The EWT has been calling for an end to the captive African Lion industry in South Africa since 2009. Our key concerns include the welfare of the animals; the lack of any demonstrable conservation benefit; the safety of visitors; a lack of transparency and honesty from many facilities; and the potential impacts on wild Lion populations (EWT Position Statement). As a continuation of our ongoing public awareness campaigns, we recently launched a new billboard campaign, with the pro bono assistance of Artifact Advertising, which asks people to help keep our Lions wild and consider the implications of supporting captive carnivore facilities – which all too often mean death for the animals in question.

We are thrilled that this campaign, which has attracted a huge amount of attention on social media, was recently awarded an Orchid by Brendan Seery of The Citizen. It is not only the recognition for the creative work that is so meaningful, but also the appreciation of the EWT telling it like it is and the support for the message behind the campaign. We encourage all our supporters to tell it like it is too, and let their friends, families and colleagues know that as appealing as the thought of cuddling a cute cub may be to the uninformed, the reality is that we are killing them with this ‘kindness’.
Watch this space as we continue to build on this campaign!
‘Til next time


Wildlife crime is not a wildlife issue. It is not a conservation issue. It is a criminal issue. It is crime through and through, and the perpetrators are criminals through and through. Criminals are opportunists and they follow the money. They have no regard for the rule of law, for those that suffer the consequences of their actions, or for the moral code that underpins the common good or the spirit of Ubuntu. For a long time conservationists bemoaned with frustration the relegation of wildlife crimes to conservation organisations and authorities to address, whose training, passion and skills lie in understanding and managing ecosystem, species and the human interface with both. To expect these same rangers, biologists, guides and ecologists to become the frontline barrier against highly organised, armed forces of poaching gangs, international crime bosses and corrupt officials is simply irrational and unfair.
In recent years, the involvement of ‘specialists’ in the crime fighting world, to address the scourge of wildlife crime has increased, and we have seen the police, criminal analysts, customs officials and even the defence force rally to stamp out escalating crimes against our wild animals. It was with a sense of relief that we saw the very serious nature of this criminal conduct being taken seriously by crime fighting bodies in other government departments and budgets being spent on securing convictions. How distressing then to hear about the alleged involvement of some government officials, in the highest positions, in the illicit wildlife trade chain.
On Sunday, 25 March 2018, it was reported that former South African President Jacob Zuma is being investigated by the Hawks for allegedly accepting a R1 million cash bribe from a Western Cape abalone dealer in exchange for keeping Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Senzeni Zokwana in his Cabinet during the reshuffle after the 2016 local elections. Earlier this month, nine Fisheries department officials were arrested on suspicion of being part of a syndicate involved in the illegal poaching and trade of abalone. Investigations in both instances are ongoing, but point to alleged involvement at the highest level in this illicit trade. Abalone is the world’s most valuable shellfish, and poaching of wild abalone is rampant. This activity threatens to drive the species to extinction.
These allegations against former President Jacob Zuma come hot on the heels of claims against Zimbabwe’s former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, who is under investigation by police in that country, where she is said to have headed up a smuggling network which illegally exported tonnes of elephant ivory. She was named as the alleged mastermind of the operation by two suspected poachers who were arrested attempting to sell tusks. It has also been suggested that she utilised the country’s stockpiles of ivory as ‘gifts’ for unnamed officials in the Far East. These allegations are also still under investigation, and no charges have been laid as yet.
The illegal trade in wildlife is one of the gravest threats facing many wildlife species today, and one that conservation NGOs such as the EWT are tirelessly fighting to address. This can, however, become a losing battle if corruption and involvement by government officials continue to play a role. The EWT calls for stringent investigations into these cases, and should the allegations against former President Zuma and former First Lady Mugabe be found to be true, the sternest judgement should be meted out. The leadership in any country is beholden to uphold all the laws of the land, starting with the Constitution; and their responsibility extends to those that have no voice and who need our greatest protection. When government authorities breach this compact, the impact is severe and consequences should be dire.



We’re not going down without a fight

On 25 February 2018, EWT vulture expert, Andre Botha, received a call that no conservationist wants to receive: the horrific devastation of dead and dying vultures as a result of the deliberate poisoning of an elephant carcass. Andre immediately drove to the Mbashene communal area in southern Mozambique where he was met with a field of death, in which over 100 Critically Endangered Vultures lay dead or dying. The death toll from this tragedy has risen to at least 103 birds in total – 96 African White-backed Vultures and seven Hooded Vultures – all of which are already Critically Endangered, meaning they are already in grave danger of extinction. We simply cannot afford to lose any more of these birds.

Eighteen living birds were rescued from the scene by Andre and his colleagues, owner of Incomati Conservancy, Dries Gouws, area manager, Piet Kok, responding vet, Dr João Almeida from Sabie Game Park, and the State Veterinary Services at Skukuza, and are being nursed back to health. Heartrending footage shows the moment at which one of these deathly ill birds was discovered by Andre. This young bird, likely no more than two months out of the nest, was on the brink of having his life cut cruelly short. Despite the terrible effects of the poison coursing through his body, he still had the courage to ‘charge’ Andre – he’s not going down without a fight!
And we’re not going down without a fight either. These cruel poisoning incidents are becoming more and more frequent, and we won’t back down from the fight that’s needed to protect these birds and other effected wildlife. We’re ready to go wherever we’re needed to prevent the mass killings of these iconic birds and help the survivors. We need your help to do it. Help us by making a contribution to a rapid response fund, that will keep our team in the field and our vultures in the sky. Using the reference Rapid Response, please donate here or via EFT to help the 18 survivors of this vicious attack, and protect countless others like them that may not even know that they are next….
Banking details:
First National Bank-Account number: 50371564219
Branch: Rosebank
Branch Code: 253-305


Patron Supporters
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Department of Environmental Affairs, Natural Resource Management Programme



Dohmen Family Foundation



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Reserving space for Riverine Rabbits

Cobus Theron, Manager, and Esther Matthew, Specialist Conservation Officer, Drylands Conservation Programme and

The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme (DCP) and CapeNature have initiated a process to declare a Nature Reserve in the South Western Karoo through the provincial Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. The beautiful property of more than 30,000 ha is home to a vast array of species, including Blue Cranes, Honey Badgers and a breeding population of Secretary Birds. What is exciting is the fact that this property is also home to a healthy population of Riverine Rabbits! If the declaration is successful, this property will be the first formally declared privately owned Nature Reserve providing sanctuary to the Critically Endangered Riverine Rabbit. The DCP team has presented this site to the Stewardship Review Committee and will shortly establish our future involvement for this property and the declaration process. Watch this space!

Thank you to Rand Merchant Bank for their ongoing support of our work with Riverine Rabbits.



Recognising Eco-Schools achievers

Zethu Sibiya, Environmental Education & Urban Conservation Project Officer, Urban Conservation Project

The EWT’s Urban Conservation Project team was thrilled to attend the WESSA Eco-Schools Awards ceremony, held at Emmerentia Dam Environmental Education Centre on 16 March 2018. Both the Hammanskraal and Alexandra Eco-Schools that we work with were in attendance and were excited to receive their awards for the hard work that they have put in throughout the year.

It was fantastic to hear from schools who have been in the programme for a number of years, as they shared their challenges and successes with the audience. One of the most significant success stories shared was that one of the Eco-Schools has produced learners who have eventually gone on to study Environmental Sciences and Geography at University level. This is a testament to the impact that the programme has in terms of creating interest in the biodiversity or “green” sector among learners.

Fun-filled activities followed the presentations, with educators experimenting with the displays at the Environmental Education Centre. The programme then continued to the official business of the day, with all 12 of the EWT’s schools receiving an award!

To conclude the event, we were given a demonstration in the garden on how to make a metrofarm garden. This is a project that can assist many of the schools similar to our own, who lack space and water for veggie gardens and have a problem with pests.

Thank you to Bakwena for their support of this work.



Partnering to reduce illegal wildlife trade


Ashleigh Dore, Programme Coordinator, Wildlife in Trade Programme

The planning stage for an exciting new project, the Kheta Project, is underway. This project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and aims to reduce the illegal trade in wildlife from the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GL-TFCA). The EWT is partnering with WWF SA and TRAFFIC East/southern Africa, amongst other organisations, to conduct the work, and will be adopting a wide range of methods over a five-year period. One aspect of the project will be a comprehensive analysis of the wildlife trade currently going on in the GL-TFCA region, which will involve obtaining information from a variety of sources, such as the media, freight agents, airlines, online trading platforms, and curio and muthi markets. Understanding the illegal wildlife trade from the region is a critical step in finding ways to reduce the trade.


DCP volunteer programme – Are you ready for a unique Karoo experience?

The EWT’s Drylands Conservation programme (DCP) is seeking volunteers to assist with ongoing and new groundbreaking initiatives, aimed at conserving the Critically Endangered Riverine Rabbit Are you interested or do you know someone that might be?
Volunteers will be required to carry out fieldwork and data collection, which will complement our current research. To view the advertisement for this position, please visit:
. Applicants are requested to complete and submit the application form online and motivate their selection for this unique experience. A short CV (two pages), is also required.

Alternatively, applicants can email a CV and application form (attached to the advertisement) to Esther Matthew ( and cc Bonnie Schumann (

Closing date: 3 April 2018. Applicants who have not been contacted within 10 days of the closing date should assume that their applications were unsuccessful. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please feel free to contact us should you have additional queries.



Image competition for National Biodiversity Assessment 2018

The National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA, is a key publication for South Africa that reports on the current status of our biodiversity across the terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine, coastal and marine environments. The NBA is utilised extensively in decision-making, and informs both national policies and international reporting. SANBI is seeking images to illustrate the NBA 2018 (which will be published in 2019). Images of people in and/or using biodiversity, landscapes showing a variety of land uses adjacent to natural habitats, pressures on biodiversity shown in situ, multiple uses of nature, biodiversity features, and all other biodiversity-related themes are needed.

SANBI does not have the funding to pay professional photographers for images used in the NBA, so they appealing to amateur photographers to provide their images for use in the NBA-related materials. In exchange, they will stand a chance to win a prize and/or have their image used in this important national publication. Several lucky draw prizes will be available between now and December 2018. Each image submitted will enter you into the draw pool. 

For more information on how to submit your image, please visit



Capacitating law enforcement agencies across South Africa

Ashleigh Dore, Programme Coordinator, Wildlife in Trade Programme

During 2016 and 2017, the EWT’s Wildlife in Trade Programme trained a total of 1,400 participants from law enforcement agencies across South Africa! This training was part of five different courses: namely Advanced Cycad Law Enforcement Training; Flagship Species Identification Training; Advanced Grade Five EMI Training; Footwear Casting and Lifting Training Intervention; and Online Wildlife Trade Training Intervention. The impact of these courses has been far-reaching and extended past South Africa’s borders. For example, 350 Encephalartos cycads have been removed from illegal trade, and numerous seizures at the South African ports of entry and exit have been effected by participants who attended our training.

This training was all made possible due to funding from the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and the Global Environmental Facility Project. A special thanks is extended to these donors, as well as to our expert facilitators.



Going green for frogs!

Dr Jeanne Tarrant, Manager, Threatened Amphibian Programme

This year saw the fourth consecutive ‘Leap Day for Frogs’ taking place. This national awareness campaign aims to point the spotlight, or headlamp, at frogs and highlight their plight of being the most threatened animals on Earth, but also celebrate the amazing diversity of these interesting creatures. The campaign is coordinated by the EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme, with the aim of getting as many schools, organisations and individuals across the country doing something to recognise frogs and their importance.....READ MORE




Country Club Johannesburg Talk

Rhino Revolution: Searching for new solutions – Tuesday 10 April 2018
Presented by Clive Walker, in conversation with Yolan Friedmann

Please join the EWT and Jacana Media for a fascinating evening as we launch an incredible new book, written by EWT founder, Clive Walker, and his son Anton. This not-to-be-missed event will see Clive in conversation with Yolan Friedmann, EWT CEO, about this wonderful book, and his adventures in conservation....

Raptor Research Foundation 2018 Annual Conference – South Africa
12-16 November 2018
Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa

The 2018 Raptor Research Foundation conference will be hosted at the Nombulo Mdluli Conference Centre located in the Skukuza Rest Camp of the world-famous Kruger National Park, South Africa. Apart from being home to the Big Five and a host of other iconic African mammal species, the park is also renowned for its avian diversity with more than 550 species having been recorded there. The list includes 43 diurnal raptor, eight vulture and 10 owl species, many of which occur in substantial populations. The conference will be co-hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and BirdLife South Africa.
Deadline for submission of symposium proposals:  30 April
Deadline for abstract submission:  31 July

For information on the conference and to register, go to:

Participants are strongly urged to register, obtain lodging, and make travel arrangements as early as possible.
Come and experience the magic that is Africa and its fantastic range of raptors in November 2018!


Date: Friday, 1 June 2018
Time: 11:30 (Shotgun Start)
Venue: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club (east course),
1 Fairway Ave, Linksfield North,Johannesburg, 2192
To secure your place, please contact
Frank Jackson at or telephone 087 0210 398


Online Store

Visit our e-store at





Millstream – supporting crane conservation on the Highveld for 27 years


Millstream Farm is a premier trout fly-fishing resort on the Mpumalanga Highveld near the well-known tourism destination of Dullstroom. Its scenic beauty is enhanced by an abundance of bird life, wild flowers and game. These can be enjoyed on nature walks or from horseback with staff who are passionate about nature conservation and the plight of threatened species in the area. This includes all three of South Africa’s crane species which call the Steenkampsberg home....READ MORE


20 years of filling the gap with ZGAP


Cobus Theron, Drylands Conservation Programme Manager, and Esther Matthew, Drylands Conservation Programme Specialist Conservation Officer and

The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme would like to express their gratitude to the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations, also known as ZGAP (Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz). ZGAP has been sponsoring the programme for 20 years and is the programme’s longest running sponsor! They have been involved in establishing three Riverine Rabbit Conservancy areas between 2000 and 2006, as well as our Karoo Indigenous Plant Nursery in Loxton. ZGAP has also supported the DCP’s latest work, from camera trap research to scent detection dog trails, and everything in between. Their support allows us the space to bring innovation and creativity to our work with Riverine Rabbits.  We truly value the ongoing and long-term support of our dedicated sponsors.



The End


Peter Matthews is a recognised South African artist and photographer, and has exhibited his work both in South Africa and internationally. He was compelled to produce The End, a charcoal wildlife series that highlights the plight of some of the most endangered species in the world - wildlife on the point of extinction, with man ultimately being responsible as the cause. Now he is donating 50% of the proceeds from the sale of these artworks to the EWT. Visit to see more, and use the promo code EWT on any orders placed to secure this donation.



Make a difference with WildlifeCampus


WildlifeCampus is a Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA) endorsed distance learning provider, and has been offering wildlife, wildlife-related, guiding and natural science courses for over 16 years.
As a supporter of the EWT, WildlifeCampus is proud to share that by signing up for one of our online courses, 25% of your tuition fee will be donated directly, free of any administration or facility fees, to the EWT!
By using the reference EWT when registering, you will be helping to make Conservation in Action possible.
Find out more about the available courses at or contact us on


Donating is now as easy as snapping your fingers… or your phone! 

Supporters can now donate to the EWT quickly and safely, using SnapScan. All you need to do is:

  1. Download the SnapScan application on your smartphone
  2. Register with your details – this should take no more than a few minutes
  3. Scan our EWT barcode to make your donation in the amount of your choice (be sure to choose donation rather than e-shop from the dropdown menu) – you’ll be asked to enter your PIN so you know the transaction is secure

It’s as easy as one-two-three! Once you’ve made your donation via SnapScan, you’ll get an SMS confirming the transaction, and the EWT will be notified via SMS too. Supporting Conservation in Action couldn’t be simpler.

No SnapScan? No problem! Simply SMS ‘SAVE’ to 31913 to donate R15 to help make Conservation in Action possible!


Every swipe counts!

Did you know that you can support the EWT through the MyPlanet programme? The MyPlanet fundraising programme was launched as an extension of MySchool to provide community-minded people like yourself the opportunity to support a worthy cause, such as the EWT, that is focused on the improvement and protection of the environment and animals. And it doesn’t cost you a cent!

So get your free MyPlanet card (no monthly fees, no costs to you!) and nominate the EWT as the beneficiary you wish to support. Then swipe your card at partner stores when you shop, and they will donate a percentage of your purchases on your behalf.

  • If you don't have a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card yet, simply apply for your free card now and select the EWT as your beneficiary. Once you start swiping your card, we’ll start receiving funds.
  • If you already have a MySchool card, but would like to change your beneficiary or add a charity, simply call the Client Service Centre on 0860 100 445 or email – there is no need to get a new card!

Find out more by visiting



Physical Address: Building K2, Ardeer Road, Pinelands Office Park,
Modderfontein 1609, Gauteng, South Africa,
Postal Address: Private Bag X 11, Modderfontein 1645, Gauteng, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 11 372 3600 Fax: +27 (0) 11 608 4682 NPO Number: 015-502
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