Above Picture: John and Alison at North Cape, in the very north of Norway

The Mouse-Free Marion Project team is delighted to announce that one of South Africa’s top birders, John Bradshaw, is the newest member of the prestigious “Wandering Albatross” sponsorship category. John, who has been an ardent supporter of BirdLife South Africa for many years, including as a Golden Bird Patron, has with his wife Alison sponsored a very generous 100 hectares towards the eradication of mice from Marion Island.

John describes himself as an amateur birder, who has enjoyed birding for over 30 years. What John didn’t say, but which is well known amongst the birding community, is that he is one of a small group of birders who have seen more than 900 species in the southern African region, an incredible feat which requires a prodigious level of enthusiasm and commitment to the task of seeking out and recording new birds.

John and Alison have been actively involved in the South African bird club fraternity for a number of years. In 1994, they joined both the Inkwazi Bird Club in Johannesburg and the Vaal Bird Club in the Vaal Triangle. John spent many years as Chair of the Vaal Bird Club and is currently their Honorary President.

John writes to the Mouse-Free Marion Project: “Alison and I have been fortunate to have visited Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough Islands, all of which support incredible seabird communities. It has been inspiring and encouraging to read about the successful recent eradication project on South Georgia and the completion of the baiting operation at Gough. These outcomes augur well for the project at Marion, particularly with the excellent team that has been put together. The eradication of mice will have a significant influence on the fortunes of seabirds on this globally important island and we are very pleased to add our support. We encourage others with an interest in the conservation of seabirds to support this important project in any way they can.”

The Mouse-Free Marion Project is extremely grateful to John and Alison for their generous sponsorship.  The Mouse-Free Marion Project hopes that their contribution will in turn inspire others to make sponsorships, be it a single hectare or much more. It all helps to progress the project, which aims to leave a massive and lasting conservation legacy.

Dr Anton Wolfaardt, Mouse-Free Marion Project Manager, 23 November 2021