VOLUME 5 Back to the EWT website  
   ED's Note  

The holiday is over for another year and we're all back at our desks earning a living to cover expenses incurred in December. The New Year is ahead of us, and although some do not like to make any New Year's resolutions, we can all keep one resolution this year - saving our natural heritage for future generations.
For a dedicated group of Eco-warriors, the New Year isn't about making resolutions and thinking about keeping them - it's a time to reflect on how successfully they've achieved the resolutions made in the past year and looking at how they can take their work one step further in the New Year.
Each and every day is as good a time as any to make a difference. Whether it's New Year, World Environment Day or just another week day, a dedication to protect our natural heritage is as natural as breathing for these eco-warriors and the working group managers who work for EWT.

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Eco-Warriors changing environmental attitudes

The number of children in South Africa that have little or no exposure to environmental awareness is staggering, creating a sense of urgency for environmental educators. This urgency usually results in environmental education initiatives being drawn into the trap of trying to expose as many children as possible to some form of environmental awareness as quickly as possible. This approach is usually ineffective; no matter how exciting and informative the learners find the environmental education session, its impact is short lived because of the length of the exposure and its lack of relevance to their daily lives. Take Masego as an example…


Masego was born in an informal settlement on the banks of the Jukskei River in Alexandra and here, in this densely populated part of Greater Johannesburg, she has spent the first twelve years of her life. Her closest contact with nature has been playing with her friends on the banks of the polluted river, … a far cry from the clean mountain streams of the eastern Cape, where her father and grandfather grew up. Click here to read more.

Written by Edward Farrell Manager of the Conservations Leadership Group. For more information contact Ed on edwardf@ewt.org.za or call 011-486-1102

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The Big Cat Catching Effort
The study of the Kalahari African Wild Cat is being carried out jointly by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (as a project of the Carnivore Conservation Working Group*) and the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with South African National Parks and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Botswana. The study is taking place in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP), incorporating the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, SA and Botswana. The main study area is along the Nossob River bed around the Leeuwdril area in the extreme south of the park, on both sides o the river, depending on the extent of the movement of the cats. Click here to read more.

For more information contact: African Wildcat Project Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Private Bag X5890, Upington, 8800 Phone:(054) 561 2012 Fax:(054) 561 2005 Email: MarnaH@sanparks.org

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Rare Sighting of Leucistic Blue Crane

A farmer reported that an ‘albino’ Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus was present in the Nieu-Bethesda basin area (between Middelburg and Graaff-Reinet) and the bird was reported by the farm workers to have fledged from this area in 2005. Following this report, Bradley Gibbons, the Project Coordinator of the Karoo Crane Conservation Project of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s South African Crane Working Group went out to find this crane and it was then spotted after a short time in the area. It was very easy to spot due to its unusual white colour, as opposed to the regular blue/grey colour of these cranes.

Photo by Bradley Gibbons
  Right: A photo of the leucistic Blue Crane seen between Middelburg and Graaff-Reinet.  
Click here to read more.

For more information contact: Bradley Gibbons Project Co-ordinator: Karoo Crane Conservation Project South African Crane Working Group, Cell: # 27 (0) 82 566 5803 Email: BradleyG@ewt.org.za Karoo Project funded by The Green Trust.
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Eco News
South African law enforcement staff trained on CITES implementation.


Finally "hitting the road" after 18 months of preparation, the TRAFFIC training team in South Africa held three training events for government agencies between April and September 2005. These were part of DANIDA-funded project aimed at building the capacity of South African law enforcement staff to implement CITES and national wildlife trade controls effectively. Plans for 2006 are already in place and besides specialised training focussing on species identification and CITES, the team will be offering training to law enforcement officials in other African countires.
Click here to read more.

Written by Jonathan Evans, Programme Officer, TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa-South Africa

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World Wetlands Day, February 2nd 2006

For the wetlands community January kicks in with a mad scramble to finalise arrangements for World Wetlands Day celebrations. The focus this year is on wetlands and poverty alleviation and the slogan for February 2nd is " In the face of poverty, wetlands are a lifeline."

Not only do urban communities depend on healthy wetlands for water and other ecosystem services such as mitigation of natural disasters, but rural communities rely on them for food and medicine, grazing and building materials as well as crafts materials from which they can earn cash.
Click here to read more and find out if your province is actively participating.

Contact your provincial wetlands forum for details of World Wetlands Day activities in your region. A full list will be distributed to the press next week, so do let us know what you're planning.
Contact Rehana Dada / rehana@greenit.co.za / 082-8296933


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Know your seafood? Think twice…
More and more people are eating fish and seafood because it's seen as a healthier food choice and is available in an incredible variety of delicious forms, flavours and textures. But how much do you really know about your farourite seafood? Do you know that not all fish are equal, and that if you knew more, you may want to make different choices?
  Do you know?  
Where your fish comes from
How it is caught
That some species are severely over fished
Which species may or may not be sold legally, and the reason for this
  Click here to
Less widely known are conservation issues surrounding seafood species. Would you still happily eat that crispy fish fillet if you knew that it came from a species of which the population has been overfished down to 5% of the original pre-exploitation levels, or would you willingly choose fish that are caught by a fishery that kills thousands of endangered albatrosses as bycatch every year?

Written by Jaco Barendse/ Email Jaco Jbarendse@deat.gov.za

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Go with that gut feeling – John Bassi of BASSAIR Helicopters

John Bassi of BASSAIR Helicopters will be our guest speaker on Tuesday 7 February at the Johannesburg Country Club.
BassAir specialises in Capture and Wildlife services in southern Africa. John will present on his wealth of experiences and expertise, in this challenging and fascinating field of work of game capturing, counting and surveying from Black Rhino and all antelope species. Click here to read more.

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"Love is in the Air" Valentine's Day celebration

The Durban Botanic Gardens is a wonderful place to visit during our hot summer months, particularly during the romantic month of February. Stroll through avenues of trees, relax on the rolling green lawns, take a picnic for the family and enjoy time out.

Bring a picnic and share a magical evening under the stars. Watch the press for details. The concert starts at 6:30pm. Click here to read more.

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Live a Greener life – 5 Energy saving tips you can practice regularly
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Insulate your home against heat loss and periodically check insulation.
Avoid using cars — walk, cycle or use public transportation whenever possible.
Avoid anything battery operated (or use rechargeable or solar rechargeable if batteries are unavoidable).
Buy locally — not only is it good for the local economy; it will save energy because products haven’t traveled across the globe to get to you.

‘Excerpts from Green Peace international’

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Wish List

New Year resolutions astound in the first few weeks of January each year. It’s a time for making a list of new things to do, clearing out those forgotten corners and cupboards, and throwing out unwanted items to make space for the year ahead. If you're at a loss on what to do with unwanted items, why not donate them to the EWT.

The EWT has a New Year wish list that you could contribute to. From time to time, we at the EWT require items to assist in providing a suitable working environment for our

staff. As most of our funds are spent on conservation, we would greatly appreciate your assistance for the following items:
•  Material, such as poles and corrugated iron to build carports
•  Filing cabinets
•  Book shelves
  Click here to

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

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Eco facts
Did You Know?
The word permaculture comes from permanent agriculture. Permaculture strives for agriculture that is ecologically sound and sustainable in the long term: this means that it should be non-polluting, economically and socially viable, and provide for its own needs. Permaculture uses the inherent, or natural, qualities of plants and animals, combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures, to produce a life- supporting system for city and country, using the smallest area possible. Permaculture is essentially a way of achieving efficient and sustainable food production.

For more information or to attend a Permaculture course please contact: Alex Kruger 044 8711 405 or 072 241 1514, Email at: mandala01@telkomsa.net

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Discounted lifestyle offers great bargains to members

As a registered and active member of EWT you automatically qualify for all the discounts offered through the Discounted Lifestyle Programme.

  Here are some examples of the discounts you will receive:  
Discounted Accommodation- Between 20% - 50% discounts at over 800 registered local venues
Discounted Appliances – Small -10% discount at all listed suppliers
Discounted Furniture- 10% discount at all listed suppliers
Discounted Travel – 10% -25% from flights to car rentals
  Click here to subscribe and join the EWT Members community today and take advantage of these benefits.  
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New Vision Annual on sale
The Thirteenth edition of “Vision” was launched on 2 December, in the SASOL Aviary, at the Johannesburg Zoo. This annual publication from the Endangered Wildlife Trust has become an important reference work in the field of environmental conservation literature in southern Africa. The Trust itself has been dedicated to the conservation of species and ecosystems for 32 years. Click here to read more and order your request.
EWT members R250.00 including vat
Non- members R299.00 including vat
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New Atlas of the Birds of Central Mozambique, now available
The EWT is pleased to announce the recent completion of the Atlas of the Birds of Central Mozambique, as follow up to the Atlas of the Birds of Southern Mozambique produced in 1999. The first Atlas comprised research and distribution data for the birds of southern Mozambique (Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane provinces) and this second Atlas covers the birds found specifically in the Manica, Sofala and Tete provinces of central Mozambique.

Mozambique is, ornithologically speaking, the most poorly known part of southern Africa. The Southern African Bird Atlas Project brought about a huge advance in knowledge of bird distributions, but excluded Mozambique because of the civil war raging at the time. This project therefore aims to advance the knowledge of bird distributions and population sizes in Mozambique to at least the same level as the rest of southern Africa.

The Atlas was produced by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Avian Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town after 2 years of intensive field research by renowned ornithologist Vincent Parker and comprises over 300 pages of distribution data, maps and related information. Sponsorship for the project was received from Sasol, Conservation International, The Royal Netherlands Embassy in South Africa, Office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, Rufford Small Grants, BP Mozambique, Mustek Computers and Daimler Chrysler South Africa.

Copies of the Atlas can be obtained from Penny Buthelezi at the Endangered Wildlife Trust on 011 486 1102 or via pennyb@ewt.org.za

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