Volume 22 Click here if you cannot view HTML September 2008
ED's Note

August has never been my favourite month. The wind blows relentlessly, drying out the already choking air, and the smoke, dust and pollution form a stifling haze across the Gauteng landscape. In the Cape, it rains continuously, and the wind is brutal. But in walking past a normally unnoticed tree in the parking lot a few weeks ago, I felt privileged to experience one of nature's miracles - the blossoming of a tree. And so I was reminded of what August brings. It hasn't rained in months here in Johannesburg, yet the world is abloom and the night air is filled with the sweet scents of my favourite season.

Spring is the season when we are reminded most strongly of the life on our blue planet. So, as the beauty of the new season unfolds around us, let's be active to keep our planet alive! National Cleanup Week is from 15 to 20 September, and is a reminder to throw not only our own litter in the bin, but perhaps even somebody else's. In October, National Marine Week is an opportunity to focus on sustainable use of the oceans, and we can flex our own muscles for this cause by asking restaurants and shops selling seafood whether they follow the SASSI guidelines for sustainable fisheries, and only buying seafood from those that do.

So, if the price of fuel, the weather or world politics is bringing you down, take a moment to smell the flowers, and remember that this is the season to appreciate our glorious planet Earth!

- The Editor

Projects
Oxpeckers occupy new territory

Between 8 and 15 July 2008, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Limpopo Environment and Tourism, Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre (NZG), and a group of A-permit bird ringers lead by Kobie Raijmakers, set out to capture 150 Red-billed Oxpeckers (Buphaghus erythrorhynchus) in the Platjan area of the Limpopo Province. This was part of the EWT’s Operation Oxpecker programme, which aims to re-establish healthy Oxpecker populations in areas where they previously occurred, before the introduction of toxic livestock dips. Click here to read more.

Written by Arnaud le Roux

Vultures in the spotlight

Saturday 6 September 2008 was designated as the third National Vulture Awareness Day. The Birds of Prey Working Group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT-BoPWG) and its partners and associates, including provincial conservation bodies and several other NGOs involved in vulture research and conservation, initiated this annual event in 2006. The aim is to create awareness of the plight of all vulture species occurring in the southern African region, and to highlight the work done by the conservationists who monitor populations and implement measures to conserve vultures and their habitats. EWT-BoPWG field staff are arranging vulture counts at key colonies and feeding sites across South Africa on this day, with the help of volunteers and landowners interested in the conservation and monitoring of vultures in their area. Click here to read more.

Written by Andre Botha

Ocean Futures Angling Survey extended until 30th September 2008!


The Ocean Futures Angling Programme, an initiative of the Endangered Wildlife Trusts Marine and Coastal Working Group (EWT-MCWG), aims to mitigate some of the negative impacts of extractive marine activities on the marine and coastal environments, by promoting a positive conservation ethic amongst anglers and also advocating a stewardship approach towards natural resource use. An online survey has been developed to gather anglers’ opinions and input on conservation and management issues associated with angling, as well as species information and It is hoped that

the results of the ocean futures survey will inform the development of a set of angling best practices as there are currently no such voluntary guidelines in South Africa and this project therefore represents an opportunity to fill this gap. Click here to read more.

Written by Linda Downsborough

Eco News
The Wild Coast mining debate – a broader perspective

"We are going to mine in this area at Kwanyana. I will give you a chance to ask questions but, one thing is sure, we are going to mine.... Why do we need permission to mine natural resources? (Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica. Sunday Tribune, 17 August. 2008)

Why, one might be tempted to ask, has the debate about dune mining along the Wild Coast stirred up such public controversy? Click here to read more.

Written by Val Payn and Dr Nick King

Events
Pick n Pay OFM Classic

Where: Bloemfontein
When: 2 November 2008
Time: 47 km - 08:00, 107 km - 06:00
Cost: 47 km - R70.00, 107 km - R150.00
Dress: Cycling attire

The Endangered Wildlife Trust in association with Race4change are coming together to make a change

Race4change.co.za is a sponsorship programme enabling event participants to raise money for charity as they race - without costing them a cent!

Take 3 minutes, register on www.race4change.co.za for the Pick n Pay OFM Classic and encourage all your friends to sponsor your race to raise funds for the Endangered Wildlife Trust

All participants that raise R500 or more by the 24 September will have the chance to cycle in an early start with the Race4change ambassadors and receive a signed T-shirt for proof that you did it!

8 Cheetah’s will be cycling on behalf of Race4change to give back to the community

Come to the Pick n Pay OFM Classic Expo on sat 31 Oct to meet your favourite Cheetah.

ALL SPONSORS AND PARTICIPANTS STAND THE CHANCE TO WIN FANTASTIC PRIZES INCLUDING A GT AVALANCHE MOUNTAIN BIKE AND AN APPLE IPOD SHUFFLE

RSVP: 24 September 2008 - click here kate@worldsport.co.za

Click here to read more.

Eco Facts
Recycle your batteries!

Household battery recycling seems not to receive the same amount of publicity in South Africa as other recyclable products, like glass, metal, paper and plastic. However, environmentalists recognise the health and environmental risks associated with the high number of batteries disposed of at municipal solid waste sites. They raise concerns about contamination caused by the heavy metals and other toxic chemicals that leach out of these spent batteries into the ground and water.

Much is currently being done on recycling, mostly focused on reclaimation and reuse of materials. Battery recycling is no different, with some batteries being more recyclable and yielding more valuable products. A lead-acid car battery for example, is nearly 90% recyclable. The regular household alkaline and rechargeable batteries are however also recyclable.

So, if your conscience bothers you, and if you would like to reduce your environmental footprint, why not drop off your household and rechargeable batteries at our head office? We will ensure that they are properly recycled or disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.

Be responsible - REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE!

Wishlist

The Endangered Wildlife Trust KwaZulu-Natal office needs the following items:

  • air conditioner with cooling and heating facilities to use to keep the office server in running order
  • steel cabinet to keep all the Conservation Leadership Group Educational material in for the Rural Eco-Warriors
  • microwave and bar fridge for office staff to use
  • two new office chairs

Our field workers often work in hard conditions with very basic equipment so they get extremely excited when we can supply them with additional equipment to make their lives easier and more efficient.

Click here to read more.

Please contact Leighanne Imbert on (011) 486 1102 or email wishlist@ewt.org.za to organise for deliveries, and collections where necessary.

Benefits
Whales in crisis

In support of National Marine Week from 13 to 17 October 2008, we bring you this special offer on our Whales in Crisis DVD!

This DVD highlights the new challenges that whales face in the oceans, and shows the actions taken by those on the front lines of conservation as they fight to ensure that the ocean waters remain a safe home for these magnificent creatures.

Watch the struggle unfold as men and women confront the mystery of a sudden 'mass stranding' of a group of pilot whales; an intense controversy brews over the impact of military sonar on whales; and as one scientist endures bone-chilling Arctic water to launch a groundbreaking study of the great bowhead whale.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 185.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 170.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Marine toys

In support of National Marine Week from 13 - 17 October 2008, purchase this marine species small toy pair. The unique duo consists of a Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis), and this offer is valid until 31 October 2008.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 215.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 200.50 (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 - https://www.ewt.org.za/memberships_update.aspx