Botha’s Lark Species Action Plan 

Make a difference

Make an online donation to help the Botha’s Lark specialist working group with the Botha’s Lark Conservation Project.

BirdLife South Africa seeks to arrest the dramatic and alarming decline in the population of Botha’s Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris), South Africa’s most threatened endemic bird species. The species faces high probability of extinction without conservation action. Declines in population estimates and suitable habitat within its very limited distribution fulfill the criteria for uplisting to Critically Endangered, with projections that the species could become extinct within the next few years. The Species Action Plan proposes strategic research and conservation goals that include consistent species and habitat monitoring (including line transect, camera-trapping, and acoustic surveys), landowner, stakeholder engagement and raising public awareness, and an effective synthesis of these aims to coordinate action and monitor conservation success. 

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The objective of Botha’s Lark Species Action Plan is to synthesise scientific monitoring techniques, stakeholder engagement and public awareness so that the remaining Botha’s Larks may be safeguarded, their habitat and requirements be understood and protected, and the population decline be arrested and reversed. 

About the Specialist Working Group

The Botha’s Lark Specialist Working Group is represented by BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Cape Town and the Free State and BirdLife International. It brings together concerned parties from academia, applied conservation and the NGO spheres. It seeks to find innovative and sustainable solutions for conserving the Botha’s Lark and its habitat, while engaging with affected landowners and communities throughout its range.

Meet the team

Dr Hanneline Smit-Robinson
(Head of Conservation)
Dr David Ehlers Smith
(Science and Spatial Planning Project Manager)
Dr Alan Lee
(Science and Innovation Programme Manager)
Nandi Thobela
(Empowering People Programme Manager)
Ernst Retief
(Landscape Conservation Programme Manager

Make a difference

Make an online donation to help the Botha’s Lark specialist working group with the Botha’s Lark Conservation Project.

How can you help?

Make a Donation:

Every contribution helps, no matter the size. Donate to fund critical research, habitat conservation, and community engagement efforts.

Adopt a Pentad:

Commit to regularly monitoring a pentad for SABAP2 (anywhere!), helping us keep track of population changes and habitat conditions.

Spread the Word:

Raise awareness about Botha’s Lark and its plight by sharing information on social media, in community groups, and within your network.

Report Sightings:

If you spot Botha’s Lark or similar species, report your sightings through our designated channels (BirdLasser preferably).

Engage in Policy Advocacy:

Help us lobby for stronger environmental protections and policies that support high-altitude grassland conservation.

Become a Conservation Ambassador:

Represent BirdLife South Africa in your community to help promote conservation initiatives and engage local stakeholders.

Additional Support

Corporate Sponsorship:

Encourage your company to support Botha’s Lark conservation through corporate sponsorship or matching donation programs.

Gifts in Kind:

Donate services or goods that can help in the conservation efforts, such as optical equipment, field gear, or professional services like graphic design or printing

THANK YOU to Birding Ecotours for sponsoring the Fellow of Grassland Conservation position!

A big THANK YOU to our donors

Timothy Hancock Charitable Trust

Brian Roberts

Ghita Erling

Tim Wood

Singita Luxury African Safari Lodges

Dominique Botha

Kevin Forsberg

Roland Hunt – Vermont Sales

Roeloff Botha

Birding Ecotours

Dawie Chamberlain – Chamberlain Hardware

Francois Swart and Simon Stekhoven – Duram