Patience rewarded with the enigmatic Owl

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Our partners at RSPB update us on the latest news from the Gola Forest.
Apologies for lack of Welsh translation


The Gola team is defined by its passion and dedication to conserve this unique habitat and the species it hosts, however we should not forget the many supporters without whom none of our work would be possible. One of these supporters and long term friends to the Gola family left his day job behind to volunteer to try capturing Gola’s unique biodiversity on photo.

Expert birder and a remarkable photographer, he persevered week on end and it wasn’t until the very last days of his time in Sierra Leone that his patience was rewarded with what we believe to be the first picture in the wild of the Rufous Fishing-owl, Scotopelia ussheri. All other photos were taken in captivity or on camera traps. This species is vulnerable because of small and severely fragmented habitat, spread across the Upper Guinea Forests with latest estimates of 3,500-15,000 individuals in the wild. Its future survival will depend on the sustainable management of these areas, much pioneered by the Gola Rainforest National Park.

These pictures were taken outside the National Park’s boundaries, therefore highlighting once more the importance to conserve the Gola Landscape as a whole, relying on the National Park to be its cornerstone.

Find out more and support this project here.

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