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City’s partnership flies high to protect precious birdlife at local nature reserve<span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:479px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure><p>The City’s False Bay Nature Reserve, situated in the Cape Flats District, is a designated Wetland of International Importance (a Ramsar site) and a designated Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). It has attracted some of the rarest birds to South Africa, including the rufous-tailed scrub robin, the Temminck’s stint, the American golden plover, the red-necked phalarope and the pectoral sandpiper.<br><br>It is hoped that a partnership between the City of Cape Town, BirdLife South Africa, and the Cape Bird Club will contribute to the increased birding activity at this site and, among others, enable more sightings of rare species.<br><br>This past weekend, four rarities arrived simultaneously at the Strandfontein Birding Area.</p><span><figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:512px;" /><figcaption> <p>  © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure><p>These include the Temminck’s stint, which breeds in the far north and does not usually extend further south than Kenya or Tanzania; the American golden plover, which breeds in North America and over-winters in South America; the red-necked phalarope, which has a circumpolar distribution and then migrates south to over-winter, with the only regular presence being at Swakopmund in Namibia; and the pectoral sandpiper, which breeds in the far north tundra with its main wintering grounds being in South America. This is only the third time that the Temminck’s stint has been sighted in South Africa and the last sighting was 25 years ago. It is also the most southerly sighting ever in Africa.</p><p>‘These birds are “lost” in their migration and they are arriving at this specific location due, in part, to the management interventions that have been put in place over the past few years, such as the clearing of reeds, manipulation of water levels, and removal of invasive species.</p><p>‘These are the very aspects that the MOA between the City and BirdLife South Africa has sought to put in place with staff on the ground. These sightings, and the large numbers of regular water birds at the site, are proof of the positive outcomes of the project and that the habitat is being managed favourably,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.</p><span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:495px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure><p>The City has been working with the Cape Bird Club since 2006 and BirdLife South Africa since 2012 to promote the public awareness of this facility, generate funds for its upkeep, and protect its biodiversity for generations to come.</p><p>Following this successful partnership, the City Council has today given the City’s Environmental Resource Management Department a thumbs up to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with BirdLife South Africa and the Cape Bird Club.</p></span></span></span><p>The MOA aims to ensure that the partnership is working to enhance the False Bay Nature Reserve and improve awareness of it. A key focus of the partnership is to seek external funding to support skills development and environmental education at the reserve.</p><p>A number of research projects have also been undertaken as part of the partnership and the results and outcomes have been valuable management tools.</p><p>‘This successful partnership between the City, BirdLife South Africa, and the Cape Bird Club is a shining example of the value of local government and organisations working together towards a common goal. In this case, the common goal is the protection and conservation of precious biodiversity and especially birds and bird species at the False Bay Nature Reserve, through public education and skills development.</p><p>‘For this reason, the City and its partners have made a concerted effort to create public awareness opportunities through events and networking, among others. The annual Birdathon Fun Walk and Festival is a prime example of an event, initiated by this partnership, that has grown exponentially from 200 participants in 2013 to 1 500 participants in 2016.</p><p>‘We encourage members of the public to make every effort to participate in awareness opportunities as education is key to making the right choices that will benefit our environment for generations to come. Communities and organisations together with government all have to join hands and work together to conserve and protect our birdlife and biodiversity.</p><p>‘We look forward to continuing our relationship with our partners in the new year to the benefit of the much-loved False Bay Nature Reserve Important Bird and Biodiversity Area,’ said Councillor van der Merwe.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><span><span><span></span></span></span>2016-12-06T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#ea63b0ab-0df2-48ed-a193-ab20e581dff0;L0|#0ea63b0ab-0df2-48ed-a193-ab20e581dff0|City’s False Bay Nature Reserve;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#f3d30b04-7767-4db8-9836-0978cfe137f2;L0|#0f3d30b04-7767-4db8-9836-0978cfe137f2|rare birds;GP0|#9a6a2785-28fd-4bc8-b8dc-bf7d56ed9f01;L0|#09a6a2785-28fd-4bc8-b8dc-bf7d56ed9f01|Strandfontein Birding Area1

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