New foundation for seabird conservation

Iréne-Mari van der Walt
The Namibian Foundation for the Conservation of Seabirds (Namcob) hopes to be up and running by the end of the year. The non-profit organisation will join forces with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) to conserve seabirds in Namibia.

"Seabird conservation requires in-depth knowledge of the local habitats, specific threats and unique challenges found in each region. A local conservation body has the advantage of being more familiar with the local seabirds, their behavior and the factors that affect them," said Namcob's spokesperson, Sunnypo Imalwa.

He believes that a customised approach to conservation is necessary.

"Seabird conservation techniques cannot be applied universally across all regions due to changing geographical and ecological conditions. A Namibian entity, such as Namcob, can design conservation programmes suited to the specific needs of its seabird populations, taking into account factors such as nesting sites, feeding areas, migration patterns and interactions with people.

"Namcob has a better understanding of the local budget constraints, available resources and priority areas for conservation. This will lead to more efficient and localised deployment of funds, ensuring the maximum impact of conservation efforts," he added.

According to Imalwa, overfishing, climate change and pollution pose the greatest threats to seabirds in Namibia. Two species of cormorant as well as the African penguin and madgas are at the top of Namcob's priority list. - [email protected]