ORANGE-BREASTED WAXBILL 3000 KM FUNDRAISING CYCLE RIDE

2 May
 

Eelco Meyjes at the Victoria Falls finish in Zimbabwe. Photo: Lesanne Dunlop

Eelco Meyjes at the Victoria Falls finish in Zimbabwe. Photo: Lesanne Dunlop

To help launch and raise the public awareness for the new Orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project Eelco Meyjes, who is both a director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group and a member of BirdLife South Africa , rode an unsupported solo bicycle fundraising ride from Cape Town, going via Botswana, all the way up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. He rode a distance of 3,008 km in 44 days ( which included seven rest days ) carrying his own kit which weighed, excluding water, 35 kg. The ride started from outside the old Castle, in front of Table Mountain, in Cape Town on 15 March and ended in front of the spectacular Victoria Falls on 28 April 2015   Unexpected declines in the little Orange-breasted waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species has now also been selected by BirdLife South Africa as the key sentinel species ( watchdog ) bird for South African wetland bird species, including 8 threatened and 84 common bird species. WE KINDLY APPEAL FOR YOUR VALUABLE SUPPORT, NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL, TO HELP LAUNCH THIS NEW FINCH CONSERVATION PROJECT Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The Orange-breasted Waxbill now needs conservation help.Photo Chris Krog

 The directors of the Rare Finch Conservation Group would hereby sincerely like to thank the following individuals and / or sponsors who helped to make the 3008 km solo fund raising cycle ride from Cape Town to Vic Falls a success
Aan de Doorns Guest Lodge – Worcester – Accommodation
Africa Geographic – Simon Espley – Janine Mare – Social media partners
Andrew Freeman – Baileys – Palapye – Botswana – Safety
Bianca Ljungberg – Social media content
BirdLife South Africa- conservation collaboration partner
Cyclelab – Social media partner
DesigninMotion – Cycle Servicing
Devon and Claudia Wheeler – Pandamalenga – Botswana – Safety
Ernst Retief – BirdLife South Africa – Communications and Safety
Gasthuis – Strydenburg – Accommodation
Graham Hill – Personal trainer – Virgin Active
Hanneline Smit-Robinson – BirdLife South Africa – Communications and Social media
House Martin Guest House – De Rust – Accommodation
Ilala Lodge – Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe – Accommodation
Karoo Koelte -Victoria West – Accommodation
Karoo Life – Calitzdorp – Accommodation
Kelly Wapnick – joBerg2c – Satelitte tracking advice and publicity
Kemotse Guest House – Dukwe – Botswana – Accommodation
Kim Brunette – Simply Web – website development
Klaarstroom Guest House – Klaarstroom – Accommodation
Lesanne Dunlop – Lesanne Photography – Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe
Lindsay Nutley – Honorary RFCG member – Social media communications
Mark Anderson – BirdLife South Africa – Conservation Collaboration
Mark Kronenberg – Base Manager and Safety officer for Eelco Meyjes
NEVAREST – Neil Blignaut – Satellite tracking equipment
Nic Meyjes – IT Support
Olive Grove Guest House – Beaufort West – Accommodation
Ride magazine – Elize Kirtsten – Social media partner
Rietpoort Herberg – Victoria West – Accommodation
Rodeberg Lodge – Paarl – Accommodation
Rodney Shehab – Advertising and DTP
Ryan Oniel – Pandamelenga – Botswana – Safety
Safesporttracking – Andre Shannon -Satellite tracking equipment
Sahara Hotel – Palapye – Botswana – Accommodation
Stan Alford – Castle Graphics – Print advertising material
South African Police – Mogopane – Safety
TOPEAK – Enduro cycling equipment
Track and Tar – Sean Frankel – Enduro cycling equipment
The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

LATEST UPDATE TO HELP SAVE AFRICA’S SMALLEST FINCH

9 Apr


 

Eelco Meyjes carries 35kg of kit. You can follow the ride on satellite

Eelco Meyjes carries 35kg of kit. You can follow the ride on satellite

To launch the Rare Finch Conservation Group’s exciting new fundraising campaign , for the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Eelco Meyjes is currently attempting to do a solo cycle ride from Cape Town to Vic Falls in Zimbabwe. A distance of 3000 km. The ride started in Cape town on Sunday 15 March. On Wednesday 8 April he reached Johannesburg, having completed a distance of 1,645 km. He is now over the half way mark and on his way to Botswana before he enters Zimbabwe in the very far northern part of the country . The real tough part starts now. He will need to camp out with wild animals in certain parts of Botswana and the distances between safety points are massive. Supporters  can follow his ride via satellite tracking on http://www.safesporttracking.co.za and/or http://www.nevarestchallenge.com

WE KINDLY APPEAL FOR YOUR VALUABLE SUPPORT NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL.

Donations can be made to the following account.

Rare Finch Conservation Group

Nedbank Account number 1933 198885

Branch : Sandown 193 305

South Africa

( For international donors please add )

SWIFT NEDSZAJJ

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The Orange-breasted Waxbill now needs conservation help.Photo Chris Krog

 The Rare Finch
Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

HELP SAVE AFRICA’S SMALLEST FINCH

3 Mar


The starters cannon in Cape Town

The starters cannon in Cape Town

To launch the Rare Finch Conservation Group’s exciting new fundraising campaign , for the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Eelco Meyjes will attempt to do a solo cycle ride from Cape Town to Vic Falls in Zimbabwe. A distance of 3000 km. The ride will start on Sunday 15 March at 5.30 am from outside the old castle in Cape Town. He will attempt to do the ride in 40 days.Supporters will be able to track his progress via satellite.

If you would like to read more about this very novel and exciting fundraising campaign, to raise the conservation awareness of Africa’s smallest finch , then please visit the Africa Geographic Blog

http://africageographic.com/blog/cape-to-vic-falls-cycle-for-africas-smallest-waxbills/

or the Ride magazine blog for more info.

http://shar.es/1WeqhR

PLEASE, WE NOW NEED YOUR SUPPORT NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The Orange-breasted Waxbill now needs conservation help.Photo Chris Krog

 The Rare Finch
Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

Meet the RFCG team working on the Orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project

23 Feb


An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is collaborating with BirdLife South Africa to try and establish why there has been such an unexpected decline in the Orange-breasted Waxbill in certain parts of its natural habitat.

It was agreed that Phase one of the conservation work should consist of the following A ) Establish all the available data on the species in South Africa from the 1940’s onwards to the present day B ) Help raise the conservation awareness of the species both within South Africa as well as internationally C ) Embark on a fund-raising initiative to finance the studies for a PhD or MSc student to take the project to a Phase two level . The following RFCG members , who all volunteer their services free of charge, are currently involved in the conservation work needed on the species

Monique Mcquillan . South Africa

Monique Mcquillan . South Africa. Photo Eelco Meyjes

RESEARCH. Monique Mcquillan is based in Cape Town and works as a senior horticulturist at the world famous Kirstenbosch gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain. She was an honorary member of the RFCG for many years before she was invited in 2013 to become a full member of the group. Besides her passion for finches she also contributes on a regular basis articles related to birds and gardens for the highly respected African BirdLife magazine. Moniques role is to lead the research work needed on the  Orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project with the able support of the rest of the RFCG team

Professor Sven Cichon. Switzerland

Professor Sven Cichon. Switzerland

RESEARCH , COMMUNICATION AND FUNDRAISING. Professor Sven Cichon is based in Switzerland and by profession is a geneticist at the University of Basle. Sven , like Monique was an honorary member of the RFCG for many years before he was also invited in 2013 to become a full member of the group. Sven is also President of the Estrildidae society in Germany. Sven is responsible for assisting Monique with some of the research work required on the species, as well as to promote the awareness and fund-raising needs for the species in specialist German and Swiss publications

Lindsay Nutley. Vietnam

Lindsay Nutley. Vietnam Photo Eelco Meyjes

COMMUNICATIONS AND FUNDRAISING. Lindsay is an Australian that is based in Vietnam. By profession he is a packaging expert. In 2014 he was recognized by the world’s largest finch Society, the Queensland finch Society, which is based in Brisbane Australia, for his innovative and creative approach for helping to raise the world wide awareness of finches,using social media platforms to achieve that objective . Early in 2014 Lindsay was invited to become an honorary member of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. His assistance to help modernize the facebook media platform of the group resulted in finding the world’s second known photograph of the threatened and elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing finch. The photograph was kindly donated to the RFCG by Colin Jackson from Kenya

Fred Barnicoat. South Africa

Fred Barnicoat. South Africa. Photo Eelco Meyjes

RESEARCH. Fred Barnicoat is a retired Latin Teacher. He is a founding member of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. He is widely considered to be the grand master of South African aviculture. Many of his nesting and incubation records on finches have been used in world wide specialist publications. Fred is also the father of the group’s name . His unselfish and highly dedicated enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge on birds has inspired many of South Africa’s top aviculturists, who have subsequently gone on to become major contributors to bird conservation work in various bird parks both locally and internationally. Fred will assist with a lot of the book research work required on the Orange-breasted Waxbill project.

Russell Kingston. Australia

Russell Kingston OAM. Australia. Photo Eelco Meyjes

COMMUNICATIONS, FUNDRAISING AND RESEARCH. Russell Kingston is a founding member and Director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. He is also a founding member and Patron of the world’s largest finch society, the Queensland Finch Society which is based in Brisbane Australia. Russell has authored many internationally acclaimed books on finches and in 2012 was recognized by the Australian government, and awarded an OAM, for his outstanding services to aviculture. Russell regularly contributes to various specialist finch publications in the world. He was also intimately involved with organising the Rare Finch Conservation Groups EcoTours to Africa to help raise funds and the public awareness of one of Africa’s rarest finches the threatened and elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing finch. Russell will assist to raise the international public awareness on the Orange-breasted Waxbill which now needs conservation help.

Amos and Eelco Meyjes. South Africa . Photo Lindsay Nutley

Amos and Eelco Meyjes. South Africa . Photo Lindsay Nutley

COMMUNICATIONS, FUNDRAISING AND RESEARCH. Eelco Meyjes is a founding member and Director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. He is a retired advertising executive and today spends a large part of his time dedicated to the Rare Finch Conservation Group. He spent many years producing specialist DVD’s targeted to the avicultural market . Each DVD has a conservation message in it. In more recent times he produced the THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION DVD series : The Ground-Hornbill’s Critical Walk to Freedom and Searching for Shelley’s finches amongst Africa’s Mountain Gorillas. His role on the Orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project is to assist with the research, fund raising and public awareness campaign.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION . Mark Stewart. Mark is a founding member and Director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. He is a qualified CA and takes care of all the groups financial and administrative matters.

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

Making good progress with Orange-breasted Waxbill’s African craftwork

16 Feb


A good example of one of the early Orange-breasted Waxbill's made from beads and wire. This particular work was made by Sophie. Photo Eelco Meyjes

A good example of one of the early Orange-breasted Waxbill’s made from beads and wire. This particular work was made by Sophie. Photo Eelco Meyjes

As mentioned previously The Rare Finch Conservation Group recently briefed three informal bead craft artists in the Johannesburg area ( Vincent, Lucky and Sophie ) to see if they could possibly make the little Orange-breasted Waxbill from beads and wire. These little craft birds with time could be used as a valuable way to help raise funds and public awareness for the species which now needs conservation help.

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The project is still very much in its infancy. And based on general interest and demand the RFCG would be willing to help guide and develop the concept , to a level where it can one day perhaps create a small living for these informal sector artists PLUS at the same time generate some  much needed fundraising revenue and  public awareness for this tiny little gem of African finches 

The Orange-breasted Waxbill, with its exquisite orange, yellow, red, olive plus black and tiny bits of white in the hen bird is arguably the smallest finch in the world. And its colour now lends itself to a multitude of creative craft opportunities eg table place mats, necklaces, key rings, wrist straps etc.to help raise the public awareness for a very worthy cause.

More about the Rare Finch Conservation Groups fundraising initiatives will be announced in the next couple of days

 The Rare Finch
Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

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