During the last number of years BirdLife South Africa in partnership with WWF-SA, have been assisting the Free State Provincial Government to formally proclaim certain farms in the Memel area as a Protected Environment. These farms are extremely important for bird conservation as they host habitats such as grasslands and wetlands, which are used by species such as the globally Vulnerable Wattled (Bugeranus carunculatus) and Blue (Anthropoides paradiseus) cranes and the Endangered Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum). The area is also important for other threatened bird species such as Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus), Blue Korhaan (Eupodotis caerulescens), Denham’s Bustard (Neotis denhami), Yellow-breasted Pipit (Anthus chloris) and Rudd’s Lark (Heteromirafra ruddi). By proclaiming these properties a protected area, it provides protection from unsuitable land use practices for this area, such as mining. Management plans will be developed to improve the habitats in the area, for example through the removal of alien plants and improved burning practices.
On Friday 16 January 2015 the intention to declare this Protected Environment was published in the Free State Provincial Gazette Notice No. 91 (see attached document) and members of the public are now invited to comment on this proposal. BirdLife South Africa would like to obtain as many letters of support as possible. To indicate your support for this initiative please consider adding your name and email address to an online letter created by BirdLife South Africa: http://www.123contactform.com/form-1282836/Sneeuwberg-Letter-Of-Support.
BirdLife South Africa will print the letters and, under a cover letter from BirdLife South Africa, submit them to the MEC. For more information about this initiative please contact Ernst Retief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please distribute this request to your bird club members and friends.
Regional Conservation Manager: Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Free State
Lewis House, 239 Barkston Drive, Blairgowrie 2194, Gauteng
P.O. Box 515, Randburg 2125, Gauteng, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 789 1122 / 0860 BIRDER
Fax: +27 (0)11 789 5188
Cell: +27 (0) 72 223 2160