Clarens Raptor Observation
In August 2018 I got married to my lovely wife Les and in 2020 we decided to pack up and move out of Johannesburg’s hustle and bustle, heading towards the Eastern Free State residing in the lovely little ‘dorpie’ known as Clarens that nestles at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the district of Thabo Mofutsanyane. It was established in 1912 and named after the town Clarens in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days. Situated 330km from Johannesburg, 285km from Bloemfontein and 390km from Durban and importantly only a stone’s throw from us is the world renowned Golden Gate National Park.
Within a range of approximately 30km radius surrounding Clarens that will include Fouriesburg and portions of Golden Gate National Park, our aim is to search and locate nesting sites of specifically Black Eagles but will also include sites of medium and large birds of prey. We will identify, take photographs and GPS coordinates that will be added to the database of Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 at the University of Cape Town for their research, analysis and records.
We have largely been involved with raptor conservation within the urban and rural environment and have vast experience of Black (Verreaux’s) Eagle, African Fish Eagle and Long-crested Eagle breeding biology and behaviour. We also initiated and founded the Rock Hyrax Capture & Reintroduction Project where we captured and reintroduced about 800 hyrax to supplement the diet of a pair of Black eagles naturally. We initiated a feasibility study for the establishment of the Little Falls Wildlife Reserve in Roodepoort, but unfortunately this project was mothballed by Johannesburg City Parks.
Our objective encompasses a wide spectrum and includes:
- Birds of Prey Conservation,
- Vulture Safe Zones,
- Road Kill Monitoring,
- Fauna and Flora Conservation.
Founded only recently, this project’s data base and image provision will yet expand…watch this space!!