Taking into account factors such as modern conceptual developments in biology, national and international socio-economic priorities and the mission statement of the University of Cape Town, the mission statement of the Fitztitute is:

"To promote and undertake scientific studies involving birds, and contribute to the practice affecting the maintenance of biological diversity and the sustained use of biological resources."

In line with our mission statement, the research currently undertaken by members of the Fitztitute can be broadly placed within the themes of Understanding Biodiversity: Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology; Maintaining Biodiversity: Species-level Conservation and Maintaining Biodiversity: Global Change. Several research programmes are co-ordinated by staff members and include the research projects of the Institute's postgraduate students.