BirdLife South Africa is pleased to announce that the third annual Flufftail Festival will take place at Maponya Mall in Soweto from 31 January to 6 February 2017.
Although recent rains have somewhat alleviated drought conditions over parts of our country, as South Africans we cannot afford to be complacent about water. With the threat of global warming looming ever larger, it is still important to raise awareness about our most critical natural resource, and its importance not only to ourselves, but also to the birds and other wildlife that depend on it for their survival. In light of this, and in celebration of World Wetlands Day (2 February 2017), BirdLife South Africa, in partnership with Eskom, Rand Water (Water Wise), Rare Finch Conservation Group and the Department of Environmental Affairs, will once again host the annual Flufftail Festival.
The Flufftail Festival exhibit will take the form of an interactive maze, with five, vibrant stations aimed at teaching young and old about conserving water, wetlands and threatened waterbirds (especially the Critically Endangered White-winged Flufftail). Participants will be given an entry form with five questions, and will be encouraged to wander through the maze to find the answers. Once they have submitted their entry form, they will stand a chance to win great prizes, including shopping (Woolworths and Mr Price) and restaurant vouchers. Prize winners will be drawn on a daily basis.
Participants on the weekend will also have a chance to have their photograph taken in front of a wetland wearing various props, from gumboots to binoculars. They will receive these images, both hard- and electronic copies, free of charge. Each participant will also receive a sticker to commemorate the event, as well as a fun and informative brochure.
Educational programme: Waxi the Hero puppet show and Schools programme
An exciting addition to this year’s festival is the Waxi the Hero puppet show, presented by the Rare Finch Conservation Group in collaboration with BirdLife South Africa. Fun and educational, Waxi wants to show youngsters (as well as the young at heart) how important it is to look after the wetlands where he makes his home. The initial response to the show has been overwhelming, and we would like to encourage all parents to bring along their young children for this fun-filled educational opportunity. Shows start at 9am every morning for the duration of the weeklong festival, and will take place at the Ster Kinekor theatres in Maponya Mall.
Puppet show advert poster
Puppeteers Teboga and Linda featuring some of the puppet characters, Fluffy (White-winged Flufftail),
Snippy (Greater Painted Snipe), Wandi (Wattled Crane) and the hero, Waxi (Orange-breasted Waxbill).
As part of the 2017 Flufftail Festival, a school programme was enrolled in November 2016 at four Sowetan schools, Sekwati Primary, Molalatladi Primary, Lakeview Primary and Isaacson Primary by Rand Water in partnership with BirdLife South Africa and Raymond Rampolokeng (local Sowetan BirdLife South Africa trained bird guide). The first of five contact sessions included a presentation on waterbirds, an environmental education game and the Manzi Roadshow. The Manzi Roadshow encourages learners to be water wise and provides them with ways how to save water.
For more information on the Critically Endangered White-winged Flufftail, please click here. To find out how BirdLife South Africa and Eskom are partnering to manage a pumped storage scheme as a sustainable conservation site, please follow the link to the Ingula Partnership.
The annual Flufftail Festival is a partnership between Rand Water, Eskom and BirdLife South Africa.
A word of thanks to our sponsors: Jo’burg City Parks & Zoo, Ster Kinekor, Bay of Grace Tours, Utopia, SANParks Honorary Rangers: West Rand Region, Be Photographed, House of Print and Jalapeno Advertising and Promotion.
The prizes are sponsored by:
Woolworths, Mr Price and Panarotti’s.
For more information, please contact Linda van den Heever on 011 789 1122 or firstname.lastname@example.org