpoint is that effective nature conservation can only be achieved through sound connection between people and nature.

The Djibouti Nature Association has built since its inception in 1999 an important history and reputation in terms of field studies and scientific research to improve knowledge of birds of the country in particular and voluntarily serves as the leading authority on the avifauna of Djibouti. In this capacity, it has contributed significantly to the knowledge of the critically endangered Djibouti francolin, the only endemic bird species known to date in the country, as well as the many key ecosystem sites commonly referred to as areas important birds and biodiversity areas known for its importance in hosting remarkable species of fauna and flora.

Djibouti Nature also remains an active and committed civil society organization that works tirelessly building the bridge connecting people and nature as one. Thus, it raises funds for local sustainable development projects aimed at helping to improve the living conditions of poor and vulnerable communities in the hinterland where the most important ecosystems remain intact and to support the daily life of a significant segment of the Djiboutian population who still practice a traditional nomadic lifestyle.

Add your voice and take immediate action to protect nature and improve people’s livelihoods by sharing the vision and mission of the Djibouti Nature Association by becoming a member or philanthropist donor. By uniting and harmonizing our efforts and actions, we can make a big difference.

Beira antelope

The Beira antelope or Beyrac in somali (dorcatragus megalotis) is an arid-adapted endemic antelope species to the Horn of Africa. The Beira is the only representative within its monotypic genus belonging to the order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae and Neotraginiae. Its distribution is restricted to mountains, hills and plateaus mainly in Northern Somalia, with further rather small distribution areas in Southern Djibouti and Northeastern Ethiopia.

The general appearance of this beautiful species is klipspringer-like. The basic body fur color is grey, with reddish-ochre limbs, upper neck and head. The creamy-white under part is separated by a dark-Grey stripe reaching from elbows to thighs. Very distinctive are the very large ears. Horns are found in males only.

As browsers the Beiras depend on foliage of various shrubs, herbs and succulent plants. The social structure is pairs and family groups, which defend territories. The Beira is listed as “vulnerable” in the 1996 IUCN Red List in Somalia and Ethiopia and as “possibly extinct” in Djibouti. Over some decades ago, the occurrence of the Beira antelope in Djibouti remained uncertain.

However, in 1992 its occurrence has been confirmed by sightings, photographs and video in Southern region of Djibouti in Ali-Sabieh but its population size and trends in Djibouti remains difficult. However, the regularity and circumstances of the sightings suggest that the species is rare but not endangered in Djibouti, at least for the time being

Bankouale Palm Tree

The Bankoualé Palm Livistona carinensis is a relict near endemic palm species classed as Vulnerable, only known to occur with tiny populations in Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen.

The Djibouti population is fewer than 400 adults in 12 sub-populations in its main distribution ranges at Goda Mountain. The adults are over mature, and juveniles and seedlings are only found in areas protected from grazing in areas where animals cannot eat them.

However, due to its restricted distribution in the country and the region, the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future and based on the recent data collected on the palm.

It may be more appropriate to move the species status from the IUCN category of Vulnerable to Endangered.

Djibouti Francolin

The Djibouti Francolin is a shy and elusive endemic gamebird classified as Critically Endangered species only known from two small important bird and biodiversity areas (Forêt du Day and Mabla) in Djibouti, which is severely fragmented and declining in both extent and quality, and within which the population is undergoing continuing decline. This means, if nothing is done, the species faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future (50% chance in ten years/three generations).

he critical issues of its survival appear to be the deterioration rate of its natural habitats, as evidenced by high mortality of the main woodland where it occurs. The reasons why its natural habitat is degenerating is not well understood but hypotheses have been suggested over the last decades.

These generally consist of a combination of factors such as: timber extraction for construction and firewood; over-grazing; and/or an apparent change in climate towards hotter and drier conditions which has affected the productivity of the entire ecosystem.

Notes on Day forest

The Forêt du Day ecosystem is dry tropical Afromontane mixed woodland occupies an area of c. 15 esq. km (White, 1983) in the Goda Massif mountain ranges in the North of Djibouti (11° 46’ N, 42° 39’ E) with an altitudinal range between c. 1200 m to c. 1750 m and is an Important Bird Area (BirdLife International, 2000) and proposed protected area lies. It consists also one of the few forested areas still remaining in the country where, historically, the dominant forest tree was African pencil cedar Juniperus procera, which formed a closed canopy forest until a dramatic decline in the last 20-30 years which left a large proportion of the junipers dead or dying, and the canopy open and the nearby Mabla Mountains. Available habitat at Forêt du Day halved between 1977 and 1983 and by 2006, 95% of the remaining plateau juniper was either dead or dying (Bealey et al. 2006).

In terms of ecosystem of global and national significance, the Forêt Du Day is the most important key site as home of a variety of rare, extremely arid-adapted species of fauna such as Critically Endangered species i.e. Djibouti Francolin, Leopard, small breeding population of the Endangered Egyptian Vulture, isolated small populations of green monkey and klipspringer etc… and flora such as respectively Endangered and Vulnerable Dracaena ombet and Livistona carinensis etc… were survived for many centuries as biological diversity and genetic reservoir and important natural resources to feed and contribute the community livelihood in a highly desert landscape in areas of the Djiboutian dry highlands.

The reasons for the poor condition of the juniper woodlands of Forêt du Day is unclear, but overgrazing by cattle, camels and goats, is certainly a major factor, possibly exacerbated by acid rains, climate changes and fungal diseases with no scientifically study evidences. Other threats include firewood collection, hunting and human disturbance. Although the species’ ecology and biology are also poorly known and its persisting behaviour to occur in dead and extremely degraded juniper woodland remains unclear for its long-term survival.

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