Secretarybirds – saving Africa’s striders
BirdLife South Africa established its Secretarybird Conservation Project in 2011 after the species was uplisted to globally Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Unfortunately, in 2020 declines in the species across its global range has led to its uplisting to globally Endangered, highlighting the reality of the extinction risk facing this large terrestrial bird of prey. Over the past decade we have learnt a lot about the movements and behaviour of these birds through a dedicated tracking study and as we work tirelessly across the Grasslands of South Africa to conserve this important habitat. Dr Melissa Whitecross, as Landscape Conservation Programme Manager and former Raptor & Large Terrestrial Bird Project Manager at BirdLife South Africa, will unpack some of the lessons learned during the 11-year conservation journey to save the ‘Sentinels of the Grasslands’. Join Melissa as she shares her passion and insights on the Secretarybird, an iconic, unique apex predator of Africa’s open landscapes.