As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The bird runner


Running more than 10 000km for environmental issues close to his heart – with one journey spanning almost the full breadth of Canada – was not enough for Dave Chamberlain.

The athlete and former scuba-diving instructor will now be lending his talents to saving the critically endangered white-winged flufftail in a run from Dullstroom to Johannesburg.
“This species is one of those ‘hidden gems’ with a population found in Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal – and the next closest group found nearly 4 000km away in Ethiopia. That’s fascinating,” Chamberlain told Daily News this week.

The birds have been found in high altitude wetlands in KZN, including Franklin Vlei, Penny Park, Hebron near Kokstad, Ingula and Murphy’s Rust near Ladysmith, as well as a single record from Mfabeni in the St Lucia area.

Chamberlain’s new six-day, 281km adventure starts on February 1. He will cover on average about 50km a day, pulling a trailer containing his food supplies. He will use the trailer as a makeshift shelter at night.

The Pretoria man said environmental issues were something he was passionate about, having spent considerable time under water in various oceans around the world.

“We must look after what we have and do what we can to protect it. Think about what goes into a migration. Some animals travel thousands of kilometres and we take that for granted,” he said.

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