Book on Bird guide for Ghana launched
 
Posted on: 2011-Jul-23        GNA
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A book on bird guide for Ghana was on Friday launched with a call on the public to preserve birds.

The 352-page book titled “Birds of Ghana” is aimed at educating the public on the need to desist from harming domestic birds that can source of tourism and attract investors.

The book contains local names of birds in three languages - Akan, Ewe and Gonja, and describes all species of birds recorded in Ghana, to stimulate local interest in bird watching.

Mr Henry Ford Kamel, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who launched the book, noted that some birds served as security in some homes and also made homes lively.

He said the book would serve as a socio-cultural and religious linkage between birds and humans in the society, adding that birds lived in useful natural habitats that provided direct and indirect eco-tourism.

Mr Kamel said the book would raise awareness of the species and also provide knowledge in wildlife preservation.

Mr Erasmus Owusu, co-author of the book, said 758 birds belonging to 89 families were recorded in the book following the “Taxonomy of Birds of Africa Volumes one to seven.

He noted that most Ghanaians did not pay much attention to birds let alone knew their local names and this compelled the authors, Wildlife and the Birdlife International, to compile them to educate the public as well as students to enable them to know the various species.

The co-author said the Ghanaian taxonomy did not follow any particular rule but was informed by the morphological features, adding that certain names were derived from certain features in local folklore as well as the local dialect.

He said the book could be found in all bookshops and urged all to cultivate the habit of reading to broaden their horizon, and commended those who had contributed to its publication.

Other people who helped in the compilation are Augustus Asamoah, Robert Obteng Apau and Mr David Daramani, all of Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS), Thomas Gyima, Mark Acheampong, Millicent Amekugbe, Agana Angana-Nsiri and Bismark Osei, all of the University of Ghana.

Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Chairman of the Ghana Wildlife Society Management Board, said the book was produced through the collaborative effort of the Bird Life International, Bird Life Switzerland and the GWS, dating back to the Save the Seashore Bird Project.

The project, she said, was also collaboration between the Government of Ghana, the Royal Society for the protection of Birds and Birdlife International in 1986.

Professor Ntiamoa-Baidu, who is also the Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said birds were important especially for the present day condition faced by nations in that birds were sentinels of the environment.

She said: “As they go about on their long migration, they accumulate important information that can tell the state of the human environment,” she said and recommended bird viewing to de-stress and peaceful relaxation.

Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu said the GWS would soon launch a nationwide common bird survey to provide the opportunity for all to observe and count birds around homes, gardens and workplace, to help provide a scientific basis on which informed deductions about the country’s changing environment could be made.