Plettenberg Bay, South Africa 21 June – 30 June 2024

Living on a seabird island

Living on a Seabird Island

Cape gannet research and survival on Malgas 

Many islands in South Africa are home to endangered species of seabirds. These seabirds, breeding in large colonies, attract researchers to the islands who conduct important studies that promotes the conservation of seabirds. The researchers, like Dr Zanri Strydom, end up living on the islands for weeks or months at a time. With a special interest in Cape gannets, Zanri went to Malgas Island, home to one of only six breeding colonies in the world. Some of her daily activities ranged from deploying GPS devices on the parent birds to rescuing those who were injured or sick. Zanri found herself living in an old house that was built by guano collectors with absolutely no running water, not even to speak of warm water. Life on this island was far from sipping cocktails under coconut trees, but was so much better! Join Zanri for an island adventure with Cape gannets, and get a glimpse of what it takes to devote one’s life to this endangered species.


Dr Zanri Strydom specialises in seabirds, and has conducted her doctoral degree specifically on the competition for food between humans and Cape gannets in South Africa. Currently, Zanri (together with her husband) is the manager of Dunefields Private Nature Reserve situated along the Garden Route coastline. She continues to study the gannets with a special interest in the post-fledging activities of the juveniles along the Garden Route, a potential safe haven for the young gannets. Besides the involvement in seabird research, Zanri is a First Responder for sick and injured seabirds found along this coast. Zanri has always valued her time spent rescuing and stabilising seabirds in need, and in return received her greatest gift - an ever growing passion.

This event takes place on:

Saturday 22 June

09:00 - 09:25