The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas BirdLasser Challenge focuses on the network of 112 sites identified by BirdLife South Africa’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) Programme. These IBAs are critical for the long-term survival of bird species that are globally threatened, have a restricted range or are confined to specific biomes or vegetation types. It is believed that the national IBA network holds more than 750 bird species, the challenge is see how many can be recorded in one year. It is hoped that valuable data about the distribution of birds within the IBA network will be collected. IBA’s in Limpopo are: Mapungubwe National Park, Kruger National Park and adjacent areas, Soutpansberg, Blouberg, Wolkberg Forest Belt, Polokwane Nature Reserve, Waterberg System, Nyl River Floodplain and Northern Turf Thornveld. To find out more about each IBA, go to http://birdlife.org.za/conservation/important-bird-areas/iba-directory
To take part, go to:
Look out for these beautiful Cape Parrot bags which are now for sale at Woolworths. They cost R35 each, R10 of which will be donated to BirdLife South Africa’s IBA Programme. Funds raised through this initiative will go towards helping to safeguard the remaining patches of Cape Parrot habitat, and supporting the annual Cape Parrot census. Read more at:
This challenge was initiated by Birdlife Polokwane in 2011 with a running list of all the bird species recorded within the borders of the Limpopo Province in a calendar year. Reports of rarities and vagrants are vetted according to the criteria used for the South African Bird Atlas Project.
The highest score recorded until 2016 was 543 in 2015. In 2017, Birdlife Polokwane Members were determined to set a new record and finally managed to achieve an incredible total of 556 species! These included some vagrant species such as American Golden Plover, Caspian Plover and Red-footed Falcon.
Download the full report by Joe Grosel in the Birdlife Polokwane newsletter The Lark 16, March/ April 2018, at:
Limpopo Birding Routes, with the support of Limpopo Tourism Agency, was proud to host the Magoebaskloof Birds and Forest Festival at the Magoebaskloof Hotel from 19-22 November 2017. With a fantastic line-up of top-quality presentations by experts in their field, and excursions led by Limpopo’s top guides, the festival really had something for everyone and was extremely well supported, attracting participants from far and wide.The programme began on a high note with a gala dinner on Thursday evening, with an unforgettable keynote speech delivered by Dr Warwick Tarboton. The following two days were packed full with fascinating talks on subjects ranging from orchids to eagles; as well as excursions to South Africa’s best Afromontane Forest birding sites and the critically endangered Woodbush Granite Grassland.
During the weekend Professor Derek Engelbrecht and his colleagues conducted bird ringing sessions in a nearby forest patch, which provided valuable research data on the special forest bird species; and also afforded participants the unique privilege of seeing these elusive birds up close and personal. Nature enthusiasts of all ages joined the family walks on Sunday morning and had fun in the forest while learning about birds and preserving their precious habitats.
The festival was a resounding success with guests enthusing about the enriching and enlightening presentations; the excellent meals, service and warm hospitality at the hotel, and the exceptional experiences of the weekend.
Limpopo Birding Routes once again exhibited at the Limpopo Tourism Agency stand at the Getaway Show in Johannesburg from 23 – 25 September 2017. The spectacular Limpopo stand was well-situated and inviting, receiving many comments and compliments. Our intriguing ‘All eyes on the Limpopo Province’ banner was an eye-catching feature with many interested visitors approaching for a closer look and attempt at identifying the various birds eyes.
The three day event was well attended and there was a constant stream of interested visitors to the Limpopo stand. It was a pleasure to be part of the dynamic Limpopo team and we are most grateful to Limpopo Tourism Agency for the opportunity to participate in this popular tourism marketing event and introducing birding in Limpopo to a wide market.
Limpopo Birding Routes joined other birding-related exhibitors at the second BirdLife South Africa ‘African Bird Fair’ in the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden from 9 – 10 September 2017. The venue was stunning, the weather gorgeous and the turn-out impressive.
Independent Bird Guide Samson Mulaudzi was there to talk to birders from around Gauteng and beyond. Many visitors to our stand had already been birding at a Limpopo destination, many more are now planning a trip here soon!