Conservation

CONSERVATION CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY THE CAPE BIRD CLUB

Posted on the 26th September 2016

Conservation Report WCBF September 2016.
GENERAL ITEMS:

LIBAS: The criteria for LIBAs (locally important bird areas) has been circulated with no criticisms. This will now be formally presented to BLSA with a view to further discussion.

SABAP2 : Les has requested financial support to employ statisticians to ensure “clean data”. He appealed to clubs for support. WCBF should consider approaching the ADU to ensure that this process is progressing and if necessary assisting to ensure that it is completed. 

CBC ITEMS:
Strandfontein
i) BLSA and the CBC are in the process of entering into an MOA (memorandum of agreement. ( no longer an MOU). A disturbing feature is that we (BLSA/CBC) will be required to take out R20million public liability insurance. We’re referred it to the BLSA HQ for their comment.

ii) M.Sc Erica Essig has completed her Master’s dissertation, funded by the Julie te Groen Trust and is awaiting final confirmation. Both external examiners commented favourably. Research examined methods of improving wader habitat in artificial wetlands, which could have important conservation implications.

iii) Hyacinth: We are negotiating with the City to share expenses to spray the water hyacinth which covers 2 pans and an ongoing invasion of other pans. 

iv) Breeding Banks: CBC has started an innovative plan to construct breeding banks. Fund has have been set aside for a student to study best method to achieve this.

Other Matters;
Sewage Works: We are continuing our outreach to other sewage works. Our plans were discussed with central management and were warmly received. Plans are now afoot to improve habitat at Mitchell’s plain and include Borcherds Quarry in ongoing assessment.

Plans to mine silica in the Philippi area have been approved. We have appealed against the decision, but there is little chance that the decision will be overturned.

Rehabilitation of mined areas: We are in consultation with Consol glass to assist them in rehabilitating mined area.
Paarl Sewage Work. John , Jo and Skhumbuzo’s sterling work there will be addressed by John, but we need to determine whether they require assistance and the forum’s role in future developments.

Beyond the Cape Peninsula:
Berg River – This area, after Langebaan, is the arguably most important wetland in the Western Cape. Recent discussions with non birders (but conservationists) were disturbing. We should debate this with the West Coast BC and decide:
I) whether the comments which we relayed to them are correct and
ii) decide on a course of action if there are conservation concerns at this site.
Dave Whitelaw - davesue@mweb.co.za


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