Ethics Committee

Ernst Retief with BLiNGBirdLife South Africa Ethics Committee

The BirdLife South Africa Ethics Committee (BLSAEC) was brought into being as a platform to gain ethical clearance for research projects focusing on avian research, including applications from individuals who are not affiliated with a university or other institutions. This includes scientific projects with a bird ringing component, as well as ALL projects requiring the fitting of tracking devices.

All applicants are advised to fully acquaint themselves with the requirements of SANS 10386: 2008 “The care and use of animals for scientific purposes”  which is available at The BLSAEC will only consider a protocol if the use of animals is deemed essential and conforms to the requirements of this standard.

  1. If you (or your organisation) wish to submit a protocol to the BLSAEC for ethical clearance, please acquaint yourself with our terms of reference before submitting an application.
  2. To submit a research protocol for ethical clearance, please complete the application form and return to Linda van den Heever, who will submit the application to the BLSAEC for consideration.
  3. Should your protocol be granted ethical clearance by the BLSAEC, you will be required to adhere to certain reporting requirements, as set out in the Terms of Reference.
Contact details

All relevant reports are available for download below.
All correspondence should be referred to Linda van den Heever at


document Application Form (111 KB)

pdf BLSAEC Terms of Reference (66 KB)

pdf BLSAEC Declaration (76 KB)

document Animal Welfare sheets (242 KB)

document Monitoring Template (63 KB)

document Observation Template (55 KB)

document Adverse event reporting (84 KB)

document Application for modifications and extensions (105 KB)

document Annual Progress Report (97 KB)

Other relevant documentation and references

SAFRING’s Code of Ethics forms part of the SAFRING manual and can be viewed at

BirdLife South Africa’s position statement “Tracking of Birds” pdf Position Statement - Tracking of birds (268 KB)

View other BirdLife South Africa position statements here