I was born in Stilfontein in what is today North West Province, but grew up in Zimbabwe and Natal, graduating at the University of Natal at Pietermaritzburg with a B. Comm. It was whilst at university that I was introduced to Gordon MacLean who at the time was researching a new edition of Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. My interest in birds grew as I went out on birding excursions with Gordon and other members of the Natal Bird Club. After university I started working in Pretoria and joined the Pretoria Bird Club in 1984, which today has evolved into BirdLife Northern Gauteng. Many years were spent on the committee of this great bird club, including a spell as chairman, and now I am in the honorary position as the President of the club. I watch birds wherever I go, be it on holiday to destinations like Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Norway or wherever. The binoculars and camera go with as there are always birds to see. But it is our local birds that I have the greatest passion for. I lead many local bird outings and enjoy sharing my knowledge with other birders, particularly those who are discovering the joys of birding. I was a keen atlaser during SABAP1 and became involved with SABAP2 at the start of the project. I have always had an interest in rarities and have coordinated rarities reports for the Greater Gauteng region for a number of years.
Andrew gained a passion for birds and birding while doing his undergraduate degree at UCT, and later progressed to an MSc through the FitzPatrick Institute under Prof Peter Ryan and Dr Robert Thomson (both on the SABAP2 SteerCo!). Andrew joined BirdLife South Africa's seabird conservation programme in 2018. Andrew volunteers on the RAC in his personal capacity and is an enthusiastic birder in his spare time. Andrew's birding highlights include being part of the 2017 Champions of the Flyway event and fitting GPS trackers on Martial Eagles and African Penguins.
Andrew has always been a keen birder. When family and work commitments permit, Andrew still spends as much time as possible birding. Through his work and some extended holiday trips, Andrew has been fortunate to cover a few corners of the African continent. Some of his more memorable birding moments on the continent include landing armpit deep in raw sewage while trying to get a better view, narrowly avoiding arrest while looking at wheatears near a military base in Senegal and more recently being corrected on the identification of a hornbill by his 7-year-old son. Andrew’s contribution to the SABAP2 is to verify records from the western half of Zambia.
Ara Monadjem is an animal ecologist with particular interests in terrestrial systems. He is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) where he has been based for the past 26 years. He has worked on a wide range of research topics, including recently on the drivers of biodiversity in savanna systems. He is incredibly keen on vultures and has been studying their ecology and conservation for the past two decades.
Bob is from the UK and has been birding since knee-high. Whilst living and working in Malawi 1984-1994 he carried out much of the fieldwork for the Malawi Bird Atlas project (published 2006). He started ringing in 1989 and published papers in Safring News. He has also supported the Ngulia migration ringing project in Kenya for several years and projects in Spain and Portugal. Returning to the UK he qualified under the BTO scheme and is now a ringing trainer, active in a seabird ringing group on remote North Atlantic islands and leads training courses nearer to home in Somerset. But he still misses the joy and interest of ringing Afro-tropical birds.
Chris is originally from the UK but has lived in Botswana for many years. His interest in birding started on a visit to Bharatpur Bird sanctuary in India in 1976. He was involved in atlassing for the Bird Atlas of Botswana, then for SABAP1 and now for SABAP2. He has a keen interest in bird distribution in Botswana. He is now retired, based in Gaborone and is a board member of BirdLife Botswana.
I started life in Creighton, southern KZN, then halfway through school moved to north of Greytown, KZN. Completed a degree in Pietermaritzburg and have not moved since. My interest in birds (and maps) came from my father, though he did tend to only regard vultures, corvids and really striking birds as birds. I got hooked on atlasing while still at school, contributing to SABAP1. This really developed my birding and what better activity for someone interested in birds and maps? I then went through a bit of a post-atlas slump, but used the time to get married and start a family. As a family we tend to end up at birding destinations and (more than) a fair time is spent atlasing. A favourite holiday spot is certainly Mkhuze.
I grew up in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga where I also studied Gurney's Sugarbirds there already for more than 30 years. I am currently a Museum Ornithologist at the National Museum, Bloemfontein and HOD of the Department. Mt functions includes collection management of bird collections and did research on various groups of birds such as Northern Black Korhaan, Drakensberg and Karoo Prinias, Gurney's Sugarbirds and song vocalizations in African Rock Pipit. Also SAFRING bird ringer since 1987 and involved in SABAP1, Birds of Reserves Project and other ADU projects. My special place is Paardeplaats on Long Tom Pass outside Lydenburg.
Tel:+27(0)51 447 9609
Based in the Lowveld city of Mbombela, Duncan works as a consulting Terrestrial Ecologist, performing biodiversity assessments all over Africa. He also lectures on birds for various training institutions and has been involved in the Mpumalanga SABAP2 RAC since 2010.
Ernst works at BirdLife South Africa and is responsible for implementing data and spatial planning projects as well as the analysis of data for conservation planning. He is also a keen citizen scientist who have participated in various citizen science projects and has also presented numerous SABAP2 workshops.
Holger is a born and bred Namibian. He has studied at the University of Cape Town and the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in Kent. He currently works as a conservation scientist for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia.
Farm grown in Zululand, and birding since junior school. A conservation forester by occupation, i.e. worked in indigenous forests and other woody systems. Currently residing in Pietermaritzburg. I have three adult children, of which my son is sort of interested in birds! My slogan is, "One Life - Bird It".
Tel:+27(0)83 570 6782
Ian has an all-round interest in conservation, having spent a life in the bush. From being a Senior Ranger in Zimbabwe’s Dept. of National Parks he moved into tourism as a Professional Safari Guide, and operates mainly as a bird guide. He is involved in BirdLife Zimbabwe on various projects and at many levels, including the production of Honeyguide (BLZ journal) and The Babbler newsletter.
Born and bred in Gonubie in the Eastern Cape, my interest in birding started at the age of 9 after a family holiday to Ndumo Game Reserve (what a place to begin!). My introduction to “birding with a purpose” started with the Birds in Reserves Project (BIRP) in the early 2000’s and it was a natural progression into atlassing once SABAP2 started in 2007. Currently living in the UK but still very much involved with local birding in South Africa and the Eastern Cape specifically.
Joe is based near Polokwane in the Limpopo Province from where he runs an ecological consulting company specialising in biodiversity and wildlife management related projects. Joe also heads up a specialised eco-tour operation conducting excursions across sub-Saharan Africa and presents advanced training for nature guides throughout Southern Africa. His post graduate qualifications lie in the fields of ecology, range management and zoology/ornithology. Joe’s involvement with bird mapping projects stems from the days of SABAP 1 and he has been part of the SABAP 2 team since 2010.
Mark Anderson is the CEO of BirdLife South Africa. He worked for two decades as a nature conservation scientist in the Northern Cape and during this time was involved with SABAP1 and the planning of SABAP2. He is a committed conservationist, and regarded as an authority on the biology and conservation of raptors, vultures, and flamingos.
Based at the ADU, Michael is responsible for all the IT and software development for SABAP2. Although trained as a nature conservator, my interest in computers and IT lead me to design and develop environmental software applications.
He is an avid photographer, and is a registered bird-ringer
Now retired but previously a professional bird and wildlife tourguide and tour operator with my own tour company. Editor of the BirdLife Lowveld newsletter, The Hornbill. In retirement conduct bird surveys and write bird and wildlife articles for various magazines.
Peter Ryan graduated from the University of Cape Town, researching the impacts of ingested plastic on seabirds (MSc) and the evolutionary ecology of buntings in the Tristan archipelago (PhD). After a post-doc at the University of California he was appointed academic Coordinator of the Masters Programme in Conservation Biology at the Fitztitute in 1993. Although he mostly works on seabirds and their conservation, he has wide-ranging interests in avian biology, and still maintains an interest in plastic pollution, especially in marine systems. He has served as the President of BirdLife South Africa and is an associate editor of Antarctic Science and Bird Conservation International. He has been an honorary Conservation Officer at Tristan da Cunha since 1989, and is a member of Tristan’s Biodiversity Advisory Group. Peter has spent more than a year on Inaccessible Island, studying the island's endemic buntings as well as conducting surveys of threatened birds and conducting control programmes against alien plants. He is a keen birder and believes in the importance of promoting amateur involvement in ornithology. He has written several books about birds and their identification, and is scientific advisor to African Birdlife, a popular magazine about birds produced by BirdLife South Africa.
Robert has a broad interest in bird ecology, but is especially interested in between-species interactions. He comes from Pretoria, and grew up birding and ringing in the bushveld areas. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria, studying mixed species bird flocks for his BSc Hons. These studies led to him being a field assistant in northern Finland. This stint became his MSc thesis at the University of Oulu, which tested the heterospecific attraction hypothesis that migrant songbirds attract to resident songbirds during their habitat selection decisions. He continued with his PhD in Oulu, further investigating the positive associations in Boreal bird communities, but incorporating the interplay of negative, predation and competition, interactions. He defended his thesis in 2006, and moved to southern Finland to take up a post-doc position at the University of Turku investigating various aspects of raptors and their impact on songbird community structure.
Sanjo is keenly interested in urban ecology, human-wildlife relationships and avian conservation. Her background includes working on urban Black Sparrowhawks in Cape Town, mammal rehabilitation in Vancouver and Cape Parrot research in Hogsback. As a research assistant at the FitzPatrick Institute she is very involved with building and maintaining relationships with citizen scientists and data curating. She hopes to pursue a career in biological conservation within an suburban setting.
Statistician by profession, explorer by nature. MSc in Statistical Sciences (UCT). Compiled the Swaziland Bird atlas, the Atlas of the Birds of Sul do Save, southern Mozambique, the Atlas of the Birds of Central Mozambique and co-edited SABAP1. Currently retired from formal employment, travelling and atlassing in the Northern Cape (the parts where no-one else goes).