Wetlands & Grasslands

Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme

BirdLife South Africa’s habitat and species work in the Grassland biome has made momentous progress since inception in 2011. The Grassland Biome has high avifaunal significance, because it supports about 350 of the 847 bird species, about 20% of red-listed bird species and 53% of endemic bird species occurring in South Africa. Wetlands have been identified as the most threatened habitat type in South Africa. Through a combination of ecological niche modelling, remote sensing and field surveys we have ascertained the distribution and population status of three threatened grassland species, Rudd’s Lark, Botha’s Lark and Yellow-breasted Pipit. Through our work on the Critically Endangered White-winged Flufftail, with an estimated 250 birds left in the wild, we strive to protect the species’ habitat in South Africa, i.e. a selected number of high altitude wetlands in Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. The preferred habitat of the Orange-breasted Waxbill includes reed beds, moist grasslands and grassy savanna. As part of a public awareness campaign small is BIG, this species has been selected as a sentinel bird for eight threatened and 84 common bird species that all have similar habitat requirements.

We are working to protect important sites and habitats, especially the threatened grasslands and wetlands at Steenkampsberg (Lakenvlei Protected Area), Memel (Sneeuwberg Protected Area), Ingula (Wilge Stewardship Initiative) and the Mistbelt Grasslands in southern KwaZulu-Natal.


Species Projects


Species Projects