National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for percy fitzpatrick institute

2013 Okavango Expedition: Amazing Video Footage From Paradise (Part 3)

Here is the 3rd instalment of a critically-acclaimed Afrikaans-language nature series on the 2013 Okavango Expedition undertaken by the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and Wild Bird Trust. This local South African language has origins in Dutch over 400 years ago, so use the subtitles to keep up between English interviews. This insert explains…

Okavango Expedition 2012: Our First Unassisted Crossing of Okavango Delta…

In June 2012, my brother, marine biologist Chris Boyes, and I embarked on our first-unassisted crossing of the Okavango Delta as part of the 2012 Okavango Wetland Bird Survey. To support our ongoing research my wife, Dr Kirsten Wimberger, joined the expedition in the front dug-out canoe (“mokoro”) with me to lead up all research.…

Involving Children In Conservation Is Easy!

Leaders and policymakers around the world need to wake up every morning to go to work for the next generation… This is our inalienable responsibility and duty in society, yet we choose to forget this as short-term benefits, ego and greed drive the destruction of our natural environment and marginalise young people around the world.…

TED/Okavango Update On Local Radio Station

Yesterday, just after 5pm during rush hour traffic across South Africa I answered two quick questions about being a 2014 TED Fellow and crossing the Okavango Delta without any assistance for the fourth time on the “Celebrity Express” with Catherine Grenfell on 5FM’s “Fresh Drive”. This is one of the most popular radio shows in South Africa…

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #49

Eleven out of 25 of this week’s amazing wild bird photographs came from India. There are almost 7,500 Wild Bird Enthusiasts following the Wild Bird Trust Facebook page in India and our five most popular cities in the world are in India. The Indian SubContinent is a birding paradise with a patchwork mosaic of habitat…

Best Photographs: 2013 Okavango Expedition

Every year the Percy FitzPatrick Institute and Wild Bird Trust undertake the Okavango Wetland Bird Survey. This is a nine-year project that aims to use 71 wetland bird species as indicators of significant change in the flood regime and functioning of the Okavango Delta. The survey involves “poling” ourselves over 250 miles across this enigmatic…

Okavango Expedition 2013: Leaving “Mother Okavango”…

The “Mother Okavango”, the beating heart of the delta, did not want to let us go. She held us to her abundant bosom for almost two weeks. We entered her wilderness using a secret mokoro trail known only by two baYei living in Jedibe, a backdoor left open for people like us. People interested in…

Two Emerging Explorers Team Up To Share a Live Expedition

Steve Boyes and Jer Thorp have teamed up to share the 2013 Okavango Wetland Bird Survey across the Okavango Delta with the world in real-time. Follow every step of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute’s research team as they explore a new route across the Okavango Delta that will reveal the secrets of wetland birds at an…

Rescuing South Africa’s Endangered Cape Parrot…

As with most wild parrots, the story of the Cape parrot of South Africa, is a tale of people and parrot over many generations… We have been fascinated by parrots, their colors, characters and voices. for thousands of years. A longtime ago in prehistory the ancestors of today’s Cape parrot Poicephalus robustus specialized their behavior…

First-Ever Footage of Africa’s Most Endangered Parrot Feeding in High Canopy…

This 1-minute video clip is the first-ever footage of the Endangered Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus) feeding in the high canopy of a yellowwood tree over 40m above the forest floor.

Africa’s Top Ornithologist Dies – A Tribute to Professor Phil Hockey

One of Africa’s most influential conservationists and our top ornithologist has died at the age of 57. Professor Phil Hockey joined the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology in the same year I was born (1979) and became the Director in 2008. He had an honours degree from Edinburgh and obtained his PhD at the…

A “Doomsday Virus” for Endangered Parrots?

Every time we test blood from new endangered parrot species with small, isolated wild populations, we find Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) virus, a particularly nasty airborne circovirus that destroys the skin and feathers while opening large, painful fissures in the beak that eventually breaks it apart. Cape parrots, black-cheeked lovebirds, Carnaby’s cockatoos, New Caledonian parakeets,…

Working for Water: The Bangweulu Wetlands and Africa’s Shoebill…

Zambia’s Bangweulu Wetlands are recognized by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar Convention”) as one of the most important wetlands on earth. This vast, shimmering landscape is home to one of Africa’s most unique residents, the African shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). Shoebills are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and are threatened by excessive burning by…

Did you know? The Okavango Delta is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site…

Most people are surprised and alarmed when they are told that the Okavango Delta is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is about to change with nomination scheduled for February next year and declaration in 2014. The word, “Okavango”, like “Amazon” and “Congo”, evokes the powerful sense of place in the “wilderness” and imagines an untamed place characterized…

Dead Birds Flying: Rescuing the Endangered Cape Parrot…

The National Geographic-funded Cape Parrot Project was launched in 2009 to support CONSERVATION ACTION for Africa’s most endangered parrot and one of South Africa’s most endangered birds. Ongoing research over the last 15-20 years has established that Cape parrots were previously dependent on yellowwood trees for nesting and roosting sites, as well as 99% of…