May 2024 Newsletter

Birds of the Karoo Surveying the birds of the Karoo in 2017 and 2018 was one of the more memorable chapters of my life. The surveys were conducted on a shoestring budget, camping and biking to keep costs down and maximise effort, with long stints away from family. Most took place on private land and…

April 2024 Newsletter

European Rollers – where do they go? BirdLife South Africa is protecting migratory birds one solar-powered satellite tag at a time. And its species of choice? The European Roller. This captivating migratory bird, a flagship species for the East Atlantic Flyway Initiative, is also a crucial indicator of ecosystem health. Individual populations have shown severe…

March 2024 Newsletter

African Penguins forage most successfully in groups. Credit Alistair McInnes No break for penguins While conservation scientists have long been aware of, and worried by, the decline in the number of African Penguins, ongoing research indicates that the plight of this iconic species is worse than ever. The species has now lost a staggering 97%…

February 2024 Newsletter

February Newsletter 2024 An adult Secretarybird in South African grassland. Credit Cassie Carstens The last Secretarybird in Gauteng? The grasslands of Gauteng are probably one of the most threatened habitats in the entire country. The economic heart of South Africa continues to develop at breakneck speed and the last natural pieces of the Highveld are…

January 2024 Newsletter

Recommended avitourism service provider Bosch Luys Kloof has joined BirdLife South Africa’s network of recommended accommodation establishments. At this private nature reserve, situated near Seweweekspoort on the cusp of the Little Karoo and Great Karoo, dramatic vistas of mountains, valleys and karooveld await you. The reserve offers guided nature drives, hiking trails, 4×4 routes, mountain…

December 2023 Newsletter

Happy holidays! As I write this message, I am reminded of the fragility of our planet. Some parts of South Africa have experienced searing heat, and the rains have not arrived. During the past few weeks birds have died in the northern and western parts of the country, some when the temperature reached the mid-…

November 2023 Newsletter

Part of the BioSCape team with the NASA aircraft in Cape Town, late October 2023. Credit Otto Whitehead NASA N95 tail section. Credit Otto Whitehead Spills and thrills of BioSCape There have been several moments during the BioSCape journey when we have wondered, ‘Is this going to happen?’ In case you’ve missed it, BioSCape is…

October 2023 Newsletter

Windmills are a quintessential part of the Karoo experience. They also provide a home for Greater Kestrels and Pied Crows. Henk Nel rewards Renier Balt for his efforts to bring the atlasing group together and make the bash happen. Karoo landscape. Credit Tino Herselman Atlas bashing in the Karoo Undertaking an atlas bash in the…

September 2023 Newsletter

Vincent Parker. Nick Prentice. Dominic Naidoo. Priscilla Beeton. (Left to right) Nina Braude, Kate Handley and Celine Oates of the Biodiversity Law Centre. Lily Bickerstaffe and Alberto Vaccari. Mark D. Anderson (CEO of BirdLife South Africa), Yvonne Pennington (Chairperson of BirdLife South Africa) and Gavin Walker. Barbara Bickel. John Clements. Mark D. Anderson, Yvonne Pennington…

August 2023 Newsletter

Colouring-in champions BirdLife South Africa is pleased to announce the winners of the ‘Win with Faansie’ colouring-in competition, which was part of the African Bird Fair last month. The winner for the 7–10 age group is Nate Eatwell (aged 9) from KwaZulu-Natal; and for the 11–13 age group is Claire Fowler (aged 11) from the…