Orange-breasted Waxbill will now become the modern day coal mine canary

6 Jun
 

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives from dangerous gasses

Just as in the past where the little coal mine canary helped to save lives so the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, will now become an important bird to help save the lives of no less than 92 other bird species that all use a similar habitat to itself.

Photo Chris Krog

Photo Chris Krog

Recent unexpected declines in the Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava) has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species has now been selected by BirdLife South Africa as a key sentinel (watchdog) bird for South African wetland bird species, including eight threatened and 84 common bird species.(Making up a total of no less than 92 other bird species) The eight Red-listed species, ranging from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered, plus all 84 common species will all benefit from the BirdLife South Africa and Rare Finch Conservation Group collaboration

Below is the list of the eight threatened species as listed in the updated 2014/15 Eskom Red Data book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

OBW news-12-2014f 8 THREATENED SPECIES

Of the 84 common bird species, that use the same habitat as the little Orange-breasted Waxbill, fourteen are finch species which naturally will also benefit from the research conservation work.

 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. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. 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.
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

The classroom in honour of Benson is completed

31 May
The classroom in honour of Benson. Bigodi Uganda

Sarah Scott and Kirk Mason , two Michigan State University alumini, in front of the completed classroom in memory of Benson Bamutura. Uganda

Last year 31 January we posted a blog with the very sad news that Benson Bamutura, who was the field manager in Uganda for the Rare Finch Conservation Group’s first field study in 2009 /10, and was one of the very few people in the world to see the elusive and threatened Shelley’s crimsonwing finch,  sadly passed away on 26 January 2014. Benson left behind a young wife and three young children plus two foster children from his late sister.

The late Benson Bamutura

The late Benson Bamutura

On 25 June we posted a blog requesting that a fundraising initiative, started by Michigan State University to build a classroom in memory of this great bird man, be supported by our worldwide followers and supporters. An amount of 10,000 USD was needed for the project to go ahead. Well it wasn’t long before an amount of 10,630 USD was raised and construction could commence.

Last week the RFCG received the fantastic news, plus above supporting photograph, that the classroom had been completed and that his children will receive the benefit of a free education . The RFCG would like to SALUTE and congratulate the alumini from Michigan State University for spear heading the project. And thank all our followers and supporters who made a financial contribution to help this most incredible initiative become a reality.

Without Benson we would not have been able to complete our first field study in Uganda nor would we have been able to conduct our very first RFCG fund raising EcoTour

See a video clip on Benson and the Shelley’s crimsonwing finch : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ_Z5LWmyok

 

 

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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

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