Vancouver, CANADA - Artists for Conservation (AFC) announces that Canadian wildlife artist Nigel Shaw departed today for South Africa, Limpopo province, to spend approximately two weeks in the field banding, studying, sketching and photographing the unique and wide range of raptors that migrate through the region. "This is a unique area that provides for a large resident population and a large influx of wintering birds," says Shaw, "some of which are on the threatened list, or close to it.".
The fellowship is part of the AFC Flag Expeditions Program, which supports up to two artists per year in their filed work, studying and rendering endangered species or habitats that deserve greater public attention, particularly in remote parts of the world.
The primary goal of the expedition is to portray through paintings and sketches, the research being done on the Limpopo raptors. Shaw will be working with and support the work of "SAFRING" - the South African Bird Ringing Unit - a non-profit organization that maintains a database of recoveries of southern African birds that is used to provide critical information for use in developing effective conservation strategies.
The expedition will focus on all the raptor species in the area, from the rare and threatened Cape Griffon vulture and Ayre's Eagle. The winter visitors, including the Lesser kestrel, Western red-footed falcon, are on IUCN's red list as vulnerable.
Upon return, an art exhibit is planned that will include a combination of Shaw's paintings, drawings, sketches, and reports and photos from the field. Shaw is also planning a series of speaking engagements including at the Ontario Bird Banding Association conference, and the annual Bird Studies Canada Annual Conference. Among other artistic venues, Shaw is scheduled to mount his unique exhibit and give special presentations at the 2012 Buckhorn Fine Art show, near Peterborough, Ontario.
Follow Nigel’s blog.