BirdLife Port Natal

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture Tracks

Dear All 

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week.

Please also find attached photos of our incubating bird from our nest camera. A lot more wool has been added to the nest this week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture Tracks

Dear All 

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week. Our Cape Vulture provided quite a scare by not moving for four days but fortunately has become more active again!

Please also find attached a photo of our incubating bird from our nest camera.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture Tracks

Dear All 

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week. Not much activity from our birds in the past week.

Please also find attached photos of our incubating bird from our nest camera.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture Tracks

Dear All 

Please find attached (Click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week.

Please also find attached photos of our incubating bird from our nest camera.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture Tracks

Dear All 

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week.

Please also find attached a photo of our incubating bird.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (Click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh and Mollie and our Cape Vulture N207, for the past week.

Please also find attached a photo of our incubating bird.

Unfortunately some information below on another poisoning incident last week- a devastating loss of 537 vultures of several species:


The public is informed that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks recently identified a poisoning site in a Wildlife Management Area CT 1 in the Central District. The poisoning was believed to have been caused by lacing of three poached elephant carcasses with a poisonous chemical which lead to significant mortality in vultures and eagles. A total of 537 vultures and two tawny eagles were found dead at the site. The breakdown included 10 cape vultures, 14 lappet faced vultures, 468 white backed vultures, 17 white headed vultures and 28 hooded vulture. The law enforcement team attending the scene is working around the clock to decontaminate the area. Sampling of carcasses and the environment was done for further laboratory analysis. The public in the vicinity of the area CT1 is request to report any wildlife mortalities which may be spotted in their areas. The Department is concerned with the habit of some individuals who deliberately poison animals as this is dangerous and harmful to the environment. Furthermore, the public is encouraged to desist from engaging in such illegal acts and report any suspicious activities which may suggest environmental poisoning to the nearest wildlife office or the police.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

Clairwood Racecourse Conservation Concerns

BLPN has been involved in the public participation process for the proposed development of Clairwood Racecourse into a logistics park. As an Interested & Affected Party (I&AP) we commented on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

The developer (Capital Property Fund) started with demolition at the beginning of April 2015 although Environmental Authorisation (EA) was only granted on 29 May 2015. The developer argues that authorisation is only needed for construction and no construction has taken place yet.

The surrounding communities have appealed the EA and BLPN provided information and comments to aid the communities in their appeal. The appeal process has not been finalized yet.

The environmental consultants have submitted an amended Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) to all I&APs. Click here to read BLPNs comments on the proposed EMPr.

We also raised concern over having to comment on the EMPr while the development is still under appeal.

Arnia Van Vuuren.

Vice-Chair for BirdLife Port Natal

Invitation to the Return of the Barn Swallows


Come and join us and celebrate the The Return of the Swallows 2014

Extend the invitation to friends, family, colleagues and business associates, this is something to be seen and experienced by everyone.

This year we have an improved swallow experience with New Terraces and Gardens

For the opening day some of our talented local residents will be selling tea and coffee, Homemade Hungarian sweet delights, freshly made samousas etc

Plus information booklets and swallow trinkets on sale

See you on the Lake Victoria Viewing site

Best Wishes


PS the swallow site will be open 5pm daily for the season thereafter

Invitation to Return of the Barn Swallows


BirdLife South Africa media release – Bird your ‘Hood Birding Big Day 2014

Please find attached a media release about the upcoming BirdLife South Africa Birding Big Day to be held on Saturday 29 November 2014.

BirdLife South Africa media release – Bird your Hood Birding Big Day 2014

Best regards

Nikki McCartney

Events & Marketing Manager

Lewis House, 239 Barkston Drive, Blairgowrie 2194, Gauteng

P.O. Box 515, Randburg 2125, Gauteng, South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)13 764 3370

Fax: +27 (0)86 581 9999

Cell: +27 (0) 83 636 1060


BirdLife South Africa’s Dr Ross Wanless wins Environmentalist of the Year Award

Dear colleagues

The following has just been sent to the media, posted on Facebook, etc.:

The prestigious SAB Environmentalist of the Year Award was made to Dr Ross Wanless, from BirdLife South Africa’s Seabird Conservation Programme, at a ceremony in Johannesburg yesterday. Dr Wanless has overseen a number of impressive conservation achievements over the past six years at BirdLife South Africa, building on a career of seabird science and conservation work that started in 1997. Dr Wanless was unable to receive the award in person, as he is travelling internationally for work. BirdLife South Africa’s CEO, Mark Anderson, received the award on Dr Wanless’ behalf.

The SAB award recognised not just a lot of hard work over many years, but an individual who has been instrumental in delivering significant, lasting conservation outcomes. Very few conservation programmes can actually demonstrate tangible benefits for species they seek to conserve. It is still more exceptional for a programme to bring benefits to a suite of threatened species. BirdLife South Africa’s extraordinary work to prevent the extinction of albatrosses and petrels is one such programme. Under the leadership of Dr Ross Wanless, the programme has used science, advocacy, persistence and win-win solutions to turn the tide against fisheries impacts on iconic seabirds. Earlier this year his team announced, via a research paper in the highly rated, international science journal Animal Conservation, that their efforts in the South African hake trawl fishery had caused a reduction in seabird mortality of up to 90%. Dr Wanless is currently in South Korea, running a workshop with the Korean tuna longline fleet to assist that fleet to adopt best practice measures for avoiding accidental seabird catches.

Dr Wanless has recreated the African Seabird Group and oversaw a successful bid for the group to host the second World Seabird Conference, to be in Cape Town in October next year; he is chair of the local organising committee and sits on the World Seabird Unions’ conference executive committee. He also created and oversees the annual Celebrate Our Seas festival which kicked off in the beginning of October as part of National Marine Week. He maintains strong links to the University of Cape Town, and is currently supervising a Masters and a PhD student.

“It’s a real honour to receive this sort of recognition, but I do need to acknowledge that I have an amazing team at BirdLife South Africa, and this award is theirs as much as mine” said Dr Wanless.



Mark D. Anderson

Chief Executive Officer

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) 82 788 0961


Durban Green Corridor and BirdLife SA’s “Bird your Hood”

Dear all,

Please see below email from Anna da Graca at the Durban Green Corridor.  Please think about participating in their Bird Your Hood initiative – it will really be a great day.



We are excited to tell you that we have been working with Nikki McCartney at Bird Life SA and are participating in the ‘Bird Your Hood’ initiative as part of the ‘Big Birding Day’.

I wanted to tell you about the opportunities (and prizes!) we are offering to those that choose to use Durban Green Corridor as their ‘Hood’ for this fun day. You can see more at the following link

We are needing to reach as many people as possible to encourage them to come to us for this day. Are you able to share this through your networks and channels?

Thanks so much and with best wishes,

Anna da Graça

Marketing & Business Development Manager

Durban Green Corridor

 082 543 6703


AGM of the Durban Branch of WESSA 20 July 2013

Dear all,

Please see notice of WESSA meeting below. Arnia van Vuuren, our Vice-Chair is the guest speaker.

Kind regards


The Annual General Meeting of the Durban Branch of WESSA
Will be held on Saturday 20 July 2013 at 14h00 In the WESSA Boardroom, 100 Brand Road, Durban.

Guest Speaker Arnia van Vuuren of Birdlife Port Natal: “eThekwini 2050: A vision for the future.”
Everybody is very well aware of the myriad needs and challenges South Africa needs to address. Transnet proposes to address these challenges through huge infrastructure developments anchored in eThekwini. What exactly is Transnet proposing? Environmentalists voice various concerns about these developments. Why are they concerned? Should they be concerned? If you could wave your magic wand, what would your vision be for eThekwini 2050?




4. MATTERS ARISING: Membership and the demise of the KZN Region





Tea and Refreshments

For catering purposes, please RSVP by 18 July to: Jenny 031 201 3126 or Margaret 031 573 1054

The KwaZulu Natal Crane Foundation – Update

Dear all,

Your committee has been approached by Atholl Midgley, a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Crane Foundation, who has worked with Wattled Crane chicks at the Johannesburg Zoo.  You might remember that we were selling bricks for the wall of the envisaged Crane crèche in the Midlands a few years’ ago, and now it seems that the new facility under construction at Nottingham Road in the Midlands is nearer completion, but fundraising is still very necessary to the success of this project.

The KZNCF is a small group of some 30 odd people, registered with a Public Benefit Organisation number and committed to taking over the reins from the Johannesburg Zoo, to raise the Wattled Crane chicks from the abandoned second egg.  These birds are classified as “critically endangered” and 80% of those remaining in SA are to be found in the grasslands and wetlands at the bottom of the slopes of the Drakensberg.  If you attended our indoor meeting talk by Tanya Smith a couple of years ago, you would have seen the dedication of her team in obtaining that second egg for raising in the nursery.

The KZNCF is running a raffle which commenced at the Sasol Bird Fair in May, and we have been asked to encourage our members to support this unique and very important project.  I am therefore attaching the list of sponsors of prizes of a stay in the Midlands, as well as a copy of the competition form. If you would like to see images of the construction of the Nursery please write to me and I will send you the PDF file.

The draw for the competition will be held at the BLSA offices on 30 July and the forms must be returned by Friday 25 July by email to, tel 083 520 5860.

The bank details are as follows :

Name of Bankers       Nedbank

Account Holder          The KwaZulu-Natal Crane Foundation

Depositors reference  PN-SBF

Account No.              1343 031 338

Please consider supporting this cause.  Cranes are very dear to the hearts of those of us living in KZN, and the sighting of these birds on an outing to the Midlands is a very exciting experience.

Complete the form, deposit the money and send both form and deposit slip to Atholl by 25 July.  If you can, persuade others to take a raffle ticket on your form.

Kind regards


Woolworths launches the Cranes Bag

Hi everyone,

Woolworths has just launched their Crane Shoppers Bag, and they should have started appearing on Woolworths shelves  already.  A percentage of sales will be given to the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s African Crane Conservation Programme.  So, please, please head down to Woolworths as soon as possible to buy your bag, and please encourage your friends and family to head down to Woolworths as well to buy theirs, all contributing to crane conservation.  People can also purchase these online at the link below…



Cranes bag

International Crane Foundation / Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership

Manager: African Crane Conservation Programme

+ 27 11 372 3600 | F + 27 11 608 4682 / +27 86 636 5854 | C + 27 82 877 5126

Email: / | Web: /  | Skype: kerrynm


Bird Ringing on Sunday 7 July with Andrew Pickles

Sunday 7 July :  Bird ringing with Andrew Pickles.  Please contact Andrew for details of venue and time, 082 338 3302 or

World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day

Click on World Migratory Bird Day to read about the

Loss and Degradation of Natural Habitats which Threaten Migratory Birds, Pushing Species towards Extinction

World Migratory Bird Day 2013 Highlights Importance of Ecological Networks for Migratory BirdsNeed for a Greater International Response 

Cape Parrot Project as shown on TV

Cape Parrot Project as shown on TV


Please watch this video on the Wild Bird Trust’s Cape Parrot Project from 50/50 (SABC2) on 28 January 2013:


BIRP. Excuse me!

I have just put 2 sets of useful BIRP forms on the website.

They can be found on both the Forms Page and Conservation/ADU Page.

There is a choice of Form to report BIRP sightings and there are a set of 6 Forms to choose from if you want a checklist for specific regions around the country.

They are all easily transferable to your computer for ease of use.

Check it out.


BLPN’s position on the Planned Back of Port Development.


Durbanites are probably all aware of the major infrastructure development that is proposed for Durban and the Durban-Free State-Gauteng corridor.

Proposed developments:

  • The Dube Tradeport development.
  • A big low-cost housing, industrial and commercial development on the current cane fields at Umhlanga. The project is called Cornubia (
  • A major shopping centre development at Shongweni between the N3 and M13, bordering on Giba Gorge. (Report available at or Google Shongweni developments.)
  • The proposed expansion of berths 203 – 205 on Pier 2 in Durban harbour. This is the development of most immediate concern since it is due to start in 2013.

The quay wall on these 3 berths are currently not meeting required safety standards. Transnet sees the necessity of upgrading the quay wall as an opportunity to lengthen all 3 berths, widen the pier by 50m and deepen the channel and the turning basin to accommodate much bigger container vessels. Lot 10, which will be used for construction of caissons for the quay wall, storage of fuel and equipment and be general builder’s yard, is close (opposite) to the mangroves and Bayhead Natural Heritage site.

Current view of Pier 2

Proposed expansion of berths 203-205 on Pier 2

Of environmental concern is the central sandbank, the dredging that will happen to deepen the channel, the impact of the construction activities and the eventual increased freight handling, the sand winning at a site offshore for infill material and the dumping of dredging waste at a site offshore. A part of the central sandbank will be lost and the quay wall will be much closer to the sandbank. To compensate for the loss of the sandbank in the western corner it is proposed to infill and extend the sandbank on the long southern edge.

  • The proposed development called “Back of Port” which involves major rezoning and restructuring of Congella, Umbilo, Rossburgh, Clairwood, Jacobs and Mobeni into port related industrial and logistics zones and big road infrastructure development to handle the increased freight they plan to bring through Durban harbour. The developers propose to mitigate the development through various measures on the Amanzimnyama and Umhlatuzana canal and protecting the wetland at Clairwood Racecourse. To commence 2015/2016. ( click on Back of Port tab.)
  • The proposed development of a dig-out port at the site of the old Durban International Airport (DIA) to handle more container freight and cars. See diagram below. To commence 2015/2016.

The orange is containers, yellow for cars, green “environmental”.

  • The proposed development of rail and the road infrastructure from Durban along the N3 to Gauteng – see the map below. Some Bayhead road infrastructure already completed, more to commence 2014, new interchanges on N2 and at Stockville to commence 2015.

  • To be able to handle the super-ships of the future the Bay’s capacity will have to be expanded again as indicated in the plan below.

  • The role of  BirdLife and what you can do:

The Pier 2 development (d. above) is already in the final stages of the Environmental Impact Assessment, while developments e. and f. are in the public participation stage after which it needs to go to government and then the EIA will be done.

These are major developments with undeniable environmental impact. To quote from the Back of Port Framework Report (p41):

  • An initial assessment indicates that, excluding marine areas, there is in excess of
  • 650Ha of terrestrial and aquatic habitat that is threatened by strategic projects in
  • South Durban. … Habitat types include wetland, grassland and estuarine habitats.
  • This habitat is both important from a local perspective and is critical to several rare and endangered species.
  • Proposed port expansion and associated infrastructure projects will result in significant loss of these habitat areas. A rough estimate indicates that 300Ha or more is likely to be lost due to proposed port expansion alone.
  • Additional key areas are likely to come under threat from associated infrastructure such as the
    • proposed freight route. Meaningful replacement of such an important and extensive habitat area is not likely to be possible in close proximity to the area of impact. The scale of this loss will be greater than that associated with any previous development … The impact is likely to be extensive, irreplaceable and have national and possibly international significance.

BLPN needs to make its voice heard in all these developments, but we need help from our members.

If you have any specialist knowledge, for example, an engineering or economics background that can help us evaluate the motivations given for the developments or the alternatives proposed, or if you are willing to give your time to read through a report and summarize the major points, it would be of great value.

The need is urgent. We need to make informed comments and presentations to the relevant authorities.

In this matter you can make a difference to the eThekwini of the future and to the conservation of our beloved birds.

If you are willing to help, please contact Arnia van Vuuren on

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