Dr David Maphisa

Maphisa, David

Dr David Maphisa

David (aka) Sishozonke Maphisa is a researcher based at South African National Biodiversity Institute (2013-current). He is Honorary Research Associate within Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (SEEC) at University of Cape Town. He worked for BirdLife South Africa for 10 yrs (2003-2013). He was Ingula Partnership (Eskom, BirdLife South Africa & Middlepunt Wetland Trust) Project Manager for 5 years (2005-2013). He holds the following qualifications; PhD in Statistical Science (UCT), Msc in Conservation Biology (UCT), Hons Zoology (UN), Msc Ed (NUL) & Dip Sc. Ed (NUL).
He is a professional ornithologist with a diverse interest in adaptive management of high altitude grassland to provide ecological services to mankind and to preserve biological diversity in the area through managed grazing and burning.   He employs ecological statistical models to investigate and recommend sustainable use of natural resources. He promotes the empowerment of the upcoming generation to become ecological statistical modellers. He is currently mentoring NRF and WWF interns and has trained and mentored a number of field and birdguides in the region.  His participation in impact assessment projects in the region dates back to construction of Katse dam, Mohale dam and currently Polihali dam as independent assistant/sub-consultant. As a result he has recently developed interest in freshwater ecology amongst other things.

My publications

Maphisa, DH., Smit-Robinson, H., Underhill, LG & Altwegg, R. 2017.Management factors affecting densities of common grassland birds of moist-high altitude grassland of eastern South Africa: Ingula as a study case. Avian Rereaserch DOI: 10.1186/s40657-017-0063-8

Maphisa, DH., Smit-Robinson, H., Underhill, LG & Altwegg, R. 2016. Drivers of bird species richness within moist high-altitude grasslands in eastern South Africa. Plos One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162609

Maphisa, DH. 2012 First reported African grass-owl Tyto capensis power line mortality at Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, South Africa. Gabar 23: 17-21

Maphisa, DH., Donald, PF, Buchanan, GM & Ryan, PG 2009 Habitat use, distribution and breeding ecology of globally threatened Rudd’s Lark and Botha’s Lark in Eastern South Africa. Ostrich 80: 19 – 28.

Maphisa, DH. 2001 British Schools Exploration Society’s (BSES) survey of vultures at selected sites in Lesotho – July to August 1998. Vulture news 45: 11 – 19.

Maphisa, DH. 1997 “Vultures in Lesotho: past, present and future” In: A. Boshoff & Anderson, M. (eds) Proceedings of a workshop on vulture research and conservation in southern Africa 90 – 96 Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg.


Ambrose David & Maphisa David Hlosi 1999 Guide to birds of Roma Campus, National University of Lesotho. Roma, National University of Lesotho Publishing House.