Volume 11Click here if you cannot view HTMLSeptember 2006
ED's Note

Next time you're out driving, take a look around. I'm sure you'll see some of the many new housing developments that are springing up like mushrooms after a rain storm. Our economy is growing and all in all the outlook for South Africa appears mainly rosy. But at what cost?

In September each year, Blue Swallows leave their non-breeding grounds in several sub-Saharan African countries and make a journey south for the summer. South Africa is one of the countries in which only 84 pairs of these critically endangered birds breed from September to April each year. However, large areas of Blue Swallow habitat have been irreversibly transformed and the Blue Swallow numbers in South Africa are precariously low.

Habitat destruction is but one of the problems. Pollution - in many ways is as much, if not more, of a threat to our indigenous fauna and flora. Well, this week is National Clean-Up Week and its a perfect opportunity for each of us to make a significant difference to our ecological foot print.

We need to take put our money where our mouth is. Support the EWT by becoming a member or asking your friends and family to join the cause as well. - The Editor

Green Labelling as a Conservation Tool in South Africa and Internationally

Consumers around the world and in South Africa are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. International research has shown that consumers and certain producers want to actively contribute to protecting the environment and public health by producing and purchasing products that inflict less damage upon both. Green labels have become a good point of reference for the 'green' consumer when buying goods.

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Written by Steven W. Evans & Claudia Hodkinson

Habitat Change and its Impact on Raptors in Southern Africa

It is a well-known fact that the impact of human activities on the environment has substantially changed habitats for species of plants and animals worldwide and will continue to do so into the future. Raptors, as top predators in many ecosystems, have also been affected by these changes in various ways. With the continued increase in the global human population and its increasing need for natural resources, these impacts are unlikely to change or reduce in the immediate future.

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Written by Andre Botha

Eco News
Practice conservation in your garden

Although once abundant across the globe, cycads are now greatly reduced in both numbers and distribution and many cycad species have become threatened due to habitat destruction and illegal harvesting. This is compounded by their slow growth rates, slow recruitment and low population turnover.

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Written by Brenda Daly

Ordinary people must be involved in green-planet battle

Environmentalists and political decision-makers should find ways to make complex environmental issues understandable, so that ordinary people can be galvanised into fighting for "a green planet", Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said yesterday.

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Written by Guy Rogers

Ocean Pollution

What is the reality of the situation, regarding litter and ocean poisoning? Oceans are the final sink for all pollution generated on earth. Seven billion tonnes of litter drops into the ocean each year. While extreme events such as oil spills from vessels, and toxic waste dumping are relatively well-known and publicised marine pollutants, up to 80 per cent of ocean pollution comes from land-based sources. Globally, about 450 cubic kilometers of wastewater reaches coastal waters by rivers and streams every year from untreated or partially treated sewage, industrial effluents and agricultural runoff.

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Written by Bernice McLean

Add a touch of the wildside to your functions this year at the Lion Park!

Where: The Lion Park, Fourways
When: 1 September - 15 December 2006
Time: lunch or dinner time
Dress: Casual
Cost: Based on choice of package

Enjoy a remarkably different day out; with fresh air, casual gear and the chance to meet some of Africa’s wildlife up close and personal. The newly renovated and much improved Lion Park offers the corporate market a function venue with a difference. Trade your suits and heels for some khaki’s and walking shoes and enjoy a day out true South African style.

RSVP: 30 November 2006 - click here lionpark@cknet.co.za to contact Mandy Devenny or phone Mandy on (011) 460 1814 / (011) 460 1319

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Elephants on the move – when, where and why

Where: The Country Club Johannesburg, Napier Road, Auckland Park
When: 10 October 2006
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Dress: Smart Casual
Cost: R120.00 per EWT/CCJ member, R125.00 per non members, including buffet supper. R35.00 per EWT/CCJ member, R40 for non members - talk only

More and more frequently Africa’s elephant ranges are fragmenting. The Kruger ecosystem is one of Africa’s largest elephant strongholds. If elephants are to survive we need a reliable understanding of their movements and needs, scientific knowledge for wise planning and safeguarding the environment.

RSVP: 6 October 2006 - EWT Members, click here marketing@ewt.org.za to contact Mary Ritchie at EWT or phone Mary on (011) 486 1102

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Greener Life Tips
Eco-friendly gardening practices

By adopting eco-friendly methods of gardening, you can do a great deal to nurture the environment and to provide homes for wild creatures. The following measures will set you well on the way to being a friend, rather than a foe, of the environment.

  • Care for your soil.
  • Avoid using pesticides.
  • Think biodiversity.
  • Get rid of problem plants.
  • Go indigenous.

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Eco Facts
Ocean Pollution
  • Up to 80 per cent of ocean pollution comes from land-based sources.
  • Globally, about 450 cubic kilometers of wastewater reaches coastal waters by rivers and streams every year from untreated or partially treated sewage, industrial effluents and agricultural runoff.
  • In South Africa, pollution is seen as the second biggest threat to our oceans after extractive marine living resource use - fishing.
  • Ocean pollution can be divided into 2 main categories: 1) Point source pollution and 2) Non-point source pollution.
  • Ecosystems such as coral reefs are particularly affected by pollution.

If you're at a loss on what to do with unwanted items, why not donate them to the EWT. The EWT has a wish list that you could contribute to. We would be grateful for the following items:

  • 300 000 Voyager miles needed urgently to allow our scientists to attend a Vortex training course to be held in Mexico in October. Vortex is a computer programme, developed by the IUCN's Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, which assists with the modelling of conservation scenarios to guide the development of conservation plans for threatend and endangered species. Having locally available specialists will mean that we no longer have to draw in costly internationational expertise to give input into these workshops.Please donate your Voyager Miles to the EWT through SAA Voyager.
Click here to read more about the EWT Wish list.

Please contact Penny Buthelezi on (011) 486-1102 or email wishlist@ewt.org.za to organise for deliveries, and collections where necessary.

Bird Photography Courses with Africa - Birds & Birding

Africa – Birds & Birding has run a series of successful photographic courses presented by award-winning bird photographers Albert Froneman and Chris van Rooyen. Response has been enthusiastic and there is now limited availability on the October courses to EWT Members.

Contact Neriza at Africa - Birds & Birding - for more information : Tel: (021) 762 2180 or E-mail: neriza@africageographic.com

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Special Book Offer : Footing with Sir Richard's Ghost by Patricia Glyn

In 1863, English gentlemen Sir Richard George Glyn and his brother Robert came to Africa, lured to the continent by its big game and the astounding cascade that David Livingstone had recently 'discovered' and named The Victoria Falls. The brothers set off from Durban and, despite terrible trials, reached the Falls four and a half months later, becoming the fourth foreign party to do so. Richard kept a diary about their extraordinary odyssey, a journal which inspired his and Robert’s great-great-grand niece, Patricia Glyn, to shadow their expedition in 2005.

This is the story of two brave adventures told through two illuminating, interwoven diaries. The book comprises 328 full-colour pages and over 400 photographs from Patricia's expedition, her ancestors' and many others of the 19th century.

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Classic Wines - What better ...?

What better way to relax, than sipping a glass of wine? What better way to acquire the wine, than ordering online? What better way to receive the wine, than delivered to your doorstep? What better reasons than to visit www.classicwines.co.za!

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