Birdlife Port Natal was established in Durban in 1949 as the Natal Bird Club and as such is one of the oldest bird clubs in Africa. It is also one of the larger clubs affiliated to Birdlife South Africa, which in turn is the national partner of Birdlife International, the largest conservation organisation in the world. As an affiliate club Birdlife Port Natal, shares the goals of BLSA as they relate to conservation of birds and habitats within KZN and therefore the club plays an important role in conservation, as well as influencing various aspects of birding in KZN and southern Africa.
1. OUR AREA
The clubs geographical area covers the boundaries of the eThekwini Municpality on the subtropical east coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It is an area rich in bird diversity with 520 species occurring in an area stretching for 90kms along the coastline and stretching inland to the foothills of the Drakensberg.
2. OUR MISSION AND GOALS
The Mission of the Association is to promote the Enjoyment, Understanding, Study and Conservation of Birds and the Environment in the region of the eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, and to support BLSA in its similar objectives countrywide. The goals of the club support this mission through the co-ordination of a variety of activities for club members including meetings, presentations, bird outings locally and further afield and through support and participation of citizen science and research projects.
3. REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY
The six BirdLife KZN clubs meet bi-annually in February and September for the weekend BirdLife Forum. The Saturday is devoted to avian conservation issues in the province with inputs from academics, conservationists, ornithologists, BLSA professional staff members and citizen scientists made up of members from all 6 clubs. The Sunday is the Chairs’ Forum where the six club chairs, as well as others involved in BirdLife projects, meet to solve problems, share information and keep the communication channels open. All members are welcome to the Saturday Forum meeting. At the February meeting, a Chair of Forum is elected as well as a Chair of the Chairs’ Forum. Other elections include that of BLSA Council representative for all 6 of the KZN clubs and Treasurer of Forum.