The Conservation Modelling Project develops cutting-edge research that enables us to assess and monitor the state of South Africa's ecosystems and habitats. By identifying core sites that form the base of resilient ecological networks, we enable conservation practitioners and land managers to develop and implement scientifically robust initiatives that promote positive change.
This project aims to create habitat suitability maps for all threatened and endemic species, including Rudd's, Botha's, Red and Barlow's Lark, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Southern Bald Ibis, Ludwig's Bustard, Lesser Flamingo, Black Stork and White-backed Vulture, among other species. The habitat suitability models created will provide a further understanding of the presence and state of threatened and endemic species hotspots, guide and direct our conservation efforts for threatened habitats and species, and promote sustainable development and representative conservation planning about avian species.
This project focuses on the Northern Cape Province, which hosts many highly specialised and range-restricted avian species. The globally threatened Red Lark is one such species that is entirely confined to specialised habitats within the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Unfortunately, the population trend, status, and actual distribution of many of these species are unknown.
Considering the potential impact of climate change on this arid environment and the recent swell in development across this region, gaps related to these species must effectively be filled to direct conservation initiatives.