Issue 53: June - July 2014
  • Operation Oxpecker Project captures Red-billed Oxpeckers in Kruger National Park
  • South Africa’s carnivores – at risk from roads!
  • Pup anxiety in KZN
  • The EWT and N3 Toll Concession work together on roadkill mitigation
  • The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the significance of its outcome in South Africa
  • Threatened grasslands and flagship species in communal lands
  • Ready! Get set! Go EcoRangers!
  • Save the rhino art exhibition!
  • Needles in the haystack:
  • Estimating abundance of a tiny Critically Endangered frog
  • Four to appear in court following abalone bust in Benoni



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A WORD FROM OUR CEO

A very welcome respite from the bitterly cold July weather came in the form of a recent project visit to the EWT’s Dugong Emergency Protection Project (DEPP) based in the Bazaruto Archipelago, by myself and Harriet Davies-Mostert, the EWT’s Head of Conservation. The EWT has been working in the archipelago for nearly three years, to support the management of the National Park and the law enforcement efforts of the park rangers, which is integral to ensuring the survival of the last 250 odd western Indian Ocean Dugongs. This flagship species is considered to be regionally Endangered and is threatened by illegal gill-net fishing and the loss of its seagrass habitat due to seine netting.

The Bazaruto National Park reflects so much of what challenges conservationists almost everywhere in Africa today, through the nexus of rapid human population growth, entrenched poverty and unemployment, poorly resourced conservation agencies and dwindling natural resources as a result. It is also a fine example of what inspires visionary conservation planning, as an upshot of the temperate turquoise water against a backdrop of expansive white beaches on isolated tropical islands, blending with luminescent coral reefs, and rounded off with scenes of dolphins dancing in the bay. The convergence of spectacular wildlife and breathtaking landscapes / seascapes with the knowledge of how little time they may have left in their current form, presents the nub of what both keeps conservationists awake at night, and gets them up early every day.

The EWT’s work in Bazaruto has yielded some excellent results so far, with the removal of all gill nets from the bay having resulted in no Dugong mortalities at all in the past year. The support of the SOS Species Fund has ensured that regular patrols are now undertaken by the park rangers, who also stay in communication via a radio network that has connected the four islands of the archipelago to the National Park office. Karen Allen, the manager of the DEPP, has generated incredible enthusiasm from tourism operators on the islands for a species that is more rare and threatened than any other likely to be seen by a tourist on safari anywhere in Africa; and she is working with local communities to develop a range of livelihood projects that provide alternatives to living off the ocean and its declining stocks. There were many proud moments indeed on this visit and this reminded us of the impact that passionate people can have and of the legacy that the EWT, with our focus on Conservation in Action, is leaving across the region.

We are however, very aware of the need to tackle environmental challenges holistically and to view human beings as a very important ingredient in the mix. As a result, the EWT has begun to work with David Johnson, a Communities and Ecosystems Programmes Developer, to incorporate aspects of human health improvements and educational and livelihood opportunities into the EWT’s programmes. According to David, “It’s been proven that integrating conservation actions with improvements in community health and education leads to greater conservation, healthcare and gender outcomes than single sector actions. It’s not just about voluntary family planning, but also generating socially viable and economically lucrative alternative livelihood opportunities. By integrating approaches we can ensure healthier communities and healthier ecosystems.”
As part of the EWT’s pioneering spirit, we are excited about integrating this approach into our work in order to ensure the sustainability of our impact and the lasting benefits for future generations. There is so much to be done but so much to look forward to and I am sure that the project updates that follow in this newsletter will keep you as excited as I am to be part of the EWT family.

Yolan Friedmann
EWT CEO

PROJECT NEWS

Operation Oxpecker Project captures Red-billed Oxpeckers in Kruger National Park
By Tselane Rachuene, Intern in the EWT’s Birds of Prey Programme

The Endangered Wildlife Trust Birds of Prey Programme (EWT-BoPP), is running Operation Oxpecker, which aims to conserve both Yellow-billed and Red-billed Oxpeckers…READ MORE

South Africa’s carnivores – at risk from roads!
By Wendy Collinson, Project Executant of the EWT’s Roadkill Research and Mitigation Project

As the swelling human tide engulfs ever more natural habitat, the geographical range of carnivores, large and small, is shrinking and populations are becoming fragmented. Lions and Leopards have captured the imagination of tourists, and seeing these animals in their natural environment is an important reason to visit Africa’s protected areas. Yet few visitors realise how vulnerable these and other species are. Carnivores tend to live at low densities and in small populations, making them blueprints for local extinction…READ MORE

Pup anxiety in KZN
By David Marneweck, Coordinator of the EWT's Carnivore Conservation Programme: KZN Wild Dog Project

Denning season is the most exciting time of the year for a Wild Dog conservationist. Denning means pups, and pups mean an endless amount of play and fun. As Wild Dogs live in packs, they look after one another and for the pack as a whole, the denning season is a particularly stressful time…READ MORE

The EWT and N3 Toll Concession work together on roadkill mitigation
By Claire Patterson-Abrolat, Manager of the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme

During June and July 2014, the EWT will be running four training sessions for the staff of N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) regarding the issue of animals being killed on their road. The N3TC started collecting records of animals killed on their roads in 2011 as part of their ongoing safety programme and is now working with the EWT to address the concerns they have in this regard…READ MORE

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the significance of its outcome in South Africa
By Lourens Leeuwner, Renewable Energy Project Manager of the EWT’s Wildlife and Energy Programme

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has appointed the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) regarding wind and solar development in South Africa…READ MORE

Threatened grasslands and flagship species in communal lands
By Dr Ian Little, Manager for the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme

Urbanisation’s increasing sprawl due to population explosion is increasingly placing our natural resources under massive pressure. Crop growers and grazers find themselves having to plant more and stock more herds of animals in order to compete in the commercial market. As result, thousands of hectors of natural grasslands are then cleared to make this possible…READ MORE

Ready! Get set! Go EcoRangers!
By Cobus Theron, Stewardship Facilitator for the EWT’s African Crane Conservation Programme

The African Crane Conservation Programme (ACCP) has embarked on a process to employ four EcoRangers for the Southern Drakensberg Stewardship Project. EcoRangers are field staff that will be deployed on farms that have committed to the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme in the region. The role of the EcoRangers will be to help farmers implement conservation management practices needed on each farm as required by the conservation management plan. These practices could, for example, include the mapping of alien plants, the laying out of trails, monitoring cranes or assisting with the rehabilitation of dongas…READ MORE

Save the rhino art exhibition!
By Kirsty Brebner, Manager of the EWT’s Rhino Project

Curro Hillcrest Christian Academy pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 8 produced a Rhino Art Masterpiece! The pupils used a wide range of techniques and mediums. Emphasis was placed on using recycled materials to create beautiful art. The message to the learners was that amazing art can be made from products that we throw away. These projects could also be done in rural areas to educate young children about Rhinos…READ MORE

Needles in the haystack: Estimating abundance of a tiny Critically Endangered frog
Dr. Jeanne Tarrant Manager of the EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme

While most of you were tucked up in bed, or enjoying dinner, or doing general stuff, a team of three intrepid frog researchers spent their summer evenings between October of last year and February of this year, trying to count frogs. More specifically, they were trying to estimate numbers of the incredibly rare, small and elusive Pickersgill’s Reed Frog, a Critically Endangered species known only from the KZN coast. Jeanne Tarrant of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Threatened Amphibian Programme (EWT-TAP), North-West University Honours student, Mea Trenor, and Nick Evans from uShaka’s Dangerous Creatures, were part of a project aimed at testing a monitoring protocol for this species, and using the data to determine an approximate population size in the south of Durban…READ MORE

Four to appear in court following abalone bust in Benoni
By Rynette Coetzee, Senior Field Officer, EWT's Wildlife in Trade Programme

One Chinese national and three Mozambican citizens appeared in the Benoni magistrate court on Wednesday 9 July 2014 following their arrest when an illegal drying facility in Rynfield Benoni was raided and more than 50 00 units of abalone were discovered. During the joint operation involving officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the South African Police Services, 17 925 units of dry abalone( total weight of 1366 kg) and 36 500 units of wet abalone (total weight of 3 263 kg)were confiscated as well as drying equipment.

Said Rynette Coetzee, Senior Field Officer of the EWT’s Wildlife in Trade Programme (EWT-WTP), “There has been a noticeable increase in marine related criminal activities in Gauteng. We facilitated training for ten South African Police Service Organised Crime officials, 16 State Prosecutors based in Gauteng and six Customs/SARS officials on the Marine Living Resources Act in April. The training, in collaboration with Keith Thompson, Senior Marine Inspector at the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, is part of the EWT’s project to assist with capacitating enforcement officials and the Judiciary in wildlife related legislation, enforcement of the legislation and successful prosecutions of criminal activities.”

For more information contact Lionel Adendorf, Director of Communication Service (Fisheries) Cell: 061494 1105

EVENTS
Flying for the environment in Africa - presented by Sven Kreher
When: Tuesday 5th August 2014
Where: Country Club Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R65 members, R90 non-members, dinner R140 per person
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or debbiet@ewt.org.za for more information
E-SHOP
Limited edition Clive Walker prints

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the EWT in October 2013, Clive Walker has been selling signed, prints of a gorgeous canvass he painted in 1986 for the EWT’s QUAGGA magazine. Copies of the paintings are quickly selling out and soon we will be out of stock so be sure to order your print of this stunning work as soon as possible! You can contact Debbie Thiart on debbiet@ewt.org.za to secure one of these gorgeous creations for yourself.

EWT / Richard Du Toit 2015 Calendars – pre orders – stock available September 2014
Price : R 263.16 excluding VAT - Portrait & Landscape
Postage for local deliveries is R70 per calendar
Postage for international deliveries is R900 or email debbiet@ewt.org.za for a postage quote

Support the EWT and Relate’s gorgeous species bracelets
The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Relate’s collector’s range of beautifully beaded, endangered species themed bracelets are still on sale. Please continue to support our work by purchasing the Cheetah, Wild Dog, Rhino and Dugong bracelets from Tiger’s Eye stores like Indaba and Out Of Africa nationwide, and the EWT Rhino bracelet from selected CNA stores. You can also buy on line at www.ewtshop.co.za or at www.relate.org.za

SUPPORTER NEWS

The Endangered Wildlife Trust invites you to cycle for your wild heritage in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge 2014
The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is registered as a charity bond for the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge 2014 and we need YOU to ride for our cause!

Get involved and do your part to bring an end to extinction!

  • Register yourself at www.cyclechallenge.co.za and make the payment
  • Inform the team leader, Debbie Thiart on debbiet@ewt.org.za, that you have entered and made the payment and send her your name and I.D. number.
  • Visit the EWT’s GivenGain link at www.givengain.com/cause/2347/projects/14748/
  • Donate R420 to the EWT at the GivenGain link. This will also secure your EWT/Wild Dog cycling shirt and access to the hospitality tent at the end of the race. You will also receive an activist link. Send your activist link to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to help you to save our wildlife heritage.
  • They can do this by sponsoring every kilometer you cycle; or by attending a pre-cycle event hosted by you where entrance fees are donated to the EWT; or by donating ‘themed’ amounts of money to the EWT like R9.47 or R94.70 or R947.00 etc.
  • At the conclusion of the cycle challenge the individual who has managed to raise the most money for the EWT via the GivenGain will win a spectacular getaway prize for two to the Protea Kruger Gate Hotel. Please note that travel costs to and from the hotel are for your own account. Please note that travel costs to and from the hotel are for your own account. As part of the prize you will be treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity to track Wild Dogs with the EWT’s Grant Beverly!

The EWT’s Save our Cranes bags at Woolworths!
The EWT’s Save our Cranes bags are still available at Woolworth’s stores countrywide. Please be sure to ask your cashier in store for the bags if you do not see them on display as Woolworths still has the beautiful bags in stock.

Introducing: Africa’s Ultimate Safaris Coffee Table Book
After 20 years of traveling the African continent on filming and guiding expeditions, and having gained a wealth of knowledge and experience – Ian Thompson and Shirli Carswell, partners in the Wildside Safari Company, have compiled a unique coffee table book entitled “Africa’s Ultimate Safaris” which represents some of the best Safaris Africa has to offer.

The book is a photographic summary of the ideal ways in which to experience a Safari in Africa, showcasing some of the most beautiful and wildest destinations. Each of the 10 chapters features a pictorial and scripted experience dedicated to one of Africa’s Ultimate Safaris, from the Migration in the Serengeti to the South Luangwa in Zambia.

The book will go on sale from August for R650 excluding VAT per copy but if you order your copy before the 25th of July you will qualify for the special, pre-launch price of R450 excluding VAT. Contact debbiet@ewt.org.za to get hold of an order form or to find out more.

We would like to take this opportunity of welcoming our newest supporters to the Endangered Wildlife Trust and to thank them for their support:

  • Anthony Vaughan
  • Faye Peters

 


Head Office: Endangered Wildlife Trust, Private Bag X11, Modderfontein, Gauteng, 1645 (T) +27 11 3723600 (F) +27 11 6084682, www.ewt.org.za

Update your details: contact ewtalk@ewt.org.za / Join the EWT family: sign up for an EWT membership click here.
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