Conservation & Research

Conservation & Research Work

The birding route offers the ideal co-ordinating vehicle to oversee the bird conservation needs of the region.  There are a number of rare and threatened species found in the area, and more information is needed to verify their local status.  Highlighting the needs of bird conservation also offers opportunities for environmental education to communities situated in ecologically sensitive areas.  The birding route is involved in the monitoring of threatened species, bird censuses and the management of a bird database for the area.

Effective conservation requires research in order to understand the biology and ecology of birds.  There are several ornithological research projects under way in the region and birders are encouraged to report their sightings to the Limpopo Birding Route Sub-Route Offices where databases are kept of trip lists and rare sightings.  Researchers regularly utilize this database to assist them in their projects.  Some of the research projects in the region include the study of the distribution and status of the Southern Ground Hornbill, the biology and ecology of the Short-clawed Lark and the Kalahari Scrub-robin and the monitoring of raptor breeding activity, to name but a few.  Several bird species in the Polokwane Nature Reserve, notably the Short-clawed Lark and the Kalahari Scrub-robin, are fitted with colour rings to aid in individual identification and birders are encouraged to report sightings of colour tagged individuals to the Birding Route.

The Polokwane Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary as well as Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge serve as regular bird ringing stations.  The data obtained from these ringing stations provide invaluable information on the movements and longevity of birds in these areas.

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