Volume 24Click here if you cannot view HTMLDecember 2008
ED's Note

It's that time of the year again ... the festive season has descended on us with special offers and merry jingles! Like every year, urban and eco-warriors alike are winding down for a well-deserved break. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether this festive season is going to be different from those that have gone before. Different, in what way? Perhaps this time we should actively consider going 'green' with our choice of holiday venue or install that solar water heater we've been thinking of. Whatever happens this festive season, let's make a concerted effort to make it as mild in impact on the environment as we are able. Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful time and a prosperous new year. - The Editor

Projects
Bearded Vulture Nestlings fitted with Satellite Transmitters for the first time

On the weekend of 22 and 23 November 2008, a team of conservationists fitted two bearded vulture nestlings with satellite tracking devices. This is the first time that satellite-tracking devices have been fitted to bearded vulture chicks in Africa. This exercise is part of the work of the Bearded Vulture Task Force of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and is an ongoing collaboration project between South Africa and Lesotho involving a range of role-players in the Maloti Drakensberg Mountains.

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Written by André Botha

Convergence of conservationists and eco-friendly Visions

In the last week of November, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) gathered its 85 staff members, from bush and urban jungle, for the annual Conservation Week. It was an intensive, exhilarating and exhausting five days that celebrated conservation in action and launched the 16th edition of the Vision Annual.

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Written by Jo-anne Schermeier

Eco News
First IUCN Regional Councillor from South Africa Elected

The approximately 1 200 global members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) elected their new council for the next four years at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC) on 14 October 2008. The Congress, held in Barcelona, opened on 5 October.

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Written by Yolan Friedmann

Good news! It's going to the Dogs!

The Best 4xCyclistsxFar have done what they set out to do, and completed the Pick 'n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge to raise some much needed money for the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Carnivore Conservation Group.

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Written by Marion Burger

2009: The International Year of the Shark

As the hands of the clock approach midnight for sharks, organizations working for their protection have joined forces in a global communication network named Let Sharks Live, and declared 2009 The International Year of the Shark. The motion aims to raise global awareness of their imminent extinction and the oceanic crisis at hand.

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Written by Alex Buttigieg

Events
Nocturnal Niceties by Megan Emmett

Where: Country Club JHB, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
When: 10 February
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Dress: Smart Casual
Cost: R 40.00 talk only for CCJ/EWT members, R 45.00 for non-members (R 138 incl. dinner for CCJ/EWT members, R 143.00 for non-members)

Megan Emmett, founder of the newly established African Resource, will take us on a 'virtual game drive' to expose the lives and interesting behaviour of nocturnal creatures.

RSVP: 6 February 2009 - click here events@ewt.org.za to contact Jo-anne Schermeier or phone on (011) 486 1102

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Bike4Beasts 65km Mountain Bike Challenge

Where: De Beers Venitia Limpopo Nature Reserve, Limpopo
When: 26 April 2009
Time: 06:00
Dress: Casual and bike gear
Cost: R 210.00 per person

Join us on this exciting and adrenaline-filled cross-country MTB Challenge in the 33 000 hectare De Beers Venitia Limpopo Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to a wonderful diversity of plant and animal life including Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Black and White Rhino and the Endangered African Wild Dog.

RSVP: 20 March 2009 - contact Wendy Collinson on 083 657 1551

Click here to read more.

Eco Facts
Green your Holiday (content provided by Urban Sprout)

Holidays are no longer only associated with gas-guzzling air miles and water-craving golf courses. Hop onto the web and there are now many overseas websites committed solely to green travel where responsible and sustainable holidays are fast becoming the norm

More and more travelers are choosing to holiday on organic and eco farms, and B&Bs or staying in fair trade establishments, and paying to offset their air travel carbon emissions. These are the types of people who take their ethics with them and tend to recycle wherever they are and also shop local. They’re minimising the negative impact of their journey as much as possible.

What is a green stay?

In South Africa there is very little at the moment being done to legitimise the claims of establishments calling themselves 'organic' or 'eco'. The term eco-tourism in particular has been bandied about by many a tour operator who is looking after anything but the environment so it calls for a little discrimination on your part when trying to find a place to stay. This is going to change soon and there is already talk of a 'green' accommodation grading system on the cards.

Your venue is green if:

It is an organic farm or small holding – in other words, your accommodation is on a farm that subscribes to organic principals in the process of growing its food. No exposure to chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers is an added bonus. Many of these venues also cook with their own home-grown food and produce organic fare as much as possible. Other venues call themselves organic if they provide as much organic food and organic products at the venue as possible.

It is an eco venue – it has taken active steps to protect the environment in some way, has allocated areas of biodiversity, or has used green architecture and design principles in the building of the venue and attempts to minimise its impact on the environment as much as possible.

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Wishlist

While you're enjoying the weather and wilderness that makes our beautiful country one of the best to be in over the holiday season, why not give back? Support the conservation of our natural heritage by buying various EWT products on offer, or by donating towards much needed larger items. Every little donation helps to ensure that the ground-breaking work done by EWT is effective, while continuing to highlight the threats that our endangered wildlife face everyday. If you want to make a contribution to our cause this season, please take advantage of the EWT opportunities on offer - https://www.ewt.org.za/newsletter/Festive2008/.

Click here to make a festive donation to EWT.

Benefits
Karoo Life Board Game

The enviro-picture building game KAROO LIFE, produced by the Riverine Rabbit Working Group (RRWG) of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), is the outcome of almost five years of development work by numerous cooperating partners.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 75.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 85.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Ladies EWT Supporter T-Shirt

This Black and Red T- shirt with the 'Wild 4 Life' slogan on the left breast is a must to show your support to the EWT in the hot summer months.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 95.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 105.50 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Update your Details: If you have moved home or jobs, please remember to update your details with the EWT so you can continue to receive invitations to events and information on the work we do - click the link to update now - http://www.ewt.org.za/memberships_update.aspx