DROOGFONTEIN SOLAR ERECTS OWL BOXES TO BOOST LOCAL BIRDING POPULATION

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2 November 2017

A project is underway, outside of Kimberley, to help protect and boost the local owl population, by erecting owl nesting boxes.  Kimberley is home to a number of owl species, the most common being the Spotted Eagle Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl and Western Barn Owl; and it is the Barn Owl that Droogfontein Solar Power is working to protect.

Collaborating with birding and zoology conservation experts, the solar plant has erected ten specially built mobile owl boxes, on the solar plants perimeter. Although the power plant is not yet home to owls, by placing safe nesting boxes it is hoped that the Owls will be given the opportunity to stay semi permanently on the site.  The size of the population and the duration of their stay will relate directly to the prolificacy of the rodent populations; as large numbers of rodents will naturally draw owls to the area.

Experts from the University of Cape Town (UCT), Fitz Patrick Institute for Owls, as well as the head of the Zoology department at the McGregor Museum, in Kimberley, all worked closely with Ziyaad Mangera, the solar plant’s Health and Safety officer.

“Vonica Perold, from UCT and Beryl Wilson, from the McGregor Museum, visited our site to assist in the identification of owl species and advised on the most suitable placement zones for the nesting boxes,” explained Mpho Makhetha, Plant Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power.

The Owl houses were constructed by ‘Yonder’, an NGO established for handicapped adults, in Kimberley. The residents offered the perfect carpentry skills needed to assist with the unique mobile owl houses. This is a first project of its kind for the photovoltaic solar industry.

The owl house stands have been inserted into rubber bins, secured by mortar to provide the required stability and yet still allow for the boxes to be relocated to alternative sites on the solar plant, should they not successfully attract owls.

Tuesday 17/09/2013

  • 1 load via route N2
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Monday 09/09/2013

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  • 1 load via route R334
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Majority shareholder, Globeleq is jointly managing the construction of Droogfontein Solar and will play a key role as the management company during operations.