Bannerman’s Turaco is at the brink of extinction.
- The population of the bird species Bannerman’s Turaco is deteriorating because of habitat loss and the ancient hunting tradition for obtaining these birds’ feathers.
- This bird species is categorized as Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
- There are an estimated 1,500 of these birds in Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest, situated in northwest part of Cameroon.
- The forests are currently being cleared for agricultural purposes and the settlement of increasing human population.
- The destruction of forests is exacerbated by the untenable bee harvesting methods, slash and burn farming, logging and excessive grazing of animals.
- The rapid destruction of this forest affects the survival Bannerman’s Turaco as these birds feed from a unique variety of wild fruits from a particular tree species.
- Their breeding is also jeopardised because of the depleting green cover.
- These birds are very shy and are highly sensitive to the presence of humans in their habitats.
About Bannerman’s Turaco
Bannerman’s Turaco is known as Fen in Oku language, a native language in Cameroon. It is named in honour of the British ornithologist David Armitage Bannerman. It is closely related to the red-crested turaco and the white-crested turaco. Fen diverged from them in the late Pliocene era. The species is endemic in the Bamenda Highland Forest region, with Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest hosting its largest population. The red and crimson feathers of these birds have significant cultural importance in Cameroon. In the ancient times, anyone capturing a lion or other ferocious animals and bringing them to the palace will be awarded with a red feather from this bird. In the present era, the red feathers are given in recognition of those making important contributions to the development of the society.