BirdLife South Africa's History

0447 lilac-breasted rollerm froneman MKO61961905-1929: South African Ornithologists' Union

1930-1975: South African Ornithological Society

1976-1996: Southern African Ornithological Society

1996-present: BirdLife South Africa

The South African Ornithological Society (SAOS) was founded in 1930 as a scientific society for the study of ornithology. In 1995, the SAOS Council determined a new direction to develop education and conservation action programmes. The impetus and funding for action programmes increased with links to the BirdLife International partnership that began in 1996.

The SAOS also changed its name to BirdLife South Africa.

About BirdLife South Africa


BirdLife South Africa strives to conserve birds, their habitats and biodiversity through scientifically-based programmes, through supporting the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources and through encouraging people to enjoy and value nature

BirdLife South Africa is a registered non-profit, public benefit environmental organization and the only dedicated bird-conservation organisation in South Africa.

BirdLife South Africa has more than 5 000 members in more than 30 bird clubs throughout South Africa.

BirdLife South Africa produces its own birds and birdwatching magazine, African Birdlife.

BirdLife South Africa is honoured to have three distinguished South Africans, Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Mr Mark Shuttleworth, as its Honorary Patrons.

Read more about BirdLife South Africa.