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Welcome to the new SAFRING website.

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SAFRING's mission: SAFRING is based at the University of Cape Town and provides bird ringing services in South Africa and other African countries. This entails providing ringing equipment to qualified ringers, and curating all ringing data. SAFRING communicates with ringers and interested parties through annually publishing one or two issues of a newsletter, Afring News, and by maintaining a list server. SAFRING holds national training courses, annually if there is sufficient demand. SAFRING liases with the provinces who have the responsibility of issuing permits. SAFRING has a strict code of ethics to ensure the safety of birds handled. SAFRING acknowledges the importance of bird ringing in that it has been described as the most important tool in ornithology in the 20th century.

The South African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING) administers bird ringing in southern Africa, supplying rings, ringing equipment and services to volunteer and professional ringers in South Africa and neighbouring countries. All ringing records are curated by SAFRING, which is an essential arm of the Animal Demography Unit. Contact is maintained by the SAFRING Project Coordinator with all ringers (banders in North American or Australian terminology).


Longevity of the Groundscraper Thrush
Dane Paijmans (2014-12-03)

This week’s longevity record looks at the Groundscraper Thrush. Due to the limited retraps and recoveries this species does not have a representative sample to calculate the longevity from. Additionally this individual was ringed as an adult and only retrapped so it will be older then this current record. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

    Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Passeriformes
       Family: Turdidae
             Genus: Psophocichla
  2 years (Roberts 7)
  >6.58 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Psophocichla litsipsirupa   4H29216
  Common name   Sample size
 Groundscraper Thrush   Ringed: 550      Retrapped: 16
  Recovered: 2 Total: 568
Longevity of the Lilac-breasted Roller
Dane Paijmans (2014-11-26)

This week’s longevity record looks at the Lilac-breasted Roller. This is one of the species that requires additional records to establish a better longevity result. Although nearly eight hundred of these birds have been ringed we at SAFRING receive very few resigtings and recoveries. We have many species where this is a problem so representative longevity records are not available. Please think of this next time you go ringing and attempt to resight species with few retrap/recovery records. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

    Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Coraciiformes
       Family: Coraciidae
             Genus: Coracias
  8 years (Roberts 7)
  4.27 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Coracias caudatus   580515
  Common name   Sample size
 Lilac-breasted Roller   Ringed: 744      Retrapped: 18
  Recovered: 4 Total: 766
Longevity of the Helmeted Guineafowl
Dane Paijmans (2014-11-19)

This week’s longevity record looks at the Helmeted Guineafowl. After nearly running one of these over the other day I was not surprised to discover that they had quite short life spans. There are a number of records around this 8 year mark, although many sites online state they may reach 15 years (none of these have references though). This specific individual was released into the Cape of Good Hope in 1955 as an adult so it may be a little older. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

    Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Galliformes
       Family: Numididae
             Genus: Numida
  8 years (Roberts 7)
  >7.76 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Numida meleagris   52403292
  Common name   Sample size
 Helmeted Guineafowl   Ringed: 2995      Retrapped: 15
  Recovered: 111 Total: 3121
Longevity of the Cape Wagtail
Dane Paijmans (2014-11-12)

This week’s longevity record looks at the Cape Wagtail. These birds are a common sight throughout South Africa and easily recognisable by their namesake tail wag. This action has a few explanations although it is most likely used for social signalling and improving feeding efficiency. This longevity record may be quite a bit older as this individual was initially ringed as an adult and so far only retrapped. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

    Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Passeriformes
       Family: Motacillidae
             Genus: Motacilla
  average 11 years (Roberts 7)
  >13.04 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Motacilla capensis   BC22048
  Common name   Sample size
 Cape Wagtail   Ringed: 7093      Retrapped: 267
  Recovered: 59 Total: 7419
Longevity of the Bank Cormorant
Dane Paijmans (2014-11-05)

This week’s longevity record looks at the Endangered Bank Cormorant. Due to all the research being done on these birds we have nearly as many re-traps/re-sightings as initial ringing records. This has resulted in many older records with one even exceeding 17 years although as the ring number was not clearly identified in the report we are not able to confidently verify it. We do urge you to try to recover the entire ring number and submit photos or actual rings when possible. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

    Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Suliformes
       Family: Phalacrocoracidae
             Genus: Phalacrocorax
  16.08 years (Roberts 7)
  16.06 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Phalacrocorax neglectus   904927
  Common name   Sample size
 Bank Cormorant   Ringed: 1548      Retrapped: 929
  Recovered: 81 Total: 2558
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