Volume 28 Click here if you cannot view HTML July 2009
ED's Note

As winter settles into its driest, harshest reality, my attention is drawn to Joburg's grassy landscapes. This city apparently sports the largest man-made forest in the world, and yet in winter, with veld fires raging everywhere, the grasses can't be ignored. It seems fitting therefore that I introduce to you in this issue our Threatened Grassland Species Programme and it's pilot, Andre Rossouw.

Fresh out of school and unsure what he wanted to do with his life, Andre travelled to places like the Galapagos Islands, the South Pacific, Pantanelle, the Amazon and most of the southern African countries. This experience made him realise he wanted to be a conservationist. After completing his studies at the Cape Technikon and working for SanParks for five years, he joined the EWT as a field worker, based in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands. It was here that he fell in love with the majestic Wattled Crane, our flagship species for wetland conservation. This love affair led him down a deeply rewarding career path, and at the end of 2008 Andre was promoted to a position that allows him to work with one of our most threatened biomes, the grasslands. The Oribi, Blue Swallow and Wattled Crane work that was previously run as three separate species focused programmes, now all falls under this new Working Group that aims to protect an entire ecosystem rather than individual species in isolation.

As you patiently wait for spring to arrive, you can do your bit for our grasslands by making sure you don't accidentally start a veld fire. Please don't flick cigarettes out of your car windows, don't start fires in areas where this would clearly be risky, and of course, cut fire breaks if your property is vulnerable to fire. See you in spring!

- The Editor

News from our CEO

There is excellent news for South African conservationists and environmentalists with the imminent launch of the publication of a fresh new magazine. For the first time, insights and opinions from seven of the largest conservation and environmental NGOs in the country will have one voice. Aptly entitled Environment, the publication demonstrates a remarkable synergy of organisations working to conserve South Africa’s rich natural heritage.

Environment - people and conservation in Africa brings to you the areas in which we are working collaboratively, offering a single mouthpiece on the issues and concerns facing the southern African environment. The publication will tackle pressing conservation and environmental issues and provide credible, authoritative, well-researched information, aiming to empower and inspire readers to action for the good of the environment. This collaboration between the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Cape Leopard Trust, the Game Rangers Association of Africa, SANCCOB, the Wilderness Foundation, WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) and the Wildlands Conservation Trust is not only an important alliance for a new publication, but also marks the beginning of a much stronger voice for conservation and environmental issues in South Africa.

The new magazine will be published by Future Publishing who has a long-standing relationship with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, having produced its Vision magazine in the past, and still producing the annual hardcover Vision publication. WESSA, after consulting widely with its membership, is replacing its publication African Wildlife, one of the longest-standing magazines in SA, with the new publication. Initially it will be available through the partner NGOs and will be produced quarterly. Dr John Ledger will edit Environment -- people and conservation in Africa. He was intimately involved in the editing and production of both journals, and is of immense stature in conservation and environmental circles locally and internationally. The publication will be launched in spring 2009 and we look forward to your feedback on this wonderful new publication when you receive your first copy.

- Yolan Friedmann

 
Projects
Help the EWT count Oribi

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) needs help counting Oribi. By visiting the Threatened Grassland Species Programme pages on the EWT’s website at www.ewt.org.za, landowners can contribute to the national biannual Oribi count and help the EWT conserve this Endangered antelope.

The Oribi (Ourebia ourebi) is especially adapted to living on African temperate grasslands. In South Africa the bulk of the population occurs on privately owned land, with only a few animals living in formally protected areas. Its numbers have declined sharply in recent years, primarily because of habitat destruction, poaching and inappropriate management. Click here to read more.

Contact: Andre Rossouw

Initial results out for carnivore census

From August 2008 to April 2009, the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Group once again teamed up with the South African National Parks to conduct a census of Wild Dogs and Cheetah in the Kruger National Park. This was the fifth census since 1989. These species are the rarest of the Park’s large carnivores, and their low densities and wide-ranging behaviour make them particularly difficult to count. Fortunately, researchers are able to recognise individuals of both species by their unique coat patterns, thus enabling an estimation of minimum population size. Members of the public were asked to assist with this important project by submitting photographs of Wild Dog and Cheetah sightings during visits to the Kruger National Park. Participants could win great prizes, and also contribute to the long-term conservation of these beautiful creatures.

Click here to see the preliminary results.

Contact: Harriet Davies-Mostert

Exclusive Experiences brought to you by The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Pulse Africa

We are extremely excited to announce a joint venture with Pulse Africa. For the first time, the EWT is opening its projects to the public and offering a rare opportunity to experience the field work done by our researchers first-hand.

To kick start the venture there are three packages on offer.

  1. The African Cranes Working Group in Dullstroom
  2. The Birds of Prey Working Group in the Kruger National Park
  3. The Carnivore Conservation Group in Limpopo Province

The Endangered Wildlife Trust broadens its social network!

Good news for all our digital supporters and social networking gurus! The EWT has started a Facebook group and a Twitter account. Please join Endangered Wildlife Trust on Facebook, and follow The EWT on Twitter to keep your finger on the very latest happenings at the EWT and to have your say about all things conservation. You'll also find our TV adverts, and in future video footage from the field, on YouTube - just search for Endangered Wildlife Trust.



Eco News
Canned lion hunting laws upheld

The Endangered Wildlife Trust applauds Judge Ian van der Merwe’s ruling in the Free State High Court on 11 June 2009, which upholds the provision of the Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) Regulations and could effectively put an end to canned lion hunting in South Africa.

The case between the South African Predator Breeders Association and two other applicants versus the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism regarding the validity of ToPS regulations designed to regulate the hunting of captive-bred lions was heard on the 1st and 2nd of December 2008 and judgment was handed down on 11 June 2009, dismissing the application with costs. Click here to read more.

Coal mining threatens World Heritage Site

The Australian mining company, Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL), has acquired rights to establish an open-cast mine next to Mapungubwe National Park in the Limpopo Province, a World Heritage Site with enormous cultural and ecological significance. The development could destroy the eco-tourism and cultural-tourism potential of the area, and BirdLife International believes it will have a direct impact on one of their registered ‘Important Bird Areas'. The development is also likely to affect other species, such as the Endangered African Wild Dog. The EWT has joined forces with several other organisations to ensure that the correct procedures are undertaken during the viability assessment phase of this project, and to prevent unthinkable damage from being done to the environment. Click here to read more.

Events
The Fire Dogs of Climate Change - An inspirational call to action by Sally Andrews

Where: Country Club Johannesburg - Auckland Park
When: 11 August 2009
Time: 18h30 for 19h00
Cost: Members: Talk only: R45.00, Talk and dinner: R145.00, Non-members: Talk only: R50.00, Talk and dinner: R150.00
Dress: Smart casual
Contact: CCJ Members to contact Cathy Robertson at CCJ – Tel. 011-710 6462, EWT Members Jo-Anne Schermeier, Tel. (011) 486 1102 or E-mail joannes@ewt.org.za

The Endangered Wildlife Trust and Sally Andrews would be delighted if you'd join us for the Johannesburg launch of her international best-seller-to-be The Fire Dogs of Climate Change - An inspirational call to action. This climate action book contains stories, fact sheets and examples of political action, sustainable living and technology from around the world to inspire your heart, mind and hands to action.

RSVP: 7 August 2009

Click here to read more.

4th Great Green Golf Day

Where: Lost City Golf Course, Sun City
When: 3 September 2009
Cost: Packages range from R9 500.00 to R10 800.00 per 4-ball including accommodation, golf, entertainment, gift bags and a prize giving dinner.
Dress: Golf attire
Contact: Jessica Endean on jessicae@ewt.org.za or 011 486-1102

The course is a golfer's paradise and the event provides a fun time out the city for everyone. Book your 4-ball now!

RSVP: 3 August 2009.

Click here to read more.

Bike4Beasts Mountain Bike Challenge, Ezemvelo, Gauteng

Where: Ezemvelo Nature Reserve (ENR), Gauteng
When: 13 September 2009
Cost: R210.00.
Dress: Cycling Attire
Contact: Wendy Collinson on info@lycaonlogistics.co.za or 083-657-1551

The BIKE4BEASTS MTB Challenge first hit the MTB circuit back in 2007, and three extremely successful were events held on the De Beers Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in April 2007, April 2008 and April 2009, with the aim of raising money for the Endangered Wildlife Trust. This year a second Diamond Route BIKE4BEASTS will take place on Ezemvelo Nature Reserve (Gauteng) before crossing into the exclusive private Telperion Reserve (Mpumalanga). Although short bike routes already exist on Ezemvelo, bike access to Telperion has previously not been allowed. As a one-off exclusive, BIKE4BEASTS is able to offer this combined unique opportunity to cycle across two provinces on two very beautiful reserves.

RSVP: 14 August 2009.

Click here to read more.

Eco Facts
International Year of the Shark


2009 is the International Year of the Shark. Recent findings of the Global Shark Assessment indicate that at the current rates of decline, most threatened shark species will be extinct in 10 to 15 years. What can you do?

  • Say no to sharkfin soup! If there's no demand, unsustainable fishing to supply the market with this dish will come to an end.
  • Keep our beaches and waterways clean. Litter and pollution have a devastating impact on our marine resources.
  • If you are a sports fisherman, practise tag and release and handle fish with care so that they will survive once released.

Grassland gems


Did you know?

  • Grasslands cover 40% of Earth's non ice-bound terrestrial surfaces and 29% of South Africa's land surface.
  • Grasslands are exceptionally rich in biodiversity, and in South Africa are home to indigenous species diversity second only to the fynbos biome.
  • Grasslands play a critical role in water production, with all our major river systems originating in this biome.
  • The grassland biome is one of South Africa's most threatened, with 30% already irreversibly transformed and only 1.9% formally conserved.

Wishlist

These are some of our latest wish list items. Any contributions will be most appreciated:

  • Weed Eater and other gardening tools to keep the lawns at the EWT Head Office Maintained.
  • Materials for building car ports.
  • Steel Cabinet in which to keep the Conservation Leadership Group's educational materials.
  • Digital video camera to capture work in the field

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
Lindhorst Wines limited edition

The EWT has partnered with Lindhorst Wines, bringing you their limited edition Wild Dog Reserve and Shiraz 2005 vintage. The unique labels of the Wild Dog found on the bottle were done by well known artist David Orr-Kerr for Lindhorst Wines in the hopes of generating significant funds on a broad scale for the EWT.

For a limited period only you can buy 12 bottles of either the Reserve or Shiraz and stand a chance to win the original framed colour sketches of the Wild Dog as well as many wine prizes. Entries close on 31 January 2010 and winners will be announced on 15 February.

Order Options::

  • 6 Shiraz and 6 Reserve Cost: R1 320 inclusive of VAT
  • 3 Shiraz and 3 Reserve Cost: R660 inclusive of VAT
  • Delivery costs: R60 per case of 6 bottles in Major centres and R95 to other outlying areas
  • Delivery 'door to door' is free in all major centres for orders of 12 bottles or more
Click here to read more.

Ion Sports Watches - special edition EWT bush green wrist watch

The new Imazine Negative Ion Sports Watch has become a world-wide hit with the A-List celebs and sports enthusiasts and it's now available in South Africa! Made using Tourmaline, a semi-precious gemstone responsible for many health benefits, just wearing this watch will make you feel alert, recover quicker from exercise and simply look good. Imazine have dedicated this edition to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, as a way of creating awareness for the plight of the endangered species of southern Africa.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

Promotional Price for SA Citizens : R157.50 (Incl. Vat)

Normal Price :

  • Members : R 157.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R167.50 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Bending the Curve by Robert Zipplies

Bending the Curve is not just another book about the climate crisis, but a practical guide that will help you move from deliberation to action. Co-authored by 24 local experts, it speaks to anyone who is keen to develop a lucid, current perspective on what we know and can do about this global emergency.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R175.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R195.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Long sleeved T-shirts - unisex

This long-sleeved T-shirt is available in black and red, black and petrol (green) and black and grey with the slogan 'Wild 4 Life' printed on the front right side. They are a large cut and sizes range from S - 3XL. The perfect way to support the EWT while keeping the weather at bay during those change of season climates experienced in Africa.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

Promotional Price for SA Citizens : R127.50 (Incl. Vat)

Normal Price :

  • Members : R 127.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R137.50 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Our latest supporters

CK Travel and Tours • Safari Brothers • The Lion Park • Eco Training • SATIB • E Oppenheimer and Son • Virgo Storage and Logistics • Shape Magazine • Barloworld Limited • Afrox • The Lomas Wildlife Trust • Trappers Trading • Greater Good South Africa e-Bucks • Pulse Africa • Southern Africa Direct • Mineral Water Man • Makweti Lodge • Amanzingwe Bush Lodge • Amarula • Balalaika Protea Hotel • Vineyard Spa and Hotel • TBWA Hunt Lascaris • Johannesburg Country Club • Formax

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

EWT Patrons: