Collaboration is key to Black Eagle conservation

A juvenile Black Eagle being tagged. Picture: Lucia Rodrigues

Founded by Hank and Tracy Chalmers in December 2001, over the years a strong, cooperative, national network has developed between them and other animal organisations, governing bodies and wildlife veterinarians
who also have a heart for the conservation of our South African wildlife.

One such organisation is the Western Cape Black Eagle project, founded by Lucia Rodrigues. Lucia’s interest in Black Eagles started when she accidentally stumbled across a nest on the peninsula.

In Lucia’s own words: “Very soon, watching just one pair was not enough”. Lucia’s passion for Black Eagles has led her to the plotting of over 200 active nests and, with the assistance of “a small band of enthusiastic volunteers”, most are regularly monitored.

In 2005, Lucia started attaching wing tags to Black Eagle chicks before they leave their nests. By 2014, she had tagged 28 chicks and to date, nine have been re-sighted as adults, thanks to landowners and members of the public helpfully reporting these sightings.

In September 2018, a tagged adult Black Eagle was found and brought in to Eagle Encounters.

Suffering from exhaustion and dehydration, he was treated by Hank Chalmers and released back into his territory a few days later.

Thanks to Lucia’s project, he has recently been spotted, alive and thriving where he should be.

People who spot a Black Eagle with a tag, can report it to Lucia Rodrigues at 083 325 8881 or

Injured/sick wildlife can be taken to Eagle Encounters on Spier wine farm, Baden Powell Drive (R310), Stellenbosch, or contact 084 037 5523 for assistance.