Volume 26 Click here if you cannot view HTML March 2009
ED's Note

Every now and then when I talk to one of our conservation staff, I am overcome with that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get when all is right in your world. Why is this? Because our conservation staff, who are usually either too busy or too modest to talk about their work, are amazing people who have made an incredible difference to this planet for your and my benefit. Okay, maybe most of them do it because they love animals and nature, but this doesn't make their contribution less inspiring. In the interests of giving these planetary saviours the credit they deserve, I will therefore be sharing their success stories with you in the next few editions.

Because Easter is around the corner, I'll start with our very own bunny, or more seriously, South Africa’s most endangered mammal, the Riverine Rabbit. There are fewer than 250 adults left in the wild, but our Riverine Rabbit Working Group has made amazing inroads into the conservation of the last remaining Riverine Rabbits in the past six years.

Dr Vicky Ahlmann bravely left the security of her home in Germany in 1998, to set up base in "the middle of nowhere" aka the Karoo, so realising her dream of working and living in Africa. A few years later her work became the EWT's Riverine Rabbit Working Group. The Group's most recent and groundbreaking project is its Riparian Habitat Rehabilitation Project, which is employing Karoo women to run a nursery, growing indigenous plants that will later be planted along degraded rivers to re-establish habitat for the Riverine Rabbit. Not only will this project help to conserve the Riverine Rabbit, but it is also creating jobs for people who would otherwise not have a means of income, and all this is being done in a truly sustainable way, by creating a commercially viable business in the form of the nursery.

So, as you enjoy the coming holidays, please enjoy also the thought that your support is helping us save the Riverine Rabbit and create forward-thinking community-based projects that benefit many people.

- The Editor

Projects
Two New EWT Projects at the Cutting Edge of Conservation

The establishment of our Healthy Rivers Programme in October 2008 addressed the need for the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and species in southern Africa, taking into consideration that people within the country rely on these for their livelihoods. Four research projects are already being implemented, initially addressing the establishment of protected river areas and the biology and ecology of yellowfish and other premier game fish species in southern Africa.

Grasslands in all their varieties are one of South Africa’s most threatened biomes, with only 2.5% formally conserved and more than 80% already irreversibly transformed. The main threats to this biome are large scale agricultural development, urbanisation, prospecting and mining. In line with the global trend for conservation to take an ecosystem rather than species approach, the EWT combined its Blue Swallow and Oribi Working Gropus, and the KwaZulu-Natal Biodiversity Programme towards the end of 2008, and from January 2009 these became projects of the newly formed Threatened Grassland Species Programme.

For more information:

Healthy Rivers Programme Gordon O'Brien
Threatened Grassland Species Programme Andre Rossouw

Katie Cheetah and Wayne Wild Dog do Kruger!

Visitors to the Kruger National Park during the April school holidays need to look out for more than just the Big 5 on their early morning game drives. A team from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Group (EWT-CCG) will be travelling the length and breadth of the park to highlight the conservation plight of two of South Africa’s large carnivores and to inform visitors of the 5th Wild Dog & 3rd Cheetah Photographic Census which runs until 30 April 2009. Visitors should be alert for sightings of Katie Cheetah and Wayne Wild Dog who can be spotted in the early mornings near camps, entrance gates and picnic spots. Click here to read more.

Written by Harriet Davies-Mostert

People and Cranes Depending on the Same Waters

World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22 March, focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and the need for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and this year’s theme “Shared Water – Shared Opportunities” focuses strongly on transboundary waters. Click here to read more.

Written by Kerryn Morrison

Eco News
Conservation wins

In February the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism published a national moratorium on the trade of individual rhinoceros horns and any derivates or products of the horns within South Africa, under Section 57(2) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, (Act No.10 of 2004. The moratorium takes effect immediately and will stay in place until further notice.

Save the Frogs Day

In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of amphibians, the scientific community has declared 28 April 2009 the 1st Annual ‘Save The Frogs Day’. On this day we encourage the appreciation and celebration of amphibians by people from all walks of life. For more information on how you can get involved visit www.savethefrogs.com

Events
Bike4Beasts 65km Mountain Bike Challenge

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

Join us on this exciting and adrenaline-filled cross-country MTB Challenge in the 33 000 hectare De Beers Venetia 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: 14 April 2009 - contact Wendy Collinson on 083 657 1551.

Click here to read more.

The Power of Relationships against the backdrop of the African bushveld

Where: Country Club Johannesburg
When: 7 April 2009
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Cost: Talk - Members R45.00, Non-members R50.00, Dinner R100.00
Dress: Smart Casual
Contact: Jo-Anne Schermeier on joannes@ewt.org.za or 011 486-1102

Alex van der Heever presents "The Power of Relationships" set against the backdrop of the African bushveld.

RSVP: 3 April 2009.

Click here to read more.

To the Top from Nowhere by Sibusiso Vilane

Where: Balalaika Hotel, Sandton
When: 6 May 2009
Cost: To be confirmed
Dress: Smart Casual
Contact: Kirsty Brebner on kirstyb@ewt.org.za or 011 486-1102

Join us for a fascinating talk by Sibisiso Vilane, the first African man to summit Mt Everest (twice) and author of the recently published book, To the Top from Nowhere. The function will be held in aid of the EWT's Conservation Leadership Group. A light dinner will be provided and a cash bar will be available

Celebrate 35 years of conservation success!

Where: Moyo's Zoo Lake
When: 28 May 2009
Time: 18:00 for 19:00
Cost: R500.00 per person including entertainment, complimentary wine, three course meal and an evening of fun and memories. A cash bar will be available.
Dress: Smart Casual
Contact: Jessica Endean on jessicae@ewt.org.za or 011 486-1102

Guest speakers Clive Walker, Nick King, John Ledger & Yolan Friedmann will entertain you during an evening of storytelling celebrating 35 years of success in conservation. Enjoy the journey with us as we prepare for the next 35 years of conservation achievements!

RSVP: 4 May 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.

Eco Facts
Going Green with Simon Gear


Everyone is talking about greening their lives, the state of the planet and global warming, but most people don’t know how to get involved. This book, written by South Africa’s most popular weatherman and climatologist, will help readers ‘go green’ one day at a time, by amongst others, encouraging readers to join the Endangered Wildlife Trust and to use the EWT's EIA Toolkit - www.eiatoolkit.ewt.org.za

Click here to read more.


Water Wise


Water conservation is rapidly becoming the next hot environmental topic. Only 0.007% of the Earth's water is readily available for human use, but pollution and wastage threaten even this. In acknowledgement of World Water Day that was celebrated on 22 March, the EWT website provides some tips for saving water at www.ewt.org.za/green_tips8.aspx.

Wishlist

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

  • A Drivable Lawn Mower for Head Office
  • A computer (Core Duo 2.0Ghz / 1 GB / 160GB / DVD-RW / XPPRO)
  • 3G Card for Blue Swallow Working Group
  • Display boards for shows
  • Generators
  • Materials for building of car ports
  • Vehicle fridge/freezer
  • Cell phones - even if second hand

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
Ringtones

 
 

The Endangered Wildlife Trust in conjunction with SA Birding now gives you the opportunity to get your favourite bird call on your cellphone as a ringtone. Simply select the ringtones you like below and get them sent to your cellphone

Unit Price :

  • Ringtones : (each): R15
  • Bundle of 5 Ringtones: R50

Click here to read more.

Wild and Wonderful 500 Piece Puzzle

This beautiful 500 piece puzzle comes with an activity book to keep the whole family entertained. Learn more about the incredible birds and animals of southern Africa and support the EWT's Conservation Leadership Group with a percentage of sales.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

Promotional Price for SA Citizens : R145.00 (Incl. Vat)

Normal Price :

  • Members : R 155.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R145.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Riverine Rabbit toy

You can now ‘adopt’ South Africa's most endangered mammal! When you buy a Riverine Rabbit cuddly toy from the EWT, you will be helping to support the work that we do to conserve the Riverine Rabbit and the eco-system in which it lives, so ensuring that it has a future.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

Large toy:

  • Members : R 195.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R180.00 (Incl. Vat)

Small toy:

  • Members : R 125.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R115.50 (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