Blue Swallow Monitoring

NatureUganda received an award from BP conservation to undertake the first phase of the Blue Swallow conservation project in Uganda in 2002. This survey established the three main sites for the Ugandan non-breeding population of the Blue Swallow. In 2004, NatureUganda received a follow-up BP award with the aims of establishing the habitat requirements for the non-breeding Blue Swallow and formulating a Conservation Action Plan for the species in Uganda. Field work for this phase has been completed in the three main sites of Sango bay, Mabamba and Nabugabo and monitoring is going on. 

Available results indicate that Blue Swallows (in photo) feed in open seasonally flooded grasslands and swamp edges with scattered shrubs or trees and short grass. They mainly roost in burnt patches of swamp edges. They are most active (feeding) in cloudy weather, patching when it gets hot. In the first phase of this project, Uganda was found to have about 550 individuals of the Blue Swallow. The 2nd phase however, indicates an addition of over 90% to make it over 900 individuals. Sango bay had the highest number of individuals followed by Mabamba and then Nabugabo. This means that the number of individuals may be more that this, if all the probable sites were to be surveyed. However, this does not necessarily indicate an increase in the number of Blue Swallows in Uganda as this is the first intensive survey for the species. More intensive surveys are needed to come up with a concrete figure for the non-breeding Blue Swallow population in Uganda. 

Using the data obtained from these two surveys and the International Blue Swallow Action Plan, a species action planning workshop was conducted between the 27th and 28th October 2004, to formulate the Species Action Plan (SAP) for the conservation of the Blue Swallow and its habitat in Uganda. This workshop brought together all stakeholders to discuss the threats to the Blue Swallow and ways of minimising these threats to conserve the species and its habitat in Uganda. The proceedings from this workshop are now being compiled to document the National Blue Swallow SAP for Uganda. The next phase will be the implementation of this SAP which, if funds are available is set to take 5 years starting April 2005.