15-19 April 2024

SEABIRD CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Anton Wolfaardt (the Mouse-Free Marion Project’s Project Manager) and Monique van Bers (the Mouse-Free Marion Project’s Overwintering Research Assistant) departed from Cape Town harbour onboard the S.A. Agulhas II for the annual relief voyage to Marion Island.

 

LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Kyle Lloyd, Marlize Muller and Hanneline Smit-Robinson presented updates on our work at the Middelpunt Wetland Trust biannual meeting. They provided updates about funding, the past field season, conservation successes, and plans for the winter months.

 

SPECIES CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Linda van den Heever attended a national workshop on lead poisoning in vultures in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting brought together several stakeholders from local government and highlighted the urgent need to assess lead poisoning in Tanzania’s vulture populations.

 

EMPOWERING PEOPLE PROGRAMME

Nandi Thobela, Alan Lee, Andrew de Blocq and Thandulwazi Ndaba attended the South African Names for South African Birds (SANSAB) committee meeting to discuss the progress of developing bird names in other local languages.

 

REGIONAL CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Jessica Wilmot hosted Ian Barber from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at Isdell House for the week.

 

SCIENCE & INNOVATION PROGRAMME

David Ehlers Smith, Robin Colyn and Hanneline presented the dire conservation status of Botha’s Lark on Conservation Conversations.

 

POLICY & ADVOCACY PROGRAMME

John Gibbs met with Standard Bank’s ESG team to discuss BirdLife South Africa’s (BLSA’s) work on renewable energy and how best to ensure the bank’s clients take appropriate steps to protect avifauna. Standard Bank is looking to increase its financial support for “biodiversity and conservation”.

 

HEAD OF CONSERVATION

Hanneline hosted the bi-annual BLSA Conservation Advisory Committee meeting at Isdell House. The Committee advises on the conservation work undertaken by the BLSA team.

 

BUSINESS DIVISION

The annual external audit commenced this week. Numerous meetings were attended by Business Division staff, including the quarterly Board of Directors meeting, the bi-monthly Membership Committee and African Birdlife Management Committee meetings, and the 6-monthly Middelpunt Wetland Trust meeting. Meetings were held with several donors, including Tim and James Desilet and the trustees of the Charl van der Merwe Trust. BLSA hosted the RSPB’s Ian Barber at Isdell House during the week.