***  Eighth Day of the Appeal and R 2985 already raised!  ***

Above picture: A Wandering Albatross spreads its wings on Marion Island

Following so soon after the successful crowd-funding appeal by 11-year-old Romario Valentine that raised over R20 000 (twice his original target) last month resulting in a 20-hectare sponsorship towards the Mouse-Free Marion Project, it is most pleasing to see a second appeal now underway with a target of R5000, as explained by Team Gauteng Trappers.  Indeed, worthy of your support!

Team Gauteng Trappers out training

We are a group of friends (from school) from Gauteng, South Africa with a love for both nature and cycling.  Our team consists of Arend, Leandri, Jeandre and Jurgens.  The only person on this team who has seen an albatross is Leandri.  She has spent over a year on sub-Antarctic Marion Island as part of the 77th Overwintering Team (M77) over 2020/2021 and fell in love with the albatrosses on the island.  Cycling is a very social sport, and her stories of the island got us interested in the island and its wildlife.  This was followed by stories of albatrosses being killed by mice which has inspired us to raise funds for the Mouse-Free Marion Project while doing what we love.  We are planning to participate in the “Groot Trap” road race covering 105 km to help raise funds for the Project.

The Mouse-Free Marion Project was established to eradicate the introduced House Mice that have been wreaking ecological havoc among seabirds, invertebrates and plant communities on the island.  The island is an awe-inspiring environment with an abundance of animals including penguins, seals and albatrosses.  Unfortunately, seabirds have not adopted any defences against mouse attacks and their populations, under these attacks, are declining.

The Mouse-Free Marion Project was established as a partnership between BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to implement the project that will help restore this incredible island and its wildlife.  But before one of the world’s largest mouse-eradication projects can take place, the necessary funds need to be raised to ensure that it can successfully take place.  You can support the project by sponsoring a hectare (or more) of Marion Island at R1000 per hectare or by donating any other amount to the cause.  We can all be part of history to help save Marion Island’s seabirds, restore the ecosystem, and ensure a long-lasting conservation legacy.

Our team comes from all over Gauteng.  Arend works as a junior biodiversity specialist and is a keen bird watcher.  Leandri is currently busy with her Master’s degree in statistical ecology.  Jeandre is an artisan and Jurgens is an engineer and are both avid cyclists.  Our group just proves that no matter your ‘day job’ we can all come together for a great cause.  Some of us are more experienced riders than others, but we are confident that we will all reach the finish line.  We hope that our contribution will spread awareness about the remarkable seabirds and other wildlife of Marion Island and the importance of the Mouse-Free Marion Project in Gauteng.  We believe in the saying by Khalil Gibran: “It is when you give of yourself, that you truly give”.

The Groot Trap road race will be taking place in Pretoria on 02 April 2023 (online entries close on 21 March).  We would like to ask for your support on our journey.  We wish to raise R10 for every kilometre we each will cycle during the race.  So, you can decide how many kilometres you would like to sponsor.  All funds will be going directly to the Mouse-Free Marion Project. We look forward to the challenge and appreciate your support!

To make your own donation to this worthy cause go to:



Team Gauteng Trappers, 21 February 2023