Kruger National Park, Photographer: Nancy Job

New partnerships and collaborations support freshwater diversity in South Africa

An exciting partnership with BirdLife South Africa is emerging as the South Africa Biodiversity Data Pipeline for Wetlands and Waterbirds (BIRDIE) technical team learns more about bird red listing – anticipated to be a key indicator for the BIRDIE Project.  On July 2 a meeting was held with managers of Barberspan, a 9,900 acre bird sanctuary located in the North West Providence, the first pilot site of the BIRDIE project. BirdLife South Africa has declared it as an important national birding site. It is a wetland of international importance for migratory birds and waterfowl with 365 species recorded.

The first BIRDIE project user requirement workshop was held on February 24, 2021 with over 20 potential users in attendance. The workshop gathered researchers to share information for the use of the data pipeline and to discuss potential field sites.  Many new enthusiasts and additional partners have emerged during 2021. In addition to the BIRDIE Project post-doctoral researcher, several new collaborators have joined the team – including Mr. Sulaiman Salau, a lecturer in the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town, who is developing statistical methods for modelling waterbird trends and distributions; Ms. Jo Hawker who is doing her MSc in Conservation Biology, and who is taking time out from her existing position at the JNCC in the UK; and Ms. Bongiwe More who has been hired as a Research assistant to support application of wetland condition and other information from the National Wetland Map project.