The Wild Bird Trust was founded in South Africa in August 2009 by Dr Rutledge “Steve” Boyes with the primary objective of keeping birds safe in the wild. The Trust aims to encourage the use of flagship endangered bird species as “ecosystem ambassadors” in their indigenous habitat. The beauty and freedom of wild birds is an example to us all.
The Cape Parrot Project, an active research project administered by the Trust, has grown tremendously over the last few years and now aims to plant 1 million trees in the next 10 years. This is a community-based conservation project that aims to enrich the lives of the disadvantaged and impoverished communities who live within the home range of South Africa’s only endemic parrot, the Cape Parrot. In essence, we are planting our national tree to save our national parrot.
In coming years we will launch research and conservation projects on the Slaty Egret in the seasonal floodplains of the Okavango Delta (Botswana), the Congo Peafowl in the dry tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the African shoebill in the Bangwuelu Swamps (Zambia). The Trust focusses on linking ordinary people with conservation action in the field through innovative marketing campaigns and brand development. Saving Africa’s birds is going to take a determined effort from all of us. Every action prescribed by the Trust is informed by high-quality empirical research that is published in peer-reviewed journals.
The 3 main aims and objectives of the Wild Bird Trust:
- To advance the research in, education about and conservation of all birds in the wild as well as the related habitat.
- Focus will be placed primarily on African species that act as ecosystem and biodiversity indicators although other species and geographical areas will be considered as well.
- To work with all interested and involved parties including government, private sector, NGOs, education and research institutions, aviculture and bird-watching sectors without losing objectivity and independence.
In the pursuit of these aims and objectives the Trust will work closely with relevant local and international entities and persons, including: government authorities; educational institutions; conservation organizations; and aviculture organizations.
The Trust has administered grants from the National Geographic Society, Conservation International, Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds, and Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, and is registered in Cape Town (South Africa): IT 637/2010 and is a Public Benefit Organisation that can accept charitable donations: PBO No.: 930 033 261.
Board of Trustees:
- Dr R Steve Boyes – Scientific Director;
- John Hilton – Commercial Director;
- Dr Rob Little – Research Associate – Percy Fitzpatrick Institute, University of Cape Town: Manager: DST/NRF Centre of Excellence;
- Dr Kirsten Wimberger – Research Associate;
- Frank Muggleston – CA Friedlander Attorneys, Cape Town – Independent Trustee