Birdlife Northern Gauteng Talk
19:00 to 21:00
Please join us for the AGM – find out what your committee have been up to in 2015 and plans for an exciting 2016. It is important that we have as many members there as possible. After the formalities, Mark will talk on Bird conservation in South Africa.
South Africa’s natural environment is under increasing threat from land-use changes, environmental degradation, climate change, and other factors. Conservationists have an important responsibility to ensure that our country’s threatened habitats and biodiversity are protected. Although it is easy these days to become despondent, it is pleasing to note that there have been a number of important successes. From a bird conservation point-of-view, it significant that no bird species has gone extinct on mainland Africa during historical times. There have also been a number of bird conservation successes, including the eradication of cats from Marion Island, the breeding of Lesser Flamingos on a manmade island, the reintroduction of oxpeckers to their historical range, and many more.
Threats to our country’s birds are also being addressed with the best example being the reduction in albatross mortalities in the long-line and trawl fisheries. There are increasing numbers of cranes in KwaZulu-Natal, African Black Oystercatcher along our coast, and Black-browed albatross numbers on sub-Antarctic Islands.
There are however many challenges: destruction of the grassland biome, reduction in fish populations which is affecting pelagic and coastal seabirds, and windfarm developments which could result in significant mortalities through collisions with the turbines. BirdLife South Africa is at the forefront of identifying and addressing many of these threats. The future of our country’s birds is to a large extent dependent on a successful BirdLife South Africa and the organisation therefore needs support from all South Africans so that it can contribute to the conservation of our country’s natural heritage.
Contact: Wanda Lourens, 083 632 3846 / 012 348 2332