NEW DEVELOPMENTS RE CWAC COUNTS AT BOTRIVER ESTUARY
Posted on the 12th February 2010
(We have received the request below from the Overstrand Conservation Foundation and in reaction to this the committee of BirdLife Overberg decided that we will push two teams into the field to do these counts on a monthly basis. More feedback will be given through the normal club communication network. - Ed)
Dear Anton, Lee, Pottie, Peter and Nico
I am writing to you in your capacity as chairpersons of your various bird clubs, Friends of the Bot and Hawston Community Dev Trust.
The monitoring of water birds (CWAC) at the Bot River Estuary is now in danger of being virtually discontinued, due to the fact that the Tygerberg Bird Club (Mariana Delport) in conjunction with the ADU (Animal Demography Unit) at UCT have decided to decrease the number of counts from 4 to 2 per annum. It has become a problem recruiting volunteers to assist and without these, the exercise is futile.
Mariana has done amazing work for many years and has given so much of her time and effort to make these counts happen, and will thankfully continue with the bi-annual counts, but the time has come now, particularly with the new Bot River Estuary Forum making its emergence, for the local people living in the area to play their part, take responsibility and make a practical and meaningful contribution to managing this valuable site. We cannot expect people to travel from Cape Town at regular intervals to do this work.
According to Doug Harebottle, counts used to be done on a monthly basis in the past and should ideally be performed as such, in order to provide a baseline of data from which to draw informed, scientifically-based conclusions. This information is essential in order to advise the management of the Estuary Management Plan for the Bot, particularly with regard to breaching issues.
We are therefore asking you to assist us to enable monthly counts to be done, so as to continue with this extremely valuable work. Training can be either in-house or provided in the form of small workshops if necessary. Ideally, we would need a total of 15 people per count (5 teams of 3 each), with at least 5 being experienced birders (one for each team).
Would you kindly contact your members / local community, or anyone you may know of who may be interested inbecoming involved, and request their assistance? You can either ask people to contact me directly, or send me a list of people whom I can contact.
Once we have sufficient volunteers, I will draw up a roster of dates for counts, in conjunction with Kleinmond Nature Conservation Society (since they do the Kleinmond area and we will need to coordinate counts), and we can hopefully then commence with regular counts.
We would really appreciate all the help you can offer!