Rat poison threat to city’s peri-urban wildlife
Urban rat poisons are spilling over into Cape Town’s natural environment, threatening species such as caracal, mongoose, otter and owl.
Happy snappers unwittingly gather valuable Martial Eagles data
University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have used Google Images to track the dietary habits of the Martial Eagle, Africa’s largest eagle, gaining new data from regions where the species has never previously been studied. This input from citizen...
Why Africa’s smallest raptor has helpers to raise its chicks
It takes a village to raise a child – even if you’re the smallest raptor in Africa. According to new research from scientists at the University of Cape Town (UCT), pygmy falcon pairs with more offspring have a better chance of raising healthy chicks...
Where technology and ecology meet: using big data in fynbos studies
The Cape Floral Kingdom is both the world’s smallest botanical kingdom in area, and the biggest in terms of total number of species – but it is also one of the world’s most threatened floral kingdom’s because of urban development, agriculture, and...
Collapse of an iconic conifer
In this study we use a large and long-term (1931–2013) repeat photography dataset together with environmental data and fire records to account for the decline of the critically endangered Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Our results suggest this...


A statement from Biological Sciences Department on the article on Black Students

The Department of Biological Sciences affirms the Science Faculty’s position regarding the Commentary by Nattrass (SAJS 2020: 116, 5/6). While academic freedom is a virtue we uphold, the study design and kinds of questions used in the opportunistic survey could antagonize the core purpose of the study. Furthermore, wildlife conservation and conservation biology were conflated with all fields of biological sciences. The Department is committed to addressing the complexities regarding attracting and effectively training black students.

Prof Muthama Muasya, Head of Department, 05/06/2020

The Department of Biological Sciences has more than 30 academic and 26 support staff, and trains more than 100 postgraduate, 30 Honours and 500 undergraduate students in fields of terrestrial and marine ecology, evolutionary biology and ecophysiology.