Dr Steve Boyes

BSc For (NatCon) (Stellenbosch), MEnvDev(PAM) (UKZN), PhD Zoology (UKZN)

Dr Steve Boyes obtained a Masters degree in Environmental Development (Protected Areas management) at the University of Natal, South Africa, in 2002. His passion has always been wilderness. As a result, the call of the bush was too strong and, after a few years working as a biodiversity consultant, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to move to the Okavango Delta, Botswana, to work as a safari guide and camp manager. Shortly after arriving in Botswana, he set up the Meyer’s Parrot Project and began data collection for his PhD Zoology, which he completed in 2009 with no corrections. Steve’s passion for African parrot conservation is contagious and he has conducted seminars and talks at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, California (Berkeley) and Colorado (Boulder), as well as the Bronx Zoo and several local and international conferences. He spent the whole of 2006 in Prof Steve Beissinger’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley, where he established a strong working relationship with the US parrot conservation community. Steve is currently a DST/NRF Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. His postdoctoral research will be on the conservation biology of the Critically Endangered Cape Parrot in the Amathole and Transkei regions of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He will also be coordinating several community-based conservation projects aimed at mitigating the impacts of current extinction threats, including a community nest box workshop, indigenous tree nursery and planting scheme, and the management of a Cape Parrot Sanctuary. One of his core focuses will be to better understand the dynamics that support a recent outbreak of Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) in wild Cape Parrots in the Eastern Cape.

Recent peer-reviewed publications


Boyes, R.S. & Perrin, M.R. (2013). Access to cryptic arthropod larvae supports the atypical winter breeding seasonality of Meyer’s Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) throughout the African subtropics. Journal of Ornithology 154:849-861.


Boyes, R.S. & Perrin, M.R. 2010. Patterns of daily activity of Meyer’s Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Emu 110:54-65.

Boyes, R.S. & Perrin, M.R. 2010. Aerial surveillance by a generalist seed predator: food resource tracking by Meyer’s parrot Poicephalus meyeri in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26:381–392.

Boyes, R.S. & Perrin, M. R. 2010. Nest niche dynamics of Meyer’s Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Ostrich 81:233-242.

Wimberger, K., Downs, C.T. & Boyes, R.S. 2010. A survey of wildlife rehabilitation in South Africa: is there a need for improved management? Animal Welfare 19(4):481-499.