Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

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Sam Ivande

Study species: Some migrant species

Research topics: Distribution; Non-breeding ecology; Wintering ecology

Institution location: APLORI (AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute

I am a Conservation Biologist and a Lecturer at the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), Department of Zoology, University of Jos, Nigeria. APLORI is West Africa’s foremost Ornithology and biodiversity conservation training Institute. I currently serve as the Scientific Director at APLORI and help to coordinate the implementation of the academic curriculum for the APLORI MSc Conservation Biology course. I also help coordinate ongoing research at the Institute. Prior to this, I served as the pioneer Project Manager for the Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP) - the first nationwide biodiversity citizen project aimed at promoting public participation in biodiversity conservation by young Nigerians through bird watching. I helped provide strategic direction to promote public engagement through education and volunteering for the project. Along with the Nigerian Bird Atlas Team, we increased local engagement by recruiting, training and organizing over 1000 young nature enthusiasts into over 25 bird clubs across Nigeria and West Africa. I really enjoy the formal and semi-formal opportunities that my work as an Ornithologist affords me to travel, watch and study birds and learn about nature and other cultures. I remain motivated by a passionate desire to contribute to an environmentally conscious society not only in Nigeria but across Africa.

In the Afro-Palearctic avian migratory system, ~3-5 billion birds arrive Afrotropical wintering habitats that are occupied by already interacting resident species, during the dry season when the environment is drying out. I am broadly interested in understanding the mechanisms that determine spatio-temporal patterns in species distributions in Afrotropical wintering habitats. More specifically I am interested in understanding the factors that influence density and distribution of Afro-Palearctic migratory birds, and the dynamics of their interaction with resident counterparts in Afrotropical savanna habitats in West Africa. I am currently pursuing these interests using a combination of fieldwork, citizen science, capacity building, and statistical analysis.