â€˜Honorary Rangersâ€™ Birding Events:
26 April 2007
Birding is a very popular extension of many visitors purpose in visiting National Parks.The Honorary Rangers have turned the bird spotting activity into annual focused events where members of the public gather in parks and in teams try and record as many different species in the park in a 24hour period or over a set weekend.
The purpose of such designated birding weekends is to:
- Collect data on the avian (bird) species found in the given park or set region of that park.
- To expose and educate people about the wonders of Birding.
- Allow beginner birders to interact with more experienced hands
- To raise money for various park projects that are beyond the limited budget of South African National Parks
- To have a lot of fun watching birds and experiencing related Park activities
The following Birding Weekends were held in 2006
- Kruger (held in January/February and hosted by the West Rand Honorary Rangers)
- Marakele (held in October and hosted by the Marakele Honorary Rangers)
- Golden Gate (held in November and hosted by the Free State, Vaal Triangle and Bankenveld Honorary Rangers)
- West Coast (held twice in September and March and hosted by the West Coast Honorary Rangers)
- Kgalagadi Raptor Challenge (held in March and hosted by West Rand Honorary Rangers)
- Bontebok and surrounds (held in November and hosted by the park and GVI volunteers)
- Soutpansberg Birds and Forest Festival (held in November and although not held in National Parks, this event has been co-hosted by the Marakele Honorary Rangers and draws attention to pockets of forest in desperate need of conservation focus)
All the above events have/will be held again in 2007/2008.
o West Coast
o Golden Gate
In addition first time events will be held at:
o Addo (to be held in October and hosted by the Addo Honorary Rangers)
o Wilderness (to be held in September and hosted by the Southern Cape Honorary Rangers)
o Events may also be held in Agulhas (Overberg Honorary Rangers) and Mapungubwe (Limpopo Honorary Rangers), but details are yet to be finalized.
All the events have several sponsors, but the primary sponsors are SASOL and Glendower Whisky.