The Aquila Eagle Crest Conservation fund has been born out of a joint venture between Aquila Private Game Reserve and Swartland Winery in order to give something back to the environment that helps sustain both businesses.
Through this partnership the aim is to assist with various bona ﬁde projects and education programmes, as well as the introduction of an interpretation centre at the Reserve.
We are excited to educate our visitors to threats facing the Black Eagles and hope that this knowledge in turn will lead to a willingness to conserve the magniﬁcent Black Eagle as well as other raptor species. The Aquila Eagle Crest Conservation Fund will ensure that the Black Eagle can continue to be monitored and conserved; funds from this project will also in turn be used in the ongoing attempt to educate all on issues that effect raptors on the Western Cape.
The ﬁrst major projects that the fund embarked on were the Black Eagle project in conjunction with the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme. The ﬁrst and second phases have been completed which resulted in surveying areas for nesting eagles and sourcing accurate mapping of vegetation and land use. The current phase of monitoring breeding schemes is currently under way. The adults and nestlings need to be ringed and patagial tagged. The fund has already supplied equipment (spotting scopes; binoculars, GPS, climbing equipment) to enable volunteers to conduct their ﬁeldwork successfully.
The next phase will be to ﬁt cell phone transmitters to young eagles before ﬂedging to monitor their dispersal. Two birds will be ﬁtted with the device to preliminary test and measure the effectiveness of this technology and allow the opportunity to make adjustments if necessary, before proceeding with ﬁtting more eagles with this relatively new technology.