About the Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme

BirdLife South Africa is the country partner of BirdLife International.

The Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme is dedicated to the conservation of South Africa’s indigenous bird species, based on scientific research and management. Our programme falls under the Preventing Extinctions Programme of BirdLife International. BirdLife South Africa’s Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme has a staff complement of six permanent employees and several contractors. The programme is dedicated to the conservation of indigenous bird species and aims to ensure that the main threats to South Africa’s threatened bird species and their habitat are adequately addressed through the identification and implementation of conservation actions, based on scientifically based research and monitoring.

Where needed, sound scientific research and/or monitoring are undertaken on a selected number of threatened terrestrial birds in order to determine reasons for their conservation status and measures needed to reverse negative population trends.

Current projects include research and conservation for:

  • White-winged Flufftail;
  • Taita Falcon;
  • Secretarybird; Southern Banded Snake Eagle;
  • Black Stork,
  • Vulture species, endemic grassland species (Rudd’s Lark, Botha’s Lark, Southern Bald Ibis and Yellow-breasted Pipit) and endemic arid species (Red Lark, Sclater’s Lark and Ludwig’s Bustard).  A recent project investigates the effects of lead toxicosis in South Africa’s vultures and scavenging raptors, with the aim to eventually identify the source of the lead poisoning and finding ways to mitigate its impacts.

Renewable energy can have negative impacts on birds and their habitats. The well-established and globally recognised project works closely with government, industry and avifaunal specialists to help ensure that these impacts are minimised and thus helps to ensure the sustainable development of both wind and solar energy.

Finally, the programme aims to reach new audiences and change the perception of the public through the organizing of two events, the Learn About Birds (LAB) conference, co-hosted with the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, and the Flufftail Festival.