Birds and People

Publication name Publication Type Description File
Bird Conservation No.10 June 2006 Newsletter

Thinking globally and acting locally.… Herein lies one of the strengths of the BirdLife Partnership. The international perspective enables us to see the big picture - for example, the plight of threatened birds on a global scale. The network of partners at the national level enables us to collectively address this enormous challenge on the ground locally. For our part, we have been making steady progress with our work researching and monitoring the globally threatened birds that occur in Botswana. Over two decades ago, active members Wendy and Remi Borello initiated a rigorous, systematic Cape Vulture monitoring programme that still stands as a model today. Our Crane Working Group has developed a Species Action Plan for the Wattled Crane that serves as a blueprint for its conservation. Researcher (and BirdLife member) Graham McCulloch has been monitoring the flamingos of the Makgadikgadi wetland system. A BirdLife team, in conjunction with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, has conducted a baseline survey of the Slaty Egret, which will soon lead to the development of an Action Plan for this species. Our own Red Data Book for birds is well underway. We are soon to embark on a programme aimed at gathering data on another globally threatened species - the Lappet-faced Vulture. These and many other activities are our contribution to BirdLife’s global Species Programme, which aims to prevent the decline and extinction of bird species in the wild. Together we can and do make a difference! Pete Hancock.

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Bird Conservation No.9 March 2006 Newsletter

April 9th marks the first World Migratory Bird Day when people all over the globe will be celebrating the miracle of bird migration. Imagine a small warbler weighing less than 10 grams travelling thousands of kilometres from the northern hemisphere to the south and back again – a marvel of physical endurance coupled with awesome navigational skills! Or, the well-known Barn Swallow, which during its short lifetime, may travel over 100,000 kilometres! Bird migration is truly one of the wonders of the natural world.

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Bird Conservation No.7 December 2008 Newsletter

The importance of organisations such as the BirdLife Partnership, RSPB and other ornithological institutions was once again brought to the fore during 2005, this time with the outbreak of Avian Flu in South-east Asia. In the face of widespread media hype, these organisations, which have access to up-to-date information on the disease and its transmission, were able to bring some common sense to the groundless panic that has spread
needlessly throughout the world.

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Bird Conservation No.7 September 2005 Newsletter

Many of BirdLife Botswana’s projects involve members of the public who collect information on birds (following strict procedures) and send it in to a central database where it is analysed scientifically. This is known as ‘citizen science’, the value of which cannot be over-emphasised. Take for example, the Bird Atlas of Botswana which documents the distribution of all species of birds found throughout the country – this highly-acclaimed work simply could not have been undertaken without the hundreds of birders who voluntarily contributed their sightings in an organised way. 

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Bird Conservation No.6 June 2005 Newsletter

The BirdLife Species Programme focuses on conserving globally threatened bird species. This is a strategic approach since there are over 9,000 species of bird worldwide and it is obviously not possible to conserve all of them. However, interestingly, part of the Species Programme deals with ‘Keeping common birds common’ – it would not make sense to concentrate only on threatened species to the exclusion of all others. 

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Bird Conservation No.5 2005 Newsletter

While it is probably unwise to single out a particular individual(s) among the many people who regularly contribute information to the BirdLife Botswana database, special mention just has to be made of the wealth of information that has been submitted by these two individuals. A month has not passed in the four years since BirdLife Botswana initially requested information, without a letter arriving in the post with the now familiar Selinda logo – a Great White Pelican – on the envelope. I always look forward to reading the contents, as their report is not restricted only to Birds of Concern – the occasional rarity or unusually large congregation of waterbirds or other remarkable observation always makes for interesting reading. If we had more regular contributors of this calibre, the number of ‘data deficient’ birds (birds for which we have insufficient information) encountered in the development of Botswana’s own Red Data Book for Birds would have been negligible (see Newsletter #2). There are many other people who regularly send in vital information too, and this note is not intended to be a slight on your valuable contributions. Let’s all work together to conserve Botswana’s birds! Pete Hancock.

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Bird Conservation No.4 2004 Newsletter

Lake Ngami is recognised as one of Botswana’s Important Bird Area (IBA) since it meets the international criteria set out by BirdLife International. In anticipation of the Lake filling this year, BirdLife Botswana has been monitoring the build-up of bird numbers and diversity, and this has been spectacular. By the end of September, 60 species of waterbirds were present, with 17 species recorded breeding there.

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Bird Conservation No.3 2004 Newsletter

A major part of this newsletter focuses on saving individual species, as this is an important component of BirdLife’s work – in Botswana and elsewhere. I particularly like the Species Programme of BirdLife, as its rationale is so simple and to the point:

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Bird Conservation No.2 2014 Newsletter

BirdLife Botswana is rapidly transforming itself from a social bird-watching club to a scientifically-based, professional bird conservation agency, and the advent of this newsletter is in keeping with that trend. The newsletter picks up on the interest generated by a modest, four-page BirdLife Botswana handout entitled “BOTSWANA BIRDS CONSERVATION“ that was sent out three years ago; as a result of this, we now have a substantial and growing network of field birders who contribute regular information to BirdLife Botswana’s bird database, and who play a role in monitoring and conserving birds in their areas. The primary purpose of this newsletter therefore, is to provide feedback to people in the network; the subscription fee is in the hard currency of information! Please feel free to pass your copy on to someone else who you know would like to play an active role in bird monitoring and conservation.

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Conservation Newsletter 35 "Birds and People"-September 2012-Current Issues Newsletter

The lead article in this issue describes a project to determine the movements of globally threatened raptors in Botswana. The purpose of the project is to see to what extent vultures are adequately safeguarded in Botswana’s huge protected areas. The project benefitted greatly from the partnership with the Denver Zoological Foundation and the CKGR Research team, proving once again that ‘working together works’. We particularly enjoyed the involvement of several Batswana colleagues, although strangely the photographs in this issue of two of them (Mmoloki Keiteretse — below, and Cinistar Tjitemisa — page 4) show them looking decidedly unhappy! Actually they both had a great time, and were knocked out by the awesome Lappet -faced Vulture in particular. There is no doubt that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’! Pete Hancock

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Conservation Newsletter 36 December 2012 "Birds and People"-Current Issues Newsletter

This issue of Birds is dedicated to Zee Mpofu, former wildlife Biologist in the Department of Wildlife and National Parks who passed away recently…

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Conservation Newsletter 37 "Birds and People"-Current Issues Newsletter

People from all walks of life connect with birds in one way or another. I don’t know anyone who isn’t moved by their beauty and vitality, and the dawn chorus of awakening birds is a great way to start the day. Some people are inspired by birds’ ability to fly so effortlessly, while others find their varied behaviours interesting and worth studying. The incredible feats shown by migratory species which fly vast distances and call the world their oyster, are a source of wonderment to us all. Many birds are valued as food, and the bright feathers of some species are used for decoration or ceremonial purposes. Whatever your interest, birds share the planet with us and it will be a vastly impoverished world without them. Pete Hancock

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