Support staff

Shane McPherson

Shane McPherson




Dr Shane McPherson completed undergraduate studies at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand, and completed a Post Graduate Diploma there in 2005. First initiation into fieldwork began as a volunteer for PhD research on New Zealand Falcon in plantation forestry. Later, field assistant experience developed on various projects including the Mongolia Artificial Raptor Nest Project, and conservation management of the Mauritius Parakeet. Volunteering for The Peregrine Funds East Africa project introduced seemingly endless needs for African raptor conservation – this experience included falconry-based fitness and hunting preparation of a captive bred Crowned Eagle who was successfully released in the rift valley. 

After a stint in New Zealand leading a team using radar and bioacoutstic monitoring for windfarm assessments, Shane migrated to South Africa in 2011 and developed a PhD project “Urban Ecology of the Crowned Eagle”. The PhD was awarded in 2015 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, revealing adaptive traits that allow urban greenspace to support a population of this threatened large predator, and investigating wildlife conflict issues. In 2016 Shane continued as a UKZN Post-doctoral fellow developing the citizen science and conflict mitigation aspects of the Crowned Eagle research and preliminary investigations of the cryptic and regionally critically endangered Southern Banded Snake Eagle. He has often assisted with nest access, trapping, and telemetry for a number of projects in South Africa including Cape Vultures, Martial, Verreaux, and Long-crested Eagles.

Shane joins the Fitzpatrick Institute in 2017 as field technician for the Black Sparrowhawk Project.

Peer-reviewed publications

McPherson, S. C., Brown, M. and Downs, C. T. 2017. Gender-related morphometric differences in mature and nestling Crowned Eagles, with comments on ringing of eagle nestlings in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ostrich,

McPherson, S. C., Brown, M. and Downs, C. T. 2016. Crowned eagle nest sites in an urban landscape: Requirements of a large eagle in the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System. Landscape and Urban Planning, 146, 43-50.

McPherson, S. C., Brown, M. and Downs, C. T. 2016. Diet of the crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) in an urban landscape: potential for human-wildlife conflict? Urban Ecosystems, 19-1.