Volume 25 January 2009
ED's Note

I can't help feeling surprised that the end of January is already here. I was still thinking to write about new year's resolutions and now I'm faced with World Wetlands Day (2 Feb) and Valentine's Day (14 Feb) being of somewhat more immediate concern. Before you wonder if I've totally lost it, there is a connection between the two. Just recently I listened to Lee Benny of Talk Radio 702 chat about what she does to determine how 'green' her date is. If he rocked up in a 4x4 guzzler ... well, I would reckon that's way down on the 'I'm environmentally conscious' list. Now, being more 'green' in your social life does not mean you have to spend every date in the bush roughing it. Something as simple as a walk in the park with a picnic instead of a glitter night out on the town, is already more environmentally friendly.

So here's my challenge this month. How 'green' can you be? World Wetlands Day asks that we spend time cleaning up our local rivers and streams. Why not combine it with a day spent with your loved ones? You'll be honoring both the love of the environment and the love shared with that someone special. - The Editor

Life changing experience

Three of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Rural Eco-Warriors (REWS) recently returned back from a life changing tour of India. The REWs participated in the Tata Jagriti Yatra ‘08 (TJY) tour of India. The journey was conducted by train which took 350 of India’s most highly motivated youth (with some participation of international students) between the ages of 18 and 25 on an eighteen day national odyssey where they were introduced to many of India’s unsung heroes. The aim of Tata Jagriti Yatra ‘08 was to awakening the spirit of entrepreneurship, (both social and economic) within Indian and international youth by exposing them to individuals and institutions that have and who are developing unique solutions to some of India’s challenges.

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Written by Samson Phakathi

Bearded vulture chicks fledge and are tracked by satellite

The two Bearded Vulture nestlings fitted with satellite transmitters towards the end of November 2008 have since fledged and are doing well. KZN Wildlife and the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Project in Lesotho are running a competition amongst local primary schools to name these birds. The competition will start as soon as schools re-open for the new year and appropriate names will be chosen from the entries received by the end of February. In the interim, the birds have been named “87” and “88”.

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Written by Sonja Krüger

Upstream-Downstream: Wetlands connect us all

Every year on the 2nd of February, the world celebrates World Wetlands Day in commemoration of the day when the Convention on Wetlands was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. Each year on World Wetlands Day, government environmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, and concerned individuals take part in activities aimed at raising public awareness on the value and functions of wetlands.

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Written by Osiman Mabhachi

Eco News
2009: The Year of the Gorilla announced for Africa

The United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, along with the support of the Jane Goodall Institute have declared 2009 the Year of the Gorilla (YoG). The campaign seeks to conserve gorillas and their environment, while bringing development and jobs to local communities that live near the gorillas.

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Written by Anne Medeiros

Nocturnal Niceties by Megan Emmett

Where: Country Club JHB, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
When: 10 February
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Dress: Smart Casual
Cost: R 40.00 talk only for CCJ/EWT members, R 45.00 for non-members (R 138 incl. dinner for CCJ/EWT members, R 143.00 for non-members)

Megan Emmett, founder of the newly established African Resource, will take us on a 'virtual game drive' to expose the lives and interesting behaviour of nocturnal creatures.

RSVP: 6 February 2009 - click here events@ewt.org.za to contact Jo-anne Schermeier or phone on (011) 486 1102

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Bike4Beasts 65km Mountain Bike Challenge

Where: De Beers Venitia Limpopo Nature Reserve, Limpopo
When: 26 April 2009
Time: 06:00
Dress: Casual and bike gear
Cost: R 210.00 per person

Join us on this exciting and adrenaline-filled cross-country MTB Challenge in the 33 000 hectare De Beers Venitia Limpopo Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to a wonderful diversity of plant and animal life including Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Black and White Rhino and the Endangered African Wild Dog.

RSVP: 20 March 2009 - contact Wendy Collinson on 083 657 1551

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Eco Facts
6 Green New Year's Resolutions that will help us in our conservation efforts.

6 New Year Resolutions to Help Conservation in 2009

  1. Give more than you take. Value is the name of the game and like the baker's dozen, add value in what you do with the environment. Plant a tree, an indigenous garden or organise a community clean up in your area - You too can support the EWT pay off line 'Conservation in Action'
  2. Pull the plug. Switch electrical appliances off at the wall, rather than leave them on standby. If everybody took this simple step, we'd make an annual saving in carbon dioxide equivalent to 1.4 million long-haul flights.
  3. Friendly flushing. Avoid wasting water by reducing the amount of water your toilet uses. Fill a plastic bottle with water, seal it, and then place it in your cistern. The toilet will still flush effectively but will use much less water. Conserving water helps to preserve wetland habitats and rivers that are vitally important for wildlife.
  4. Spend an hour a day learning and save time. Invest in a smart phone and read great conservation blogs via a mobile Google Reader while you're waiting for a meeting to start. Or make an online donation to fund our work. We couldn't do what we do without your generous support. Thanks.
  5. Support the EWT by spreading the word. Buy an EWT membership as a gift for someone in the family or a friend this year or get them to subscribe to the EWTalk online newsletter on https://www.ewt.org.za/news_subscribe.aspx
  6. The gifts that keep on giving: If you have unwanted gifts from Christmas and you can't exchange them, don't throw them away or store them at the back of the cupboard - donate them to the EWT who can use them at Head Office or in the field offices around SA.

Support the conservation of our natural heritage by buying various EWT products on offer, or by donating towards much needed larger items. Every little donation helps to ensure that the ground-breaking work done by EWT is effective, while continuing to highlight the threats that our endangered wildlife face everyday.

  • Hand Drill to use for maintenance around the EWT Office
  • Office Desks and Chairs
  • Credenza Draws for use in the offices
  • Digital video camera to capture work in the field
  • Weed Eater and other gardening tools to keep the lawns at the EWT Head Office Maintained

Please contact Leighanne Imbert on 011 486 1102 or email wishlist@ewt.org.za to organise for deliveries, and collections where necessary.

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Giant Turtle Cushion

The Giant Leatherback Turtle Cushion becomes every childs favourite Endangered Specie when they cuddle up to him to watch TV, sit on him or sleep with him at night!

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 275.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 285.00 (Incl. Vat)

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DVDs galore

EWT stocks an amazing selection of DVDs that are educational and inspiring. You can't go wrong with any of the stunning titles from National Geographic, Guy Gibbons and more.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : From R 75.50 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : From R 85.50 (Incl. Vat)

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The Vision Annual

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 35 years. The sixteenth edition of Vision was launched on 26 November 2008.

Unit Price : including postage and packaging

  • Members : R 250.00 (Incl. Vat)
  • Non-Members : R 299.00 (Incl. Vat)

Click here to read more.

Update your Details: If you have moved home or jobs, please remember to update your details with the EWT so you can continue to receive invitations to events and information on the work we do - click the link to update now - http://www.ewt.org.za/memberships_update.aspx