Join Bird Population Monitoring Programme

Some information from our coordinator  Mr Mpho Williart to whom queries and completed forms can be directed to:

Thank you very much for your interest in volunteering to contribute data to BirdLife Botswana’s Bird Population Monitoring scheme.

The Bird Population Monitoring scheme is aimed at detecting bird population trends in Botswana and using those trends to contributing to biodiversity conservation.     We hope to use the information we get from you to influence decision makers to formulate proper conservation legislation for birds and for the benefit of the ecosystem.

Taking part in the scheme will help you to know what is happening to the bird population around your area and country wide. Your participation in the scheme also contributes to development of Botswana’s wild bird index and global bird index. We are intending to use this information to report on the status of Botswana’s biodiversity to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The scheme runs every February and November whereby we request volunteers to count birds from a chosen 2km transect near their area.  The more the merrier. This means you can choose one day in February and November to volunteer to count birds at your game ranch on a 2km road or path (transect) that is not busy. You will then choose to drive or walk your chosen road/path. The most important thing is even if you walk or drive the transect, you need to stop every 200m to count birds that you see/hear for only five minutes, then move to the next 200m and count for five minutes (You will have a total of eleven points counted). You are not supposed to record birds that you see/hear while you are walking between your 200m points. Your start and end point should be fixed and marked so that you are able to repeat your transect next time you do your count again.

The recommended time for starting the count is 7:30 or early in the morning when birds are very active. It is recommended that you do this in a group of not more than 3 and there should be only one observer. Make sure that your transect is repeatable. The scheme is mainly interested in terrestrial birds only not water birds but you can record water bird when you see it along your transect. You do not need to know your birds very well to take part as we believe people improve as they are taking part. You do not necessarily need binoculars for the scheme but you can use them to confirm a bird species that you are not sure of its identity.

Once you have collected the data you send back the filled form through fax/email/post back to BirdLife Botswana office.

Attached are instruction sheet, data collection sheets and an article for you and your team to use when undertaking transects around your area. Please mark the start and end point of the route, by taking the coordinates, so that it can be repeated annually.

BirdLife Botswana
P O Box 26691
Game City
Email: or 
Phone: +267 3190540  Fax: +267 3190541