Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 12.05.2011 (Article Archived on 26.05.2011)
Game birds were introduced to the island to help with the control of insects, and also for human consumption.
The Red-necked Francolin
Game birds were introduced to the island to help with the control of insects, and also for human consumption. The pheasants and partridges which were introduced on Ascension did not survive, however the Red-necked Francolin did. These birds might have originated from northern Namibia around 1851, and they have survived in the islandís mid-vegetated zones to this present day.
The Francolin is a brown partridge-sized bird with white cheeks and a white stripe on itís head. The rest of the body is pale grey with broad black stripes along the crop, the legs, feet and bill. The skin around the eyes is red.
This game bird is not an abundant one and rarely flies. It is usually seen scurrying along or across the main roads. Their diet consists of vegetables, fruit and invertebrates. They nest in hollow ground and can lay between 3 to 9 eggs after which the incubation period takes about 23 days. After hatching, the young chicks are able to fly within 10 days.
Due to heavy rainfalls experienced a few weeks ago, some paths are still unstable, particularly the one leading to the Letterbox plateau.
Tours to see the turtles are run by the Ascension Island Turtle Group, with assistance from the conservation department. Please visit the Conservation Centre for more information or call 6359.
Please be advised that due to on-going field work, the Conservation Office will open from 7.30am -10am during week days. We open as normal on Saturdays, 10am-12noon. Signs will be posted on the door when the office is closed.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact Olivia Renshaw or Natasha Williams. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org