Endangered Wildlife Trust
       Volume 31 - April 2010

     1: News from our CEO
     2: Project news
     3: Eco news
     4: Events
     5: e-Shop
     6: Supporter news



PATRON SUPPORTERS

Anglo American

Howard G. Buffet Foundation

Hans Hoheisen

Johannesburg Zoo

Land Rover

Lesoba Difference

Mazda Wildlife Fund

National Lotteries Distribution Fund

Rand Merchant Bank

Sasol

Tony & Lisette Lewis Foundation

XStrata

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EWTalk

News from our CEO

Hello EWT supporters

With the world's focus firmly, and correctly, on climate change and its potential to dramatically alter the planet as we know it within the next 50 years, there has been a tendency to overlook the imminent threats facing many species as a result of human impacts such as habitat loss and transformation, alien species introduction, unsustainable harvest, trade and human consumption. A case in point is the possible extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle. The only remaining individual was last heard on 26th August 2009 before disappearing. The reason for this possible extinction remains unclear but a possibility is that habitat changes due to increased numbers of introduced Yellow Crazy Ants may have affected roosting pipistrelles. It is widely acknowledged that our oceans contain some of the world's most threatened species and 85% of sturgeon species are now at serious risk of extinction. Sturgeon are one of the oldest fish families in existence and are valued globally for their precious roe, yet 63% are now listed as Critically Endangered with four species possibly being extinct.

If knowledge is power, human beings should be able to address declining wildlife populations, if not for their sake, then for our own sake as hearty consumers of the planet's fauna and flora. So the outcome of the 15th CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) meeting that took place March 13 - 25, 2010 in Qatar comes as a shock to most environmentalists. CITES is the convention that deals with international trade in threatened species and the CoP was attended by 1 500 Participants representing more than 170 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. Many proposals at CoP 15 were to uplist the most threatened species to either Appendix 1, where international trade activities are ceased, or Appendix 2, where limited and intensely regulated international trade may continue. The data were all there to indicate the urgent need for curbing the unsustainable trade in these species. However, not only was a proposal to uplist the Bluefin Tuna to Appendix 1 rejected, but so were all the proposals to list four shark species on Appendix 2, as well as those to transfer the African Elephant in Tanzania and Zambia from Appendix I to Appendix II, and to move the Polar Bear from Appendix II to Appendix I. Interestingly, proposals that WERE approved include those to downlist species such as Morelet's Crocodile in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala and the Egyptian population of the Nile Crocodile for from Appendix I to Appendix II for trade purposes.

The EWT is noticing a serious increase in the trade and illegal hunting of a number of southern African species such as Black and White Rhino, Leopards, Cheetah, various cranes, vultures and more. In recent months we have ramped up our involvement in investigating wildlife crimes and supporting the authorities and private wildlife owners to increase security, enforce legalisation, improve compliance and create awareness for the seriousness of our unsustainable human appetites for the limited bounty of Planet Earth.

Please assist us by ensuring that your food, paper, furniture and so on, come from sustainably managed and ethically harvested sources; that you do not support illegal trade by buying wildlife or plants without the relevant legal documents; and that we put pressure on our colleagues, friends and family to do the same. Yes, that tuna and mayonnaise sandwich you may have for lunch tomorrow counts! What we all do counts and we can all make a difference. Thank-you for supporting the EWT and the planet.

Yolan Friedmann
EWT CEO

Project news

Digital cameras help with vulture collision research

Vultures have been colliding with Eskom transmission lines at the Rhino and Lion Park in the North West province for many few years. To combat this, the EWT's Wildlife & Energy Programme is running a research project to determine the mechanism of these collisions and potential mitigation measures. The first phase involved determining which towers vultures use for roosting and perching and their behaviour on these towers. The second phase, which is still ongoing, will install six motion-activated digital camera traps on the towers. These take one photograph and one 10 second video clip per activation and some fascinating imagery already being collected. Contact Luke Strugnell for more information on this project or see the Wildlife & Energy Programme's latest newsletter.

EWT Rhino Security Project launched

There has been a marked increase in the illegal trade of rhinoceros horn and poaching of mainly White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum in recent years. In the 24 years between 1980 and 2004, 148 rhinos were poached in South Africa, which increased to 126 between 2005 and 2008, and further increase in 2009, when 122 rhinos were poached. The EWT's Rhino Security Project is addressing the problem by improving the security of rhino on privately owned land and supporting law enforcement and poaching investigations. Contact Faan Coetzee for more information on this project.

Eco news

Species celebration!

As we continue to celebrate biodiversity in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, the EWT is paying particular attention to mammal biodiversity in April and bird biodiversity in May. Visit the new EWT website during these months to find out more.

Houbara Bustard a threat to conservation in South Africa

Conservationists are concerned about information received that Arab falconers intend to establish a Houbara Bustard breeding facility in the Northern Cape, and that they intend to release and hunt these birds with large exotic falcons. The EWT, the South African Falconry Association, the African Gamebird Research Education and Development Trust (AGRED) and BirdLife South Africa are vehemently opposed to this suggestion because of the conservation threat that it poses. Read more...

Events

EWT Talk and Dinner: The Power of Birds

Jon Smallie and Luke Strugnell, EWT Wildlife & Energy Programme
Date: 11 May 2010
Venue: Country Club Johannesburg (Auckland Park), 1 Napier Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R155.00 for talk and dinner; R50.00 for talk only (EWT members receive a 10% discount)
RSVP: joannes@ewt.org.za or 011 486 1102

EWT Talk and Dinner: Biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods

Speaker to be announced
Date: 8 June 2010
Venue: Country Club Johannesburg (Auckland Park), 1 Napier Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R155.00 for talk and dinner; R50.00 for talk only (EWT members receive a 10% discount)
RSVP: events@ewt.org.za or 011 486 1102

EWT Talk and Dinner: Alien Invasives in Urban Gardens

Carol Knoll, Editor: Environmental Management
Date: 13 July 2010
Venue: Country Club Johannesburg (Auckland Park), 1 Napier Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R155.00 for talk and dinner; R50.00 for talk only (EWT members receive a 10% discount)
RSVP: events@ewt.org.za or 011 486 1102

e-Shop

EWT unisex long-sleeved T-shirts

Support the EWT by wearing this long-sleeved T-shirt, available in red & black, green & black and grey & black, sizes small to XXXL.

R137.50 non-member, R127.50 member. Buy now...

Fleece beanie and scarf

Keep warm with an EWT branded beanie and scarf, available in red, stone and black.

R97.50 non-member, R92.50 member. Buy now...

Bermuda shoulder bag

The Bermuda Shoulder Bag is available in Red or Black with the 'Wild 4 Life' slogan to show your affinity to the EWT. The bag has a separate cell phone holder on the velcro adjustable strap. There are two compartments in which to carry your items.

R97.50 non-member, R92.50 member. Buy now...

Supporter news

Rural Eco Warriors receive new gear

Leading outdoor clothing manufactures First Ascent provided clothing for EWT's Conservation Leadership Programme Rural Eco Warriors (REWs). The hard wearing, trendy and smart gear has given the team a well deserved boost. REW Amos Letsoalo summed it all up in his letter to First Ascent with the following words:

"We really thank you very much for providing us with fabulous and high quality clothing. We really appreciate this and I personally feel great in the outfit and I am grateful for the support we receive from the funders and will make sure that I make the difference with your help. In the right formation the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone. We really thank you so much."

Comrades Run for the EWT

Chief Executive of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Yolan Friedmann, will be running her sixth Comrades Marathon this year. For the first time ever you will be able to sponsor her run which she has dedicated to the EWT by going on to the Givengain website yolan.givengain.org.

EWT joins football Friday fun

Thanks to the generosity of Ken Jarvis of Jika Afrika, the EWT staff is able to join in the build up to the 2010 World Cup Soccer. Each staff member has been issued with a supporter t-shirt and Fridays are ablaze with the colour yellow and good humour.

EWT Mammal Masters 2010

The EWT held an inaugural golf day at Zwartkops Golf Club, Centurion, Pretoria on 22 April. The club recently signed up for the Heritage Fairways Eco-Rating Programme, demonstrating an accredited commitment to sound environmental management practices and reducing the harmful effects to the natural environment affected by the golf course. The day was very well supported by new and long-standing supporters, under perfect blue skies. An enormous thank-you to all of our supporters who made the event into such a success. A special thank-you also to the staff of the Zwartkops Golf Club for ensuring seamless operations on the day.

EWT MAMMAL MASTERS 2010 SUPPORTERS:

Four-balls taken by: - ADAMS AND ADAMS - ANNE CLARKE AND FRIENDS - BRIAN ROGERS (FOR THE CAUSE OF IT) - DE JAGER MCKINNON INC - DIGBY WELLS AND ASSOCIATES - EQUIPPED FOR SPORT - INVESTEC PROPERTIES - IQ BUSINESS GROUP - LAND ROVER - LESOBA DIFFERENCE - MEDIHELP - MIKE TIPPET - MY MEDISHIELD - NASHUA CENTRAL - RS COMPONENTS - SEREMED - SUN CITY - ZWARTKOPS GOLF CLUB

Golf Day Supporters (in-kind and cash): - AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC - BROWNS OF RIVONIA - CANOPY TOURS - CUTTER & BUCK - DISTELL - IMAZINE SPORT - LINDORST WINES - MEAD BINOCULARS - NEDBANK - PICK 'N PAY - PROJECT KITE - REVITE - RS COMPONENTS - RUPERT ROTHSCHILD - SHAPE MAGAZINE - THE GOLFERS CLUB - WATER MINERAL MAN -

Latest supporters

ALMANAC PUBLISHERS - ENGEN OIL - FIRST ASCENT - JIKA AFRIKA - TUFF STUFF
MGM Company kindly designed our new newsletter and is one of our newest in-kind supporters.
 
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