SEABIRD CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Alistair McInnes, Eleanor Weideman and Christina Hagen attended a meeting on penguin-fisheries interactions where research was presented to aid the International Review Panel on African Penguins and Island Closures. Alistair, Eleanor and Christina finalised three documents on the research that was presented, which will aid the panel in their deliberations about fishing closures around African Penguin breeding colonies.
LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Kyle Lloyd and Marlize Muller attended the Mpumalanga Biodiversity Stewardship Forum meeting hosted by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA). Kyle presented about the project’s stewardship and protected area expansion work in Mpumalanga.
Cassie Carstens started planning the first survey and stakeholder engagement trip to the Northern Cape which is scheduled for the first week of June. He will be accompanied by Wesley Gush who will be laying the groundwork for his PhD.
EMPOWERING PEOPLE PROGRAMME
The Italtile and Ceramic Foundation has donated R100 000 to supplement our Environmental Education and Awareness initiatives in the schools in KwaNibela. The funds will be used to improve the school’s sporting equipment and address the school’s stationery needs.
REGIONAL CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Simeon Bezeng and colleagues from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) were invited by the Founder of Leadership for Conservation in Africa to give a presentation to second-year students at the Tshwane University of Technology on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Specifically, the presentation covered what the Red List of Threatened Species is, the categories and criteria, and how it is used.
SCIENCE & INNOVATION PROGRAMME
The revision of the Sclater’s Lark manuscript received a favourable editorial review and was resubmitted with minor changes to Afro-Tropical Birds and Birding.
POLICY & ADVOCACY PROGRAMME
Melissa Lewis supported colleagues at BirdLife Zimbabwe and BirdWatch Zambia to develop their objections to proposed oil and gas prospecting in an area that falls within a Key Biodiversity Area, is important for several vulture species, and borders Mana Pools National Park (a World Heritage Site and Ramsar Wetland of International Importance).
It was a busy week of meetings, including the final Flock to the Wilderness Organising Committee meeting, the SABAP2 Steering Committee meeting, and the quarterly Membership Committee meeting. Mark Anderson, Philip Calinikos, Ernst Retief and Shireen Gould attended Andre Marx’s memorial service, and we remain saddened by the unfortunate passing of this birding giant. Isdell House was a hive activity as the staff carried out the final preparations for Flock to the Wilderness.