Volunteer Programme

Welgevonden, in conjunction with Wildlife and Ecological Investments (WEI), has launched a volunteer research programme to promote research output on the reserve.

WEI is a voluntary, non-profit organisation.

Its mission is to support the government, conservation agencies, national parks and private land owners with capital, human resources and intellectual investments in areas of ecological importance within Southern Africa.

Through WEI, Welgevonden will host volunteer and graduate students to supplement the reserve’s existing research efforts and advance our management objectives. WEI has appointed a full-time facilitator to oversee their activities on the reserve and to ensure close cooperation with the WLOA management.

To this end, we would like to welcome Gerhardt Lorist and his family to Welgevonden and regular visitors to the reserve will soon get to know Gerhardt as an integral member of the management team.

WEI also has a close association with international partner organisations and universities whereby graduate students from leading universities around the world will spend time on Welgevonden to target key management questions. The first university students arrived in June and have been furiously busy collecting data on bird distribution and diversity as an indicator of biodiversity and on vegetation composition and structure. We are confident that the partnership with WEI will greatly enhance Welgevonden’s research and management capacity and we anticipate especially valuable output from this relationship.

For the twitchers…
Those members and visitors who are mad keen birders will be pleased to know that Gerhardt Lorist is a twitcher extraordinaire. Gerhardt is a BirdLife South Africa guide and recently obtained his FGASA SKS birding qualification and is truly knowledgeable about all things avian. This is extremely useful given that WEI are using bird distributions and diversity as an indicator for biodiversity but we also hope that Gerhardt and his merry students will unearth several hitherto unknown bird species on Welgevonden. No pressure, Gerhardt…