Issue 60: Oct - Nov 2015
  • Addressing the threats of illegal wildlife
  • Bunny business in Loxton
  • KZN Hunting and Conservation
  • Road Ecology training
  • Ploughing up our biodiversity
  • Crouch, bind, write…
  • Ringing and marking of vulture chicks
  • Conservation and agriculture
  • The escapades of a township riverbank
  • 2015 Kudu Awards

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

A WORD FROM OUR CEO

The court ruling in the last week of November 2015, by Judge Legodi to overturn the moratorium on the domestic ban on rhino horn, caused some consternation in the press this past week, and among the conservation community. It must however, be emphasised that this moratorium refers only to the domestic trade in rhino horn, and the ruling is in no way a lifting of the ban on international rhino horn trade, which remains under the control of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). In terms of CITES, the international trade in rhino horn remains prohibited. All domestic trade in rhino horn will also still remain subject to the issuing of a permit in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).

The EWT does not believe that this ruling is indicative of any position by the South African government on an international trade in rhino horn, and is instead, the outcome of an application to the courts brought by two farmers. In fact Judge Legodi focused in his ruling, on the procedural flaws in the process undertaken by the Department of Environmental Affairs to declare the moratorium but did in fact find that it was well within the Minister’s rights to declare the moratorium and that this was not an infringement on the rights of rhino owners to sustainably utilize their animals, as was asserted by the lawyers who brought this case to court. A more important question to ask is who will now apply for permits to buy and sell rhino horn and why? The only reasons why anyone within the country would do this, in our opinion, is if they are either stockpiling horn for a possible legal international trade one day, or for other possibly dubious uses for rhino horn. The EWT recognizes that the fight to conserve rhino must remain steadfastly focused on more effective long term measures such as improved law enforcement, community benefit sharing and effective wildlife co-management schemes and a variety of measures to combat transnational organized crime. It is these efforts that have led to an increase in the number of arrest of poachers this year and as well as a rise in the level at which these alleged criminals operate within the criminal underworld.

As the year draws to a close, it is pertinent to reflect on the significant milestones of 2015 and among the most important was the commitment of 193 countries to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development in September. The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals and comprise 17 goals which collectively aim to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and fix climate change.  The SGDs are an improvement over the MDG’s in that they overcome some of the systemic barriers to sustainable development and offer an improved balance between the pillars of sustainable development in the form of social, economic and environmental dimensions.  A vastly improved focus on environmental issues is demonstrated by four goals which cover climate, water, ecosystems and oceans, as opposed to the relegation of environmental sustainability to MDG7 only as an almost afterthought. Naturally, the goals are only useful if implementation is prioritized and are resourced, but the shift in focus away from only developing nations to a more global approach to achieving these goals, is also a positive development.  May these goals set in place an agenda that brings progressive change to millions of lives in the next few years and sees humanity make positive inroads at last towards living sustainably on our planet. See http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals  for more.

In this last EWTalk for 2015, I would like to thank the EWT staff and Trustees for their unrivalled passion, commitment and dedication to the conservation cause and the work of the EWT in protecting this planet and all who live on it. Our partners, donors, members, associates and friends: you are all integral to the tremendous impact that the EWT has and our successes are shared by you all. I wish you all a well-deserved rest and a peaceful and safe holiday.

Yolan Friedmann

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PROJECT NEWS

Addressing the threats of illegal wildlife trade through training
By Ndzalama Chauke, the EWT’s Skills Development Programme, Administrator

When I first joined the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in May 2013 as a Groen Sebenza Training and Education intern with the EWT’s Skills Development Programme I had no idea that I will be one of the lucky ones who will be absorbed by the EWT as part of its permanent staff members. It feels good that after all the work that I have been doing and learning for the past two and half years I have now been appointed as the Skills Development Project Administrator. As a young black girl who hails all the way from Tinga village outside the Malamulele township in Limpopo I never imagined this could ever happen to me…READ MORE

 
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Bunny business in Loxton
By Bonnie Schumann, the EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme, Senior Field Officer

We are extremely excited to have recently launched a Riverine Rabbit awareness programme with the Grade four learners at the JJ Booysen Primary School in Loxton. The programme, funded largely by the Rand Merchant Bank, consists of three modules which include fun, hands-on activities aimed at teaching the students how to identify the different bunnies of the Karoo and building their awareness of the ecology and conservation of Riverine Rabbits. In addition we encouraged learners to think about how they could play a role in making their environment around Loxton a cleaner, safer place for people and animals…READ MORE

 
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KZN Hunting and Conservation Association supports conservation
By Dr Ian Little, the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Programme Manager

In October the Newcastle branch of the KZN Hunting and Conservation Association once again showed their support for our conservation efforts by presenting the Threatened grassland Species Programme with a donation towards the prevention of poaching of Oribi and other wildlife...READ MORE

 
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Road Ecology training for N1N14 Bakwena Toll Concession
By Claire Patterson-Abrolat, the EWT’s Special Projects Manager

South Africa is one of the most biologically diverse country on Earth and hosts a multitude of indigenous species and habitats, many of which are endemic. However, the National Biodiversity Assessment (2011) indicates that 34% of South Africa’s 440 terrestrial ecosystems are threatened. Linear infrastructure such as roads, bisect all continents and influence biodiversity and ecosystem process for many hundreds and even thousands of meters. Combined with vehicles, their effects on wildlife are often negative and profound. Growing concern about the ecological effects of roads has led to the emergence of a new scientific discipline called Road Ecology. The goal of Road Ecology is to provide planners with scientific advise on how to minimise the negative environmental impacts of transport on wildlife…READ MORE

 
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Ploughing up our biodiversity will help save Sungazers
By Bradley Gibbons, the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme Field Officer, and Dr Ian Little, the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme Manager

Due to the magnitude of habitat loss for a number of threatened grassland species in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State provinces, landowners are increasingly required to protect and sustainably manage their remaining grassland areas. To halt the habitat destruction for these species, landowners are required to apply for a permit for the transformation of intact native grassland areas …READ MORE

 
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Crouch, bind, write… over a thousand squats for conservation
By Bonnie Schumann, Senior Field Officer, Endangered Wildlife Trust

During September we carried out extensive monitoring of plant survival on the Sakrivierspoort and Maanhaarspoort rehabilitation sites. Afterwards we felt a bit like we had been training for the rugby world cup as we did about a thousand squats each, although our legs felt like it was more…READ MORE

 
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Ringing and marking of vulture chicks at Mokala National Park and neighbouring farms
By Ronnel Visagie, the EWT’s Birds of Prey Programme, Field Officer

For the ordinary Joe Blogs, to climb a Camel Thorn tree and fetch a vulture chick from the nest, place it in a bucket and let it down to the ground, may be a tough experience. Thank goodness that for the experienced tree climbers of Puy Du Fou in France and the Hawk Conservancy Trust of England this is a task they easily do in five minutes to reduce the disturbance at the nest to the minimum. When one looks at the scratches and bruises on their bodies, you realise the risks involved…READ MORE

 
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Conservation and agriculture: working towards a sustainable future in the Karoo
By Bonnie Schumann, the EWT’s Dryland Conservation Programme, Senior Field Officer

Agriculture and conservation are sometimes seen as opposing forces. However, here in the Nama Karoo where agricultural practices consist primarily of extensive stock farming, conservation and agriculture are inexorably linked by one common denominator: sustainable land management. Maintaining optimal production, both agricultural and ecological, depends on the land-user’s ability to manage natural resources sustainably, and this in turn ensures that ecological processes are maintained and biodiversity is conserved…READ MORE

 
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The escapades of a township riverbank
A short story by Lillian Mlambo, the EWT’s Communications Manager

What does a mermaid and an Anaconda have in common? They both lend themselves to tales of superstitions about luck and danger as well as entrenched myths concerning them living or habituating in rivers and streams. A mermaid is considered to be a lucky charm and a beautiful creature who lives in harmony with both people and wildlife whilst an Anaconda is likened to the snake that tricked Adam and Eve and got them banished from the Garden of Eden. The Anaconda is thought to be a dangerous and ruthless reptile which destroys and swallows everything in its path. Whilst a mermaid is a make believe legendary aquatic creature with an upper body of a female and a tail of a fish, the Anaconda is a real life creature known to be the largest snake in the world which is indigenous to the wetlands and rain forests, east of the Andes mountains, in South America. Take a look at the tales concerning the existence of these creatures at a certain riverbank in Soweto...READ MORE

 
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2015 Kudu Awards presented to the EWT’s Skills Development Programme and the Wild Dog Advisory Group

We give kudos to the EWT’s Skills Development Programme and the Wild Dog Advisory Group of South Africa who were presented with Kudu Awards during the prestigious South African National Parks 2015 Kudu Awards ceremony held on 16 October. The EWT’s Skills Development Programme was recognised for the sterling efforts to build capacity among law enforcement officials to tackle illegal wildlife trade whilst the Wild Dog Advisory Group (WAG SA), a conservation group affiliated to the EWT won an award in the “Corporate Contribution (Non-Profit Making Organisation)” category for the management and conservation of the endangered African Wild Dogs over the past 17 years. WAG-SA has been chaired and coordinated by the EWT since its inception. The Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs(DEA) personally handed over the awards.

 
Dr Harriet Davies-Mostert, Chairperson of WAG SA receiving the award (left). Adam Pires, the EWT’s Skills Development Programme Manager receiving the award (Right)
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Ambassadors Corner
Natural Art: calling on everyone to save our rhino
The picture was drawn by young Matthew Mockford from Polokwane. According to Matthew this is the only place that rhino are safe.
 
 
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EVENTS

Calling ALL Cyclists and Mountain Bikers to Ride for The Endangered Wildlife Trust !
We need YOU to RIDE AND FUNDRAISE FOR THE ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST
Entries for THE ARGUS CYCLE CHALLENGE are NOW OPEN –

Up for the challenge? Join the EWT Pawprint Peloton and help us REACH the 150 cyclists mark!

The EWT is registered as a charity bond for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016. The cost to ride with pride is R1850 per person. This amount includes a R700 payment to Cape Town Cycle Tour and includes a R1150 donation. Cycling shirts are available separately at R550 each. Get involved and do your part to bring an end to extinction! Visit http://www.givengain.com/cause/2347/campaigns/15332 or Email Debbie on debbiet@ewt.org.za to find how to get started on your journey and to get fabulous tips and hints on how you can fundraise for the EWT!!!


COUNTRY CLUB JOHANNESBURG TALKS

We want to thank all our supporters for attending the presentations in this past year. In 2016 we will continue to bring you talks at THE COUNTRY CLUB JOHANNESBURG’s two venues. A calendar of the 2016 talks will be published in the NEW YEAR for both venues. We would like to get feedback on the talks. Please email your top three talks of the past year to debbie@ewt.org.za

 
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EWT eSHOP - SPRING AND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Visit the E-shop for a range of exclusive gifts:
Get a headstart and make those early purchases for Christmas and the Festive Season gifts for loved ones! We have gifts for all occasions, birthday parties, weddings you name it. Buy online at www.ewtshop.co.za or at www.relate.org.za. Choose from the popular Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Relate’s collector’s range of endangered species themed bracelets to rhino sculptures, 2016 Calendars, books, ornaments and golf shirts. Orders will be accepted until 4th December 2015 to allow time for sufficient delivery. Please contact Debbie Thiart on debbiet@ewt.org.za for further information.

 
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SUPPORTER NEWS

      
Do you want to make sure that every litre you refuel your car with counts? Great news, the EWT has partnered with Litres for Education, an inspired initiative that enables ordinary people to make a difference to their choice of worthy causes based on the amount of fuel they buy every month at participating service stations. From now on every litre of fuel you fill your car with can earn the Endangered Wildlife Trust ten cents.  All you need to do is join a participating service station and simply pay for your fuel cost. The service station will in turn give back 10 centre per litre of fuel you buy. Simply login to www.litresforeducation.co.za for more details and a list of participating service stations email debbiet@ewt.org.za.
To play your part in ensuring that the EWT earns the ten cents per litre, please follow all the instructions below:

  • Click the join button, fill in your details, print your donor ID and stick it on your car window.
  • After joining click on Login and complete the balance of the information.
  • Please print a copy of the participating service stations and ensure you fill up there. When filling up please ensure you ask then petrol attendant for the Litres for Education (LFE) green book – here you must insert your donor ID number and the number of litres filled.
  • We would appreciate you helping us – every cent counts and this initiative in the long run could supply our projects with a sustainable income. If you have any questions please email me
  • The participating service stations so far are: BP Edenvale, BP bedfordview, BP Fairways in Howick, BP Bluff Durban, Engen Boschoff Street PMB, BP Quarry Road Hilton and BP Moore Road, Glenwood Durban.

Boosting Environmental Education Efforts at Primary Schools

The EWT is on mission to resource previously disadvantaged primary schools with copies of Envirokids magazine for their school libraries. Envirokids is colourful environmental education magazine for children. The magazine helps young minds explore the fun and fascinations with our natural world and they get to learn about Mother Earth and how nature works. They also get to read about what other kids are doing to help our environment have fun doing it. R1000 will sponsor 10 copies per school. To sponsor please contact Joel on joelt@ewt.org.za. The most recent beneficiaries include WD Oliphant Primary School, Lengau Primary School, Bosele Intermediate School and Setlolamathe Public School.


EWT’s Joel Thosago handing over magazines

SBV rebrands its cash carrying fleet with images of the Big Five

We welcome one of our most recent supporters, SBV, who now strutts its cash carrying new fleet of vehicles with a new splash of paint and brand identity. SBV is re-branding its fleet with images of the Big Five and has partnered with the EWT to promote the conservation of South Africa’s beloved Big Five. Although not all of the Big Five animals are endangered, through the conservation efforts of the EWT, a healthy ecosystem is maintained that has a positive impact on all five of these renowned species. Special EWT projects include anti-poaching initiatives that benefit both rhino and elephant and a variety of projects that support Leopard and Lion conservation.

Celebrating a Bright Future for Future Generations

Bequests
Thanks to the James and Jones family for the bequest left the EWT, we are able to do the work that we need to do to save threatened and endangered ecosystems, habitats and species. Because of the generosity of these two families, there is hope for threatened and endangered species. In this way, their grandchildren and future generations will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature and wildlife.

For an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the EWT please contact Carla van Rooyen at carlav@ewt.org.za.

The EWT’s save our Blue Swallow bags at Woolworths!
The EWT’s save our Blue Swallow bags are still available at Woolworths 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.

Make a Difference and Commit to a Monthly Donation by Debit Order
Interested in helping the EWT to continue critical conservation work that gives more years and a future to threatened ecosystems and species? Sign up for a monthly debit order and help the EWT save many threatened species, their habitats. Together let's create a better environment for the benefit of all. Remember that your monthly debit order can make a huge difference to a Critically Endangered Species. Every rand helps to put an end to extinctions!! 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:

  • Barloworld (General Support)
  • Bridgestone (Wildlife and Roads Project)
  • Cummins (Urban Conservation Project)
  • Du Toit Mandelstam (General Support)
  • Land Rover Centurion (Carnivore Conservation Programme)
  • N3 Toll Concession (Threatened Grassland Species Project)
  • Painted Wolf Wines (Carnivore Conservation Programme)
  • PriceWaterhouse Coopers (Skills Development Programme)
  • SANBI (Red List)
  • SBV (General Support)
  • The Nedbank Green Trust (African Crane Conservation Programme)
  • The Table Mountain Fund (African Crane Conservation Programme & Drylands Conservation 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