Since birds are important pollinators, the NVT has an ongoing programme that monitors the presence and movement of birds in the fynbos area contained within the Garden Route National Park’s Tsitsikamma section. Given that climate change may impact the migration and movement of birds, bird-ringing enables us to keep track of any noticeable changes in bird presence and to take proactive steps towards sustaining important bird populations.

Based on our findings to date, indications are that for some bird species, the park provides sufficient food sources throughout the year, but that the endemic Cape Sugarbird is not sustained within the park’s fynbos, as its main food source does not flower for parts of the year. Consequently, this species has to rely on other fynbos patches in the landscape to sustain itself. Based on our research, the NVT is now in a position to inform SANParks’ efforts to work with local stakeholders (farms, municipalities, etc.) to protect fragmented fynbos patches in an attempt to encourage a fynbos mosaic in the landscape that will support bird species. This will not only help with the protection of an important (and rare) ecosystem, but also with the protection of an essential natural resource.