The Secretarybird is a charismatic and familiar species, and uses a variety of habitats across its range in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa it occurs in all nine provinces.
The Secretarybird is easy to identify; it has long legs, grey-black plumage, crest feathers and orange facial skin. In flight its long elongated central tail feathers are characteristic.
Conservation Status of Secretarybird
The Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) was uplisted from Near-threatened to Vulnerable. In South Africa there is considerable concern about the conservation status of the species. A preliminary analysis of SABAP1 and SABAP2 data shows a considerable reduction in the areas this species previously occupied. This is probably mostly due to habitat loss and habitat degredation, but other threats such as power lines collisions are aslso taking their toll.
It is quite surprising that we know very little about the biology of this species. We know, for example, very little about the Secretarybird's population size and trends in South Africa and other factors such as territory size. Juvenile dispersal and general movements are also poorly understood. This information is needed if we are to conserve this threatened species.
BirdLife South Africa has initiated research on the Secretarybird in order to understand aspects of its biology which will assist with its conservation. This research includes tracking the movements of Secretarybirds using satellite tracking devices. With these devices the movement of individual birds can be determined in great detail. These devices provide accurate locations to within 10m every 15 minutes from sunrise to sunset. Not only will it be possible to determine long distance movement patterns, but also habitat use and territory size.
Below are links to dedicated pages for each Secretarybird which has been fitted with a tracking device. Basic information about each bird as well as a Google Earth Map indicating the movement of the bird can be found on each page. The pages will be updated on a regular basis.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 13:46|