African Jacana is one of those numerous beautiful birds of Africa, still common and widespread, that are appreciated by a vast majority of birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. Its habitat is still abundant, although some swamps are dried out for (mainly animal) agriculture. Modernisation of Africa in the wrong way can be a threat in the long term for the jacana as well as many other animal species. The holistic encyclopedia of bird project hopes to be one of the education tools to change the mentality and make the future brighter for this beautiful biodiversity.
This very typical bird is unique in its kind in Africa and cannot be confused with anything else, except with the much rarer and tiny Lesser Jacana (Microparra capensis) in a brief view. There is one related species, being the only other species in the genus Actophilornis: Madagascar Jacana (Actophilornis albinucha) that is endemic to Madagascar. Other jacanas in the World, in Asia, Australasia and America, are very distinct. There is no visible geographical variation despite a very wide range, so the species is considered monotypic (no sub-species).
[Species #9 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]
All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert and Marinella Mejia