Branch Member – Gauteng South East
“The only thing constant in the world is change. Just like the owls had to adapt to environmental changes, we must adapt our actions. Development threatens the habitat of owls. However, we can contribute to their survival by living with them, providing breeding locations, and avoid harmful practices and poisons. The conservation of owls, also in urban areas, can be part of our heritage.”
Lionel Smit’s love of nature is an integral part of his personality. For many years, he was a member of the conservation team involved with owl conservation and rehabilitation at the Springbok Branch. The branch’s N17 highway project managed owl restaurants to reduce owl deaths on the roads, while Projek Groot Oog erected owl boxes and monitored the owls that had moved in. They also launched several owl research projects. Since his election as the conservation coordinator for the Gauteng southeast region of SA Hunters, he has been working particularly hard to involve more branches with owl conservation and Projek Groot Oog. Following several visits to branches, it became evident that there was a growing need for owl boxes in urban and industrial areas to assist with biological control of rodents. Lionel is still a member of the Springbok Branch where he practices his passion for conservation.