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Current News

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Talk: The costs of keeping cool: climate change and the future for desert birds.    
Tue, 11 Feb 2020 - 13:15

The ROYAL SOCIETY of SOUTH AFRICA and THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF SOUTH AFRICA invite you to a free public lecture by Dr Susan Cunningham of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town entitled The costs of keeping cool: climate change and the future for desert birds.    

New research into flightlessness in the Aldabra rail indicates it could be a distinct species
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 - 12:15

A new research paper published on Aldabra’s endemic white-throated rail Dryolimnas [cuvierialdabranus has shown two new facts about this unique bird: it evolved among the most rapid documented loss of flight known in birds so far; and it should be considered an evolutionary distinct species from Dryolimnas cuvieri, not a subspecies as previously thought.

Non-invasive physiological measurements in wild animals
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 - 10:45

Just like us, when animals experience stress, they show a physiological response in the body. This response can take many forms – an elevated heart rate, higher metabolic rate, an increase in circulating stress hormones (called cortisol in most mammals, including humans, and corticosterone in reptiles and birds) or, when heat stressed, a heightened risk of dehydration.

Field researcher needed
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 - 11:15

We are looking for a research assistant to join our team in our research on the building behaviour of White-browed sparrow weavers in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

Unravelling francolin taxonomy
Tue, 05 Nov 2019 - 11:30

A Fitz team recently published a paper in the African Journal of Ornithology Ostrich titled ‘Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of ‘true’ francolins: Galliformes, Phasianidae, Phasianinae, Gallini; Francolinus, Ortygornis, Afrocolinus gen. nov., Peliperdix and Scleroptila spp.’ elevating 14 subspecies of francolins to full species status.

 

International recognition for Prof Wendy Foden
Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 12:15

International recognition for FitzPatrick Institute Honorary Research Associate, Prof Wendy Foden. - Prof. Foden received the George Rabb Award for Conservation Innovation from the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fieldwork opportunity with The Red-Winged Starling Project
Tue, 08 Oct 2019 - 12:15

The Red-winged Starling Project is seeking volunteers to help with a supplementary feeding project and chick ringing. This is an excellent opportunity to gain fieldwork experience in the city (UCT Upper Campus) and engage with our (in)famous and fascinating starlings! The work is easy and fun, and you can do as much or little of it as suits you, and at times that fit your schedule. There is a set protocol for the feeding, but training is provided.

Juggling a "junk-food' diet
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 - 09:45

The resident population of Red-winged Starlings, Onychognathus morio at the University of Cape Town are often seen scavenging anthropogenic food around students, kiosks and in rubbish bins.

A predation risk experiment
Wed, 14 Aug 2019 - 11:45

The Black sparrowhawk team has published a paper in the Royal Society journal 'Open Science' showing that birds are at a higher predation risk in dark light conditions. 

Invasion by Black Sparrowhawks
Fri, 02 Aug 2019 - 12:30

Rob Little and Rene Navarro recently published a paper on the implications of geographical range changes and resultant sympatry for three Accipiter hawks on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.

Resolving spurfowl taxonomy
Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 12:15

Tshifhiwa Mandiwana-Neudani, Rob Little, Tim Crowe  and Rauri Bowie recently published a paper in the African journal of ornithology Ostrich titled ‘Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of African spurfowls Galliformes, Phasianidae, Phasianinae, Coturnicini: Pternistis spp.’

Volunteer: Field assistant, Hot Birds Project
Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 11:00

PhD student Nick Pattinson is looking for a field volunteer to assist him with data collection for his research on the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill in the Kuruman River Reserve near Van Zylsrus, Northern Cape.

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