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Current News


New study published : The importance of sociable weaver colonies to the surrounding animal community
Mon, 14 Jun 2021 - 12:00

A new study by Anthony Lowney and Robert Thomson demonstrates the importance of sociable weaver colonies to the surrounding animal community was recently published in the Journal of Animal Ecology.


New paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Fri, 19 Mar 2021 - 13:15

A new paper from the Fitz and the ANU describes how behavioural changes for thermoregulation carry opportunity costs with implications for fitness, population persistence and ecosystem function. 

Unpleasant meals may help manage crow predation on bird nests
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 - 07:30

Crows are notorious for robbing eggs and chicks from other birds nests, especially where crow numbers have been boosted by human activity. However, research led by UCT student Angela Ferguson, indicates one way to stop the marauding crows.

Sensing good vibrations: a remarkable sensory organ in the beaks of ancient fossil birds
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 - 10:15

Newly published research by an all-women team from the University of Cape Town (UCT) shows how one of the most ancient groups of birds (from the time of the dinosaurs) was able to detect minute mechanical vibrations in the soil using their beaks referred to as remote-touch.

The 2020 MSc CB class finally get in to the field again
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 - 12:00

The 2020 MSc Conservation Biology class finally got back into the field together after learning remotely since mid-March when they went on a 5-day trip to the Grootbos Environmental Centre in the heart of a thriving conservancy. 

New paper on the critically endangered White-winged Flufftail
Fri, 13 Nov 2020 - 09:30

Robin Colyn has just published a paper on his work using both camera traps and passive acoustic recorders to study the critically endangered White-winged Flufftail.

Congratulations to Dr Susie Cunningham on her UCT College of Fellows’ Young Researcher Award
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 - 10:45

The Young Researcher Award is offered annually in recognition of outstanding scholarly work by young academics who have made significant independent contributions to research in their field.

Common Bulbuls time moult to the onset of rains in each locality
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 - 11:00

Fitz postdoctoral fellow, Dr Chima Nwaogu's new paper titled 'Local timing of rainfall predicts the timing of moult within a single locality and the progress of moult among localities that vary in the onset of the wet season in a year-round breeding tropical songbird' has been published in the Journal of Ornithology.

Animal Behaviour Community Africa
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 - 11:30

There is a wealth of animal behaviour knowledge in Africa which needs to be shared. Unfortunately, funding obstacles and limited access to information make this challenging. To this end, a group of early career researchers and students from around Africa, including within the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology have initiated the Animal Behaviour Community Africa. 

More new papers from the Hot Birds Project team
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 - 10:15

The Hot Birds Project team have recently published two papers - both on the theme of sociality in the heat, one from Margaux Rat's PhD research on Sociable Weavers, and the other from Amanda Bourne's PhD research on the Southern Pied Babblers.


2020/2021 Gough Island Restoration team arrive on the island
Mon, 28 Sep 2020 - 09:30

Kim Stevens, Vonica Perold and Roelf Daling have arrived on Gough Island to relieve Alexis Osborne, Chris Jones and Michelle Risi after their epic 2-year stint on the island.

Award for Fitz Honorary Research Associate, Prof. Wendy Foden
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 - 09:00

The British Ecological Society’s (BES) Marsh Award for Climate Change Research has been awarded to the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Professor Wendy Foden, a world-leading researcher in climate change vulnerability assessments of threatened species