15-19 July 2024

SEABIRD CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Alistair McInnes and Eleanor Weideman conducted fieldwork on Dyer Island, where they deployed biologgers on African Penguins and calibrated the Automated Penguin Monitoring System.

 

MOUSE-FREE MARION (MFM) PROJECT

The monthly MFM Project Fundraising Committee meeting and six-weekly MFM Project Management Committee meeting were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

 

LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Kyle Lloyd continued to process acoustic data collected from wetland surveys to determine the presence of White-winged Flufftails. He also presented an overview of the project to BirdLife South Africa’s (BLSA) Board of Directors.

 

SPECIES CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Linda van den Heever and Justin Henry met with Matt Biden (The Royal Portfolio Foundation, and a BLSA Board member) to discuss ongoing testing of lead-free ammunition for culling purposes at Thornybush Game Reserve and adjacent game reserves.

 

EMPOWERING PEOPLE PROGRAMME

Nandi Thobela and Ntuthuko Mathe attended a Participatory Approaches to Conservation workshop hosted by Dr Sorrel Jones, from the People Section of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB’s) Conservation Science Centre. The aim of the workshop was to discuss a new open-access resource that seeks to promote the use of participatory approaches in conservation settings around the world and share feedback from conservationists from different international settings.

 

REGIONAL CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Jessica Wilmot met with Matt Biden to discuss the European Roller monitoring project and how The Royal Portfolio Foundation could support our efforts at Thornybush Game Reserve.

 

SCIENCE & INNOVATION PROGRAMME

David Ehlers Smith undertook two Coordinated Waterbird Counts (CWAC) at the Mpenjati and Umtamvuna River estuaries.

 

POLICY & ADVOCACY PROGRAMME

Sam Ralston-Paton accepted an invitation to join the scientific advisory committee of the next Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife, which will be held in France in August 2025.

 

HEAD OF CONSERVATION

Hanneline Smit-Robinson, Ernst Retief, and Charlotte Boyd (the newly appointed Regional Conservation Programme Manager) attended the South African Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) National Coordination Group meeting. Discussions focused on monitoring, mainstreaming and raising awareness of the recently delineated South African KBA network.

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Two new staff, John Kinghorn (Avitourism Project Manager) and Frederik van Deventer (Advocacy Officer), will take up their positions on 1 August. The recruitment of a Birding Ecotours Fellow of Grassland Conservation is underway, with interviews scheduled for 24 July.  Isabel Human and Nandi Thobela attended the Regional Coordination Committee meeting for the SANBI Groen Sebenza Central Region in Pretoria on 17 July.

 

BUSINESS DIVISION

BirdLife South Africa’s quarterly Board meeting was held on Wednesday.