Volume 29 Click here if you cannot view HTML November 2009
ED's Note

Some of you will be heading off to game reserves for the December holidays in the hope of seeing large predators. To many tourists, these are the creatures that epitomise a holiday in Africa. But their conservation presents special challenges.

Our Carnivore Conservation Group has achieved great things since Harriet Davies-Mostert became its manager in 2006. Hailing from Zimbabwe, and with a sound academic record, it is her love of Africa's wildlife and her ability to transform thought into action that has resulted in the success of her predator conservation efforts through the EWT. She believes that large predators are perfect flagship species for the development of large conservation areas because, with their low densities and the fact that they require huge tracts of land to survive, they are inherently vulnerable. What's more, in protecting areas for predators, a host of other species also benefit.

As you finally relax at the end of 2009, and if you're lucky enough to spot a predator, please also relish the fact that your support has been instrumental in helping us to ensure that these animals can continue to survive in 2009, despite the massive challenges facing them. Thank-you and Happy Holidays!

- The Editor

News from our CEO

As 2009 draws to an end, for the environmental sector, it is by no means ending quietly with no sign of December being a time to wind down and consolidate. The world's leaders are in Copenhagen for the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to negotiate new terms of a 'post-Kyoto' agreement on greenhouse gas emission reductions after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. Given that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet as we know it, the decisions made in the next few weeks by these leaders may well be the most significant decisions of our time. The only decisions that would be morally acceptable and scientifically sound would be much more stringent, legally binding targets for radically reduced greenhouse gas emissions, for ALL of the planet’s major emitters, South Africa included, and our hope for these leaders is therefore that they have the courage, the foresight and the commitment to indeed demonstrate true leadership at this critical turning point of life on Earth. Once the CoP is over, there is still no rest in the conservation community as we gear up for 2010 – but not in the same way as the football fans of the world may be.

Much more important to the future of this planet is the fact that 2010 has been proclaimed the International Year of Biodiversity, in preparation for the renegotiation of the 2010 Biodiversity Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity which aims to “achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level”. Needless to say, the world has tragically not achieved this target by a long way and humans continue to destroy biodiversity (the diversity of life on earth) at an alarming rate every day. The Year will be commemorated by organisations the world over and the EWT will be rolling out a large national campaign, to explain and celebrate the critical value of biodiversity to every single person. We look forward to working with our partners and members throughout this campaign which aims to unleash a ‘passion for our planet’ in South Africans which will long outlive the whirlwind of the football tournament. So with the environmental calendar hotting up, we hope that yours is winding down and that all our readers have a safe, restful Holiday Season. Thank-you for supporting the EWT and for your concern for our environment.

- Yolan Friedmann

 
Projects
EWT's Conservation Open Day

What’s it like to work for a conservation NGO in South Africa? This was the question that we aimed to answer at our annual Conservation Open Day on 23 October 2009.

Our field staff travelled from all over the country to gather at our headquarters at the Johannesburg Zoo and showcase their work. The primary theme was visitor engagement and there were displays, demonstrations, experiential trails and both live and taxidermy animals, all intended to make conservation more accessible to city dwellers.
Click here to read more

Way forward for Cheetah and Wild Dog conservation

A new report will guide the way forward for Cheetah and African Wild Dog conservation in South Africa. Carnivore conservationists will establish a Biodiversity Management Plan for these species based on this report, for submission to the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. If accepted and signed by the Minister, it will become legislated, providing an enforceable means of achieving the plan’s outlined objectives.

Click here to read more or contact Harriet Davies-Mostert

Once in a life-time adventure

A group of 18 year-olds completed a once-in-a-life-time adventure, that of traversing the mighty Tugela River from Source to Sea. Nothing new? Youth of this age often take on adventures! In this case though, the group (with the assistance of the Endangered Wildlife Trust) is combining the adventure with important environmental messages, while also conducting official scientific environmental research en route. The young adults approached the EWT's Environmental Education section for assistance in establishing an environmental teaching programme and an environmental research component to their project.
Click here to read more or contact Janet Snow

Blue Crane roosting site in the Western Cape

A salt pan in the Witsand area was visited by over 2 000 roosting Blue Cranes in 2008. However this year, only 200 were counted at the same roost site. Crane field worker Bronwyn Botha says it could just be that the cranes chose somewhere else to roost this season, but goes on to describe the value of the discovery of this roost site.

Click here to read more or contact Bronwyn Botha

Eco News
Africa pays high price for illegal fish served in Europe

Europeans are eating “laundered” fish, harvested illegally from African coastal waters by pirate Asian trawlers while governments deny African fishermen the right to sell their catch within the European Union.

Click here to read more.

 

Copenhagen climate change deliberations

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) is deliberating in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December 2009, with the aim of agreeing what the ‘post-Kyoto’ targets should be, in other words, what the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions should be after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The conference is being guided by the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global, UN mandated body going through the evidence for and against climate change and its causes and impacts. Click here for the latest news.

 

Events
Conservation in the Karoo: The EWT Riverine Rabbit Project by Dr Vicky Ahlmann and Reda Potts

Where: Protea Hotel, Arthur's Road, Seapoint
When: 10 December 2009
Time: 18h00 for 18h30
Cost: EWT members: R75.00, Non-members: R80.00.
Dress: Smart Casual
Contact: Barbara Miller on barbaram@ewt.org.za or 082 890 2555.

You’ll be captivated by Dr Vicky Ahlmann and Reda Pott as they paint word-pictures of their challenging but rewarding work in the harsh climate of the Karoo. Join us for this entertaining and education talk. Cover charge includes a light finger supper and welcome drink. Cash bar facilities available.

RSVP: 9 December 2009.

Click here to read more.

Unaided Journey to the South Pole by Sibusiso Vilane

Where: Country Club Johannesburg, 1 Napier Road, Auckland Park
When: 2 February 2010
Time: 18:30 to 19:00
Cost: EWT/CCJ members: R45.00 talk only, non-members: R50.00 talk only. Dinner: R100.00
Dress: Smart Casual
Contact: Jo-Anne Schermeier joannes@ewt.org.za or 011 486 1102

Sibusisu Vilane was born into humble circumstances but climbed his way up become one of only six South Africans to have joined the “Seven Summits Club”. (The Seven Summits are the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents). Join us for Sibu’s remarkable talk on 2008’s “Unassisted Journey to the South Pole. Proceeds go to the EWT’s Conservation Leadership Group.

RSVP: 1 February 2010.

Click here to read more.

Eco Facts
Greener holidays


Here are some tips on making sure your holidays cause as little damage to the environment as possible:

  • Holiday close to home and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Check the eco-credentials of the place you're booking into.
  • Make sure the food you eat at restaurants is not damaging to the environment. Visit www.wwfsassi.co.za for guidance on what seafood is ok to eat.
  • Support conservation areas - visit a game reserve or other natural area.
  • Do your holiday research and bookings online - it takes trees to make flashy brochures.
  • While you're away, switch off home appliances that won't be used such as your geyser.
  • Once you're at your destination, walk or cycle rather than drive.

Cheetah Facts

  • The Cheetah is the fastest land mammal, clocking up to 110km/h.
  • There are more spots on one Cheetah than there are Cheetah in South Africa.
  • The King Cheetah is a colour form and not a different species.
  • The Cheetah is an apex predator and a vital link in the food chain.
  • In South Africa, the Cheetah is classified as Vulnerable, with less than 1 000 individuals remaining.
  • The biggest threat facing South Africa's Cheetah is conflict with humans - Cheetah do sometimes take livestock, and even on game farms they are seldom tolerated.

Wishlist

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

  • A GPS download cable for Garmin Etrex
  • A Map Cabinet to store research maps
  • Digital video camera to capture work in the field
  • A computer (Core Duo 2.0Ghz / 1 GB / 160GB / DVD-RW / XPPRO)
  • Generators- small and large to be used at HO and in the field
  • Materials for building of car ports

Click here to read more.

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

Benefits
Stat-it with Menzo mammal playing cards

This mammal card pack consists of a collection of 30 animals displaying their common name, scientific name, six statistics and a general “Did you know” fact. It’s fun, it’s educational and you can play it anywhere, any time! Each packet sold will contribute to the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Cheetah Conservation Project.

Unit Price:

  • Members : R55.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R60.00 (Incl. Vat)
Click here to read more.

The Pot Plant Owl

The authors were able to experience the secret life of owls at close hand, when a pair of Spotted Eagle-Owls nested in a pot plant on their verandah. Share their voyage of discovery with this beautiful coffe table book.

Promotion Price for SA Citizens : R320.00 including postage and packaging

Normal Price :

  • Members : R320.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R340.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.
Manzovo – Place of the Elephants

Through 107 verses the story is told... Nestled like a rare jewel in the inhospitable but alluring Zambezi Valley, Mana Pools provides the early setting for the episodic story of Manzovo — place of the elephants.

Unit Price :

  • Members : R430.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R470.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.
In search of the African Wild Dog

Perhaps the most successful hunter in Africa, the African Wild Dog Lycaon pictus, ironically finds itself on the brink of extinction. Part of the canidae family, and sharing a general similarity with the various canids worldwide, the Wild Dog differs fundamentally from other canids: it belongs to the genus, Lycaon, which formed a new branch on the family tree some 3 million years back and subsequently evolved independently.

Unit Price :

  • Members : R320.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R350.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.
Lindhorst Wild Dog Wines

The EWT has partnered with renowned winemakers Lindhorst wines, to bring you their limited edition Wild Dog Reserve and Shiraz 2005 vintage.

Promotion Price for SA Citizens : R660.00 including postage and packaging

Click here to read more.

Supporter News
Vote for SA’s favourite charity!

Visit the MyVillage My Planet online competition and vote for the EWT. R10 000 is up for grabs by the NGO with the most votes. What’s more, your nomination will put you in line to win another R5 000 for yourself so Vote Now! http://www.myschool.co.za/favourite_charity. The competition ends on 28 February 2010.

R10 000 would contribute to the sustainability of our conservation field work in 2010. Only cardholders are eligible to vote. If you haven’t yet registered as an EWT supporter and would like to, you can do so online at www.myschooltest.co.za/application/villages/index. Alternatively you may contact our Fundraising Office at (011) 486-1102.

The MyVillage MyPlanet is linked to the MySchool fundraising Initiative. By swiping your My Planet card at Woolworths or other participating stores, a percentage returns to the EWT. What could be easier than that?

Conservation Week 2009, a winning experience.

WHAT THEY SAID......
Conservation Week – a winning experience.
The usually quiet EWT headquarters was transformed into a hive of activity in a flash on Monday 19 October and the following days were exciting, inspiring and exhausting.

Click here to read more or contact Vanessa Bezuidenhout

Latest Supporters

LATEST SUPPORTERS: Rare Group • PPC • Fine Metals • Eskom Koeberg • Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund • CIB • Liberty • Greater Good South Africa • Dave Donald • Dave Mitchell • Dirk Ackerman • Mike Esterhuysen • Ian Geary • Brenda Sandler (USA) • Wildlife Education and Conservation Fund (USA) • Chris Turner • Gary Albyn
SUPPORTERS IN KIND: Exclusive Books • Protea Hotel • Outdoor Warehouse, Belville • Distell • ABI • Office Plant • Healthy Living Herbs • Delheim • Eskom • SAB • Silver Spoon • Cape Union Mart • Lesedi Cultural Village • Trappers Trading • Little Luxury • Ina Paarman • Struik Publishers • Johannesburg Zoo • Africa Geographic • Mazda Wildlife Fund • Lindhorst Wine • City Power • Jacana Media • Briza Publishers • Haute Espoire • Magscene • Country Club Johannesburg

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

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