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BirdLife Botswana has received P40 000.00 (£3,000.00) financial support from the African Bird Club (ABC) to strengthen the involvement of the rural communities and to improve the data quality of the Bird Population Monitoring Programme (BPM), the citizen science programme implemented by BirdLife Botswana since 2010. The overall objective of the support is about empowering local citizens, particularly members of rural communities, to make a meaningful contribution to biodiversity monitoring and thereby influence Botswana to achieve SDG goal number 15, halt biodiversity loss. This will be achieved by enabling rural communities to increase their stake in the overall resource management, and building local capacity, through a series of training workshops, to enable ‘ordinary’ citizens to improve their bird knowledge. The financial support(project) will build the capacity of rural communities on environmental conservation and increase the sense of ownership of their natural resources leading to sustainable practices being adopted, benefiting birds and the general environment in their areas. The bird monitoring data is collected by volunteer surveyors across Botswana twice-annually, in February and November, using point count technique; the transect is 2 km in length with a stop every 200 m for five minutes only to record all the birds they see and hear. Initial results from the BPM Programme have already been published in a peer-reviewed journal (Wotton et al. 2017).

BirdLife Botswana statement on the recent vulture poisoning incident by Motshereganyi Virat Kootsositse, Director – BirdLife Botswana

BirdLife Botswana, the BirdLife International Partner in Botswana, unequivocally condemns the recent poisoning of 537 highly endangered vultures by elephant poachers in the Central District of Botswana (CT1). It is inconceivable to lose so many highly endangered vultures in one day. African vulture populations cannot sustain such high losses. We need vultures. Vultures play a critical role in our environment by cleaning up carcasses that contain harmful diseases such as tuberculosis, rabies and anthrax. By doing this, vultures help prevent the spread of diseases amongst humans and animals, and they do all of this for free!