Completed Projects of the African Raptor Trust
1) Compilation of a “Minimum Standards for the management of Captive Raptors” Document in 2006 and current “Minimum Standards Guidelines” with KZN Wildlife.
2) Renovated an abandoned building into a dedicated Raptor Hospital with office, surgery, four ICU wards and food-prep room. Completed in 2008 @ a cost of R 80 000. 00
3) Constructed a block of 6 recovery enclosures in July 2009 @ a cost of R 37 000. 00
4) Built a 30m Owl Pre-Release Owl conditioning enclosure in December 2009 @ a cost of R 29 300. 00
5) Constructed a Hexagonal public display enclosure for small eagles in May 2010 @ a cost of R 32 121.
6) Acquired a dedicated Raptor Rescue callout vehicle in 2011 @ a cost of R 90 000. 00
7) Completed a 72m Pre Release fitness Flight Tunnel for Large Birds in Sept 2011 @ a cost of R 170 100.
8) Ongoing Assistance in the formulation of SABS Animal Rehabilitation Guidelines
9) Monthly running costs for the Raptor Rescue hospital @ approximately R 5 000. 00 per month
Research Projects History
The facility will assist, were possible, in any bona fide program or research that is beneficial to the long term conservation of raptors. The Sanctuary also serves as a biological and genetic bank of southern African birds of prey.
In the field of Raptor research the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary has collaborated with:
- The late Prof Steven Piper then of the University of Natal in the ESCOM EWT strategic partnership. We assisted with ‘streamer’ research where the electrical conductivity of vulture faeces was measured. The distance that a vulture can project its faeces is also being recorded, to help understand how vultures get electrocuted on power lines.
- With Mark Brown, then also from the University Of Natal, we are studying metabolic and food conversion rates in Spotted Eagle Owls. Work has also been carried out on incubation temperatures, in captive birds, wild birds and under artificial conditions in the same species.
- We have worked with Dr Dennis York of Molecular Diagnostic Services to validate their DNA sexing test for Owls.
- We also worked with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, together with the Vulture Study Group, De Wildt, and Onderstepoort into the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Diclofenec, which has been implicated in the deaths of millions of Asian White-backed vultures, as well as a 90% decline in the population of both the Long-billed and Slender-billed Vultures in Asia.
- Ben Smit’s work on Thermoregulatory responses in seasonally acclimatized captive Southern White-faced Scops-owls (Journal of Thermal Biology 33)
- Natassja Bush’s, Phenotypic plasticity in thermoregulatory responses of the Rock Kestrel, Part A, and Part B, Effects of short-term acclimation on the metabolic rate in the Rock Kestrel.
- A Zimbabwean student Lovelater Sebele collected information off various Long-crested Eagle patients was used to investigate whether leg colour and length of crest in Long-crested Eagles, (Lophaetus occipitalis) can be used as a guide to gender.
- Erin Wreford’s “Spatial requirements of the Black Sparrowhawk” for her MSc Thesis
- The Global Owl project to provide Dr. David H Johnson with DNA-samples from: Barn Owls, Grass Owls, White faced Owls, Wood Owls, Marsh Owls, Spotted Eagle Owls, and Cape Eagle Owls.
- David Allen from the Durban Natural Science Museum, providing DNA sample bloods from seven eagle species, 5 shortwing species and yellow-billed kites, Jackal Buzzard and Cuckoo Hawk