Protecting our wetlands to save the Flufftail

3 February 2020

The White-winged Flulltail bird, a wetland ground nesting bird species is critically endangered and one of the rarest wetland birds to date. With only about 250 existing globally and approximately 50 remaining in South Africa, drastic measures need to be taken to save these birds and other species whose survival depends on wetlands.

The 6th Annual Flufftail Festival will take flight at the Johannesburg Zoo on 7 and 8 February 2020 in partnership with BirdLife South Africa, Rand Water (Water Wise), Toyota, the Rare Finch Conservation Group, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD).

The aim of the Flufftail Festival is to engage and educate the youth about the importance of safeguarding water, protecting wetlands and conserving waterbirds.

On Friday, 7 February 2020, 390 Grade 6 learners from four primary schools from Soweto will take part in the Johannesburg Zoo Flufftail Festival.

The following day, 8 February 2020, 400 youth (between the ages of 18-35) will be bused in by the City of Joburg municipality from the local communities around southern Gauteng to participate in the Flufftail Festival.

Wetlands are often undervalued and overlooked in society, yet they are so important. The Flufftail Festival takes place every year during Wetlands Month (February) and its aim is to raise awareness about the great value of wetlands and their biodiversity. It is through wetland biodiversity that ecological processes are carried out. Wetland biodiversity contributes to ecosystem resilience, clean water, water supply, storm protection, carbon storage, health and well-being, tourism and recreation and jobs. Biodiversity is a foundational value of wetlands and an inherent part of the significance of these ecosystems. Learners will be exposed to interactive and educational talks, hands-on exercises, water testing, quizzes, exhibitions, etc.

With the adverse effects of climate change, water scarcity is a reality in South Africa. It is without question that we help create young environmental enthusiasts who are passionate about saving our natural biodiversity.


Date: Friday, 7th February 2020 (for learners)
Date: Saturday, 8th February 2020 (youth between the ages of 18-35)
Time: 09h00 Ð 13h00 (for both events)
Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave. & Upper Park Drive, Parkview