The South African Bird Ringing Unit

Ringing birds around Africa!


A Short History of SAFRING - Part 8

Dane Paijmans(2018-07-29)

The early years - Terry Oatley

After Patrick Morant left in 1981, the position of SAFRING coordinator was filled by Terry Oatley, this time as a permanent post. With the assistance of Mirella Rammesmayer, Terry set out to; “make SAFRING a top flight service organisation and to give every encouragement and assistance possible to ringers, be they amateurs or professionals” – quote from his first SAFRING News editorial. Over the next 17 years he did just this with the number of active ringers increasing each year.

Prior to SAFRING, Terry spent 22 years working at the Natal Parks Board (Terry can be seen sitting in a game vehicle in the photos attached). He was passionate about studying robins (a passion seeded in child hood – Read his daughters (Jenny Freemans') account in Ostrich), and published a book – Robins of Africa - and many papers on this group.

In 1993, while he was at SAFRING, Terry was awarded his PhD by Wits for his work on the Ground Woodpecker. It would be impossible to capture all that Terry did over his 17 years as SAFRING coordinator in this short web article. To read more, please go through all his editorials from SAFRING News and end off with his light hearted final editorial where he comments on his highs and lows as coordinator. Following his retirement, in 1998 he was awarded the Gill Memorial Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to ornithology in the southern African region. 

To read more on SAFRINGs history please Click Here.

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