23 - 27 January 2023

SEABIRD CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Reason Nyengera drafted the inshore trawl bird-scaring line (BSL) flyer to promote the use of the new BSLs in this fleet. Reason also worked on the bird mitigation plans for inshore trawl vessel classes, which forms part of the Inshore Trawl Project deliverables.

 

LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Protecting Ecosystems

Melissa Whitecross, Fanie du Plessis and Hanneline Smit-Robinson met with colleagues from the Verra Sustainability Certification Standards team to explore a possible pilot project linked to biodiversity/nature credits using birds as a monitoring tool.

Protecting Species

Linda van den Heever, Melissa, Hanneline and Melissa Lewis attended the BirdLife Africa (International) and BirdLife South Africa (BLSA) two-day workshop aimed at producing a plan for mitigating the impact of lead (Pb) poisoning in southern African vultures. The meeting brought together key stakeholders from across the subregion, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

EMPOWERING PEOPLE PROGRAMME

Andrew de Blocq met with representatives from eBird and the Merlin bird identification app to discuss opportunities for collaboration. There will be follow-ups surrounding the downloadable bird pack for South Africa within Merlin as well as potential Great Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Birding Route guide training.

REGIONAL CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Bronwyn Maree was involved in several activities related to the Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECM) pilot project, including hosting and presenting an introductory webinar to BirdLife International partners, contributing to the six-month funding report and presenting at the OECM Project Steering Committee meeting.

 

SCIENCE & INNOVATION PROGRAMME

The 2023 checklists (MS Excel, PDF, Red List and Endemic lists)  have now been uploaded to the BLSA website (https://www.birdlife.org.za/media-and-resources/bird-checklists/).

POLICY & ADVOCACY PROGRAMME

Melissa Lewis and other BLSA colleagues participated in a regional workshop on the threats posed to vultures by lead (Pb), at which she delivered a presentation entitled “Lead Poisoning in Wildlife: Relevance of International and Regional Laws”. Melissa chaired a discussion on regulatory hurdles and opportunities. This event provided a useful opportunity to learn from the perspectives and experiences of several other African countries, as well as to meet in person with some important South African stakeholders.

 

HEAD OF CONSERVATION

Hanneline, Melissa Lewis and BLSA colleagues attended a meeting with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) to discuss the finalisation of an Implementation Plan developed to track implementation and progress of activities defined within the Memorandum of Understanding between DFFE and BLSA signed in 2020.

BUSINESS DIVISION

Mark Anderson accompanied guests on the Zimanga Private Game Reserve photo safari fundraiser. He also attended to various Mouse-Free Marion Project matters, including (with Fanie du Plessis) a feedback meeting by a USA-based company on recommendations to improve our fundraising work. Mark also met with HRH Prince Edward, who has agreed to be the Royal Patron of the Mouse-Free Marion Project. The monthly BLSA Marketing Committee meeting was held on Thursday.