Issue 57: Feb 2015 - April 2015
  • Connecting learners with their local environment in Chrissiesmeer
  • Eco-schools award ceremony
  • Mentoring, monitoring and movies – the life of a Groenie in the Karoo
  • Sungazers and two spiny exotic plants in the grasslands
  • Orange River Mouth Ramsar Site Aerial Survey
  • Conservationists go fishing: Oorlogskloof-Kobee Fish Survey 2015
  • The wildlife roads project – reducing roadkill
  • Riverine Rabbit conservancies making progress in the Nama Karoo
  • Conservation friendly farming: recognition of our custodians

EWT Patrons
SUPPORTER US

Framework Donor
R100 000 and above per annum

Senior Corporate Member
R70 000 - R100 000 per annum

Corporate Member
R25 000 - R70 000 per annum

Corporate Supporter
R5 000 - R25 000 per annum

Contact us for futher information
Carla van Rooyen
Business Development Officer
carlav@ewt.org.za

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Help Save our Wildlife
Rhino Poaching Hotline:
082 404 2128
Eskom / EWT Tollfree Incident Reporting Hotline:
0860 111 535
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A WORD FROM OUR CEO

Despite the decrease in the amount of media coverage afforded to rhino poaching these days, it is certainly acknowledged that rhino poaching has tragically not declined and if anything, the statistics tell us that it remains on the increase. One can sympathise then, with the frustration in the public and indeed, organisations such as the EWT, that despite millions of Rands and manhours going into addressing this crisis, it appears as if little has been achieved. On the upside, this is not quit true and I believe that a lot has been achieved, albeit with too little impact on the ground at this stage. On the downside, it is increasingly obvious that we still have a long way to go before we may in fact see the trend reversal that we all so desperately want to see. Let me explain why.

Rhino and elephant poaching in our modern world is not without context and this context is not only limited to the immediacy of our surrounds. The poaching we see happening today is a function of the convergence of a multiplicity of factors, a lethal cocktail if you will, comprising the ingredients of local poverty and burgeoning dissent in rural communities on the one extreme, to escalating demand for wildlife products in general, from increasingly affluent Asian markets on the other. The real problem that has crept in and changed the rules of the game is the addition in the middle, of sophisticated transnational crime syndicates, highly developed black market trade networks, the role of stockpiling to ‘bank on extinction’ and the role of global terror groups that are reputed to be earning in excess of $600 000 a day from the proceeds of elephant poaching, alone. A market that is both demand and supply driven is a difficult market to measure, and manage, exacerbated only by a lack of knowledge of all the role-players and their vested interests. Wildlife crime is today among the top 5 globally lucrative illicit trades and the complexity of the supply chain is matched only by the urgency of the need to do something, as multiple species face imminent extinction within our lifetime at the current rate of trade in their various parts.

What we may know, to some degree, is why local communities are driven to poaching: Their burgeoning population of unemployed young people, with no prospects of earning an income legally, along with the outrageous sums of money that are paid in cash for products from wildlife for whom they have no passion, connection or feeling whatsoever, and for many of whom it is in fact a symbol of the lack of restitution and service delivery in the country, is a melting pot for attracting criminal syndicates. Say what you will from the safety of your Lazy Boy, many thousands of people who border our national parks were born into strife-riddled communities, taught to use a weapon before a calculator and witness violence and conflict every day, live, and not through newspapers and televisions. Without employment prospects and a sense of joint ownership and benefit sharing in the wildlife heritage that belongs to us all, they are easy targets for those with big wallets and clients that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

On the other hand, what we don’t fully understand, is the details of an evolving supply chain that now incorporates a multiplicity of vested interests and role-players such as emerging markets and uses for these ‘products’ that we cannot yet quantify; fluctuating market forces; complex trade routes; widespread corruption; the role of global terror groups; incipient ‘investors’ that stockpile and control market flows; and most of all, how this all feeds into the trends we see on the ground every time a rhino is killed, which is horrifyingly more than three times every day. The trouble with what we don’t fully understand is that any ‘solution’ has to take into account these externalities as the trouble did not start, and certainly won’t stop, by addressing the local problems alone. Solutions MUST be found to involve communities in genuine co-management and true benefit-sharing options for wildlife conservation and South Africa is tragically about 20 years behind where we should be by now. Poachers should be turned into conservationists and all South Africans should share in valuing live wildlife. But this alone will not address the current crisis of wildlife crime as the context has changed and the rules are no longer as we believed them to be in days gone by. Modern wildlife crime occurs within the context of all other socio-political, criminal and ideological global trends and solutions cannot be developed in a bubble that excludes measures to seriously unravel the chain of events into which wildlife products find themselves being swept up. This poses serious challenges for the conservation community that is largely out of its depth, by its own admission, but weeps for every dead rhino as if a child has been lost.

But I did also say that I believe that a lot has been achieved. Perhaps most important, is the growing recognition of the complexities and need for an integrated strategy, globally, regionally and nationally, for managing wildlife crime as part of Transnational Organised Crime. Wildlife crime is now being addressed at high level government meetings, in anti-terror forums and at dedicated inter-governmental meetings. Conventions and Declarations are being signed. Legislation is being enacted to provide the framework for addressing wildlife crime as serious crimes and provisions are being made for prosecuting criminals across an array of ‘activities’. Measures are being sanctioned authorising both investigations and prosecutions to permit the confiscation of the proceeds of wildlife crime, so that criminals do not benefit from the proceeds of their crimes; and local, regional and global Task Forces are being developed to tackle the syndicates across all fronts. Law enforcement agencies are being strengthened with significant amounts of training having been invested in police, border control and customs officials, prosecutors and magistrates. Rangers and anti-poaching teams have been strengthened, equipped and trained.

Community projects are being established to develop sustainable, inclusive and balanced economic development out of recognition that wildlife crime not only threatens biodiversity but is a major impediment to good governance and the rule of law and reduces the current and prospective revenue from wildlife‐based tourism and sustainable utilisation. The active engagement of local people is being identified as being key to effective monitoring and law enforcement. Much needed support for the protection of our wildlife heritage has been provided through generous public and private donations which has seen equipment and manhours pumped into systems weakened by declining budgets and poor priority setting. Arrests have been made, prosecutions are becoming more successful and mounting global pressure will stimulate more momentum, despite a potentially declining faith among many South Africans, that we can ever win this war.

You see, we have to win this war, even if not for the rhino and the elephant. For the millions of lives that are lost annually to the same war but through battles fought and lost with drug lords, human traffickers, terror groups and arms dealers. Our rhino, elephant and pangolin are just commodities in the same dark underworld that doesn’t discern ivory from a human life or a weapon. So losing is simply not an option.

It in this context that the EWT gets increasingly frustrated with simplistic ‘solutions’ that do not get to the core of the matter, but is equally encouraged by the collective power of a number of small, but powerful interventions that will eventually erode the system. We believe that the war can and will be won and believe fully in the power of actions, both big and small, that can bring this monster to its knees. All it takes is for collective action that works towards common goals, through shared understanding and mutual support. If nothing else, let this be the starting point for a contemporary conservation movement that has been catapulted into the ‘modern’ world by the horrific slaughter of the animals that we simply cannot allow to go extinct.

Yolan Friedmann
EWT CEO

PROJECT NEWS

Connecting learners with their local environment in Chrissiesmeer
By Osiman Mabhachi, the EWT's African Crane Conservation Programme, Community Project Coordinator

Contemporary conservation approaches are primarily based on connecting people with their local environment. This entails providing practical opportunities for different stakeholder groups to appreciate the status and values of ecosystems in their locality. When connections between communities and their local environment are strengthened, positive environmental attitudes and behaviours evolve…READ MORE

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Eco-schools award ceremony
By Emily Taylor, the EWT’s Urban Conservation Programme, Project Coordinator

Environmental education of our youth is the key to making conservation sustainable. The EWT’s Urban Conservation Programme coordinates the WESSA Eco-Schools Programme and monitors schools in Hammanskraal, Gauteng…READ MORE

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Mentoring, monitoring and movies – the life of a Groenie in the Karoo
By Janice Essex, the EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme, Intern

I am a Groen Sebenza mentee based in the middle of the Nama Karoo in a small town called Loxton. I joined the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme (EWT-DCP) in 2013 – relocating from the buzzing metropolis of Cape Town to this sleepy Karoo village. Here my love of nature has been revived and nurtured, a love originally awakened by the farm life and vibrant ambience amongst my siblings and I when we regularly visited my grandparents on their farm in the Boland…READ MORE

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Sungazers and two spiny exotic plants in the grasslands
By Bradley Gibbons, the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme, Field Officer

Over the past few months, I have noticed several Sungazers living in close proximity to two exotic plants species, namely Scotch Thistle and ‘Perdedoring’ plants and I have been closely monitoring these occurrences. These plants are found in many parts of the Free State’s virgin grasslands amongst the grass species…READ MORE

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Orange River Mouth Ramsar Site Aerial Survey
By Grant Smith, the EWT's Source to Sea Programme, Field Officer (Orange River Mouth)

On 22nd of February 2015, The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) partnered with Conservation South Africa (CSA) and the Bateleurs to undertake an aerial survey of the Orange River Mouth (ORM) Ramsar site; which divides the diamond mining towns of Alexander Bay and Oranjemund, on the respective South African and Namibian borders…READ MORE


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Conservationists go fishing: Oorlogskloof-Kobee Fish Survey 2015
By Bonnie & Mandy Schumann, the EWT's Drylands Conservation Programme, field officers

Twelve determined conservationists, a sturdy net, lots of stamina and 20 kilometres of some of the toughest terrain in South Africa and the scene was set for the 2015 Oorlogskloof-Kobee fish survey. The Endangered Clanwilliam sandfish Labeoseeberi and the Endangered ClanwilliamsawfinBarbusserra are the diminutive targets of a lot of attention from a four-organisation partnership working under the Cape Critical Rivers Project…READ MORE

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The wildlife roads project – reducing roadkill
By Wendy Collinson, EWT's Wildlife and Roads Project, Project Executant

The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) in the Limpopo Province was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003 and is recognised as an important area for conservation and cultural heritage. In 2013 the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) conducted intensive surveys of wildlife killed on the roads traversing the GMTFCA. The results of this work showed that roads were having a significant impact on wildlife in the GMTFCA. This led the EWT’s Wildlife and Roads Project (EWT-WRP) to partner with De Beers Group of Companies to address these impact…READ MORE

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Riverine Rabbit conservancies making progress in the Nama Karoo
Bonnie Schumann, the EWT's Drylands Conservation Programme, Senior Field Officer

The Wagenaarskraal Riverine Rabbit Conservancy in the Nama Karoo is the first of the four Riverine Rabbit Conservancies to have finalised and submitted its management plan to the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Tourism. The remaining three conservancies have detailed draft management plans that will be finalised this year. The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme (EWT-DCP) has been instrumental in facilitating this process…READ MORE

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Conservation friendly farming: recognition of our custodians

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) would like to encourage our partner conservation agencies to initiate custodianship programmes and to thank all the landowners out there who are contributing to the greater conservation effort and making our jobs easier. Find out how…READ MORE

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Search is now on for Eco–Logic Champions of 2015

Entries are now open for The Eco-Logic Awards 2015, which recognise South Africa’s environmental champions and reward outstanding achievements. Organised annually since 2010 by The Enviropaedia, the Awards invite entries from large and small businesses, municipalities, groups and individuals who are leading the way in environmental excellence and innovation. There are 13 award categories. For more information, visit www.eco-logicawards.com

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EVENTS

We are very excited to inform you that we will be giving presentations at THE COUNTRY CLUB JOHANNESBURG in WOODMEAD every second month, we of course will be continuing at the COUNTRY CLUB JOHANNESBURG AUCKLAND PARK.

Eskom/EWT partnership – 20 years of monitoring impacts of electrical infrastructure on southern African Wildlife – Presented by Constant Hoogstad, the EWT’s Wildlife and Energy Programme Manager
When: 5th May 2015
Where: Country Club Johannesburg, Napier Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R70 members, R95 non-members, dinner R145 per person
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or debbiet@ewt.org.za for more information

The Plight of the Pangolins – Presented by Darren Pietersen,
When: 2nd June 2015
Where: Country Club Johannesburg, Napier Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R70 members, R95 non-members, dinner R145 per person
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or debbiet@ewt.org.za for more information

African Wild Dogs– Presented by Kelly Marnewick, the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme Manager
When: 25thJune 2015
Where: Country Club Johannesburg, Lincoln Street, Woodmead, Johannesburg
Cost: R70 members, R95 non-members, dinner R145 per person
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or debbiet@ewt.org.za for more information

The Endangered Wildlife Trust invites you to our Annual Open Golf Day on Friday 29 May 2015
What could be better than a good day of golf whilst supporting critical conservation work? Join the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) for a fantastic, fun-filled day of golf on the greens. Play for your wildlife heritage. Bring a friend and enjoy yourself while giving back to Mother Nature.

Our designated golf holes will be in celebration of Cheetah, Fish Eagle, Honey Badger, Bateleur Eagle and the Pangolin.

Date: Friday 29 May 2015
Venue: Zwartkop Country Club
Old Pretoria/Johannesburg Road
Centurion
Registration: 09h00 onwards
Shotgun Tee Off: 12h00 noon
Enquiries and bookings (Sponsorship packages available)
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or debbiet@ewt.org.za

4 ball package
The 4 ball package includes-golf shirt, tekkie tax laces and sticker, registration bag, green fees, halfway house snacks, dinner, prize giving, auction with Adam Hayes and entertainment.
Cost: R5000.00

Caddies and golf carts
Caddies and golf carts are available – bookings must be made directly with the PROSHOP
Contact: Tel: 012 654 2111.
Caddie cost: R150 each inclusive (Includes Halfway House)
Golf cart cost: R250 each inclusive – book early as there are only 40 carts available.


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E-Shop

Give a lifeline to our Wildlife and buy 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. We now have two new bracelets, the bateleurs eagle bracelet and the frog bracelet. 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

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SUPPORTER NEWS

MOMENTUM 947 CYCLE CHALLENGE 2015
November 2014 feels like just the other day....and we are already planning for November 2015's Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge. A huge congratulations goes to Gavin Chamberlain who was the winner in raising the most funds. Gavin will be going to Kruger National Park for 3 days in September 2015 to take up his prize of spending a day tracking Wild Dogs with Grant Beverley, the EWT's field officer for the Carnivore Conservation Programme.

Enter now and nominate the EWT as the charity of your choice! Get involved and do your part to bring an end to extinction!
• Enter yourself at www.cyclechallenge.co.za and make the payment.
• Inform the team leader, Debbie Thiart, that you have entered and made the payment and send her your name and ID number and proof of payment.
• Debbie will then load you onto the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s bond. Contact debbiet@ewt.org.za

Thank You to the late Margaret Anne Tilbury
We would like to thank the Tilbury family for the generous bequest received from the late Margaret Anne Tilbury. She will always be remembered as someone with a large and compassionate heart who has left a lasting legacy for future generations.

Make a Difference and Commit to a Monthly Donation by Debit Order
Want to help further conservation that benefits wildlife, habitats and people? Sign up for a monthly debit order today. Your monthly donation will help us conserve our wildlife, ecosystems and so much more. Sign up today and make a contribution that will help the EWT strengthen its valuable conservation work and continue to protect endangered species and their habitats for the benefit of all. Contact Joel Thosago on joelt@ewt.org.za

You can become a member of the EWT and help us to save our heritage.
You can also help us to spread our message and the umbrella of our work by encouraging friends, family and colleagues to become members.READ MORE


Welcome to our most recent supporters
• African Compass (General Support)
• AJ Sender ( General Support)
• Bakwena (Eco-Schools)
• Bridgestone (Wildlife and Transport Programme and in-kind support)
• CPD Project Management ( General Support)
• CSIR Running Club (General Support)
• Hollard (General Support)
• Hunter Films Limited (General Support)
• Multiply (General Support)
• NTE Company Ltd (African Crane Conservation Programme)
• N3 Toll Concession (Threatened Grasslands Species Programme)
• Selectech (General Support)
• The Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust (Rhino Project)
• The HCI Foundation (African Cranes Conservation Programme)
• The St Louis Zoo (Carnivore Conservation Programme-Cheetah Metapopulation Project)
• The TreadRight Foundation (Rhino Project)
• Van Tienhoven Foundation For International Nature Protection (Birds of Prey Programme)


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.
Help us conserve our natural heritage