Issue 51: Oct - Dec 2013
  • Happy Birthday to the EWT!!
  • Citizen Science assisting the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme.
  • Farmers and conservationists join forces to save Riverine Rabbits.
  • Spotting Dugong!
  • A few hundred chubbyheads and sixty sandfish plus spawn.
  • Wild Dog Diaries – The Intrigues of Dispersal.
  • The EWT at the Sunday Tribune Garden Show.
  • Digging for Golden Moles.
  • Where Rare Rabbits Roam.
  • Rush hour traffic – Limpopo style!
  In other EWT news

Celebrating 40 years of Conservation in Action!

For further contact us on or speak to our Communications Manager, Nomonde Mxhalisa, on

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Elizabeth Wakeman Henderson Charitable Foundation

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Help Save our Wildlife

Rhino Poaching Hotline:
082 404 2128

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0860 111 535

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Adorable, fluffy Christmas gifts!
Share a little festive season cheer this December by purchasing our adorable Cheetah, Rhino and Wild Dog fluffies! eshop

Clive Walker’s Baobab Trails
Clive Walker has changed the face of conservation in South Africa and devoted his life to the preservation of our wildlife and natural heritage. Baobab Trails is the story of his journey, spanning more than forty years, told through his experiences with some extraordinary and remarkable personalities.

Clive’s contact with baobab trees and their presence, combined with his desire to retrace his steps, as well as record and capture these remarkable trees, their size, human history and his own adventures upon first encountering them, means that these remarkable trees are woven into his autobiography, with the skilful assistance of Sally Antrobus. Clive’s journey covers a large spectrum of the southern African landscape – an amazing 45 000 km – and identifies and records forty trees through photos and art. For Clive Walker, these forty trees represent the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.



In the past few weeks, the media have flooded us with horrific stories of what some human beings are capable of doing to animals. The increasing scourge of dog fighting (for ‘sport’ and gambling) in this country is beyond comprehension to most civilised people, and yet it thrives in South Africa, with syndicates not only breeding and keeping fighting dogs in the most appalling conditions, but breeding and stealing puppies and pets for bait dogs - to keep their fighting dogs blood thirsty, ‘fit’ and ready to kill. The equally incomprehensible cruelty that is involved in the butchering of our rhino for their horns, and other body parts, is equally shocking and brings tears to our eyes and horror to our souls. We cannot fathom how those involved with wildlife trafficking can steal infant primates from the clutches of their mothers (often killing their mothers), rip chicks form nests and lay traps for reptiles, only to make a quick sale on the illicit pet market. The ongoing enslaving of predators in cages for hunting and bone trade makes our blood run cold. The agonising deaths suffered by wildlife caught in gin traps, snares or poisoned, continues to haunt the minds of those whose lives are dedicated to bringing relief to these animals and reversing the plight of their species.

What, you may ask, do dog fighting and the pet trade or even canned hunting have to do with conservation? Surely the sustainability of wild populations of non-domestic species is our only concern? The conservation sector is notorious for steering clear of ‘bunny huggers’ so why should we care about Pit Bulls and staffies killing each other for a bet?

Mahatma Ghandi said that you judge a nation by how it treats its animals and frankly, if society cannot care for the animals that are bred to serve us, that we see and touch every day, that share our lives and that depend on us for their every need, then how will we begin to teach society about caring for species in the wild that they may never see, touch, feel or smell. If we are not responsible, and have no compassion for the needs of the most vulnerable in society, and treat the lives of those at risk as expendable, how will we build a society that respects the common good and treats our planet and Mother Nature with due regard and care? Why will the extinction of the Dugong matter to those who view lions as disposable when they reach a target size?

Research coming out of China indicates that the animal welfare movement may provide some solutions to the war on poaching in that some Chinese communities are concerned with being associated with the gruesome butchering of animals for their body parts and do not like the global stigma that this brings. The alleged reduction in bear baiting, for example, is rumoured to be coming about as a result of social networks and the youth calling for bans to this ‘embarrassing’ practice. Perhaps it is time to approach these seemingly divergent social causes (animal welfare, conservation, social development etc) and to consider the collective need for us all to build a society that is ethical, responsible, caring and just, regardless of whether the animal is a food source, a domestic pet, a wild animal you may never see or touch, or a concept, in the form the natural systems we no longer see for the buildings and roads that have replaced them.

We cannot afford to choose our cause anymore. The social sectors are all fighting to achieve the same ultimate goals. Our society is broken and something is very wrong when people resort to staging acts of untold violence on those who need our protection for sport. So for those who would never watch a dog fight, butcher a rhino or hunt a handraised lion: say something, stand up, make a noise, demand justice, write to the media, report the abuse, start a blog, rally your friends, call for harsher punishment. Because it is our society that is damaged and our nation that is being judged. And the verdict is not good for any of us. Save one puppy or protect the planet, in my opinion, they are all eventually linked.

As 2013 draws to a close, please support your local charities that are desperate for support at this time of the year and who do such incredible work to better our world. To my colleagues and associates, I am amazed daily by what you do for us all. Thank-you all for your support throughout the year.

Happy Holidays.

Yolan Friedmann



“Conservation. Why bother? Because every single living thing on the planet is connected, that’s why. The extinction of a species diminishes us all. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw - “the worst sin that we can commit toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to treat them with indifference”. Of course he was right but what to do about it? In the confines of a small cluttered office 40 years ago, a few motivated men agreed to take action. Thankfully, they were undeterred by the significant obstacles they faced as they persevered to address the “indifference towards our fellow creatures”. Over the years, the Endangered Wild Life Trust has grown and through the hard work of like-minded and dedicated people has made an enormous contribution to the conservation of wild life in South Africa. Its success bears testimony to the vision of these men. To all the good people of the EWT – Happy Birthday. Keep up your important work and may you continue to go from strength to strength.” – Vaughan de la Harpe, Kganya Insurance Adminstrators.

“Happy 40th Birthday EWT! The many successful EWT projects over the last 40 years remind us of the important role that we each have to play as individuals in striving for a healthy planet and an equitable world.” – Gladys Naylor, Mondi.

“On behalf of BirdLife South Africa’s Council, ExCo, staff, members and volunteers, I’d like to congratulate the EWT on its 40th anniversary. The EWT has done excellent conservation work during the past 40 years and continues to make massive contributions to the conservation of our country’s natural heritage. It has been a privilege for me to be personally involved in the EWT’s crane, vulture and raptor work. Here’s to another 40 years of conservation success.” – Mark D. Anderson, BirdLife South Africa.


The 20th Issue of the EWT’s Vision Annual!

The Vision was launched in 1994 and the inspiration for this annual, was, according to the EWT’s then Director Dr John Ledger, the vital need for “… an annual publication that would serve as an update on the state of the environment in Southern Africa … in order to heighten public awareness of the Trust’s holistic approach to environmental issues.” This 20th edition of the Vision annual commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the EWT and delivers a synopsis of the gains and losses for conservation over the past 40 years throughout the SADC region.

The book parallels the journey taken by the EWT from infant to established conservation icon, with the development of conservation technologies, environmental education, various key business sectors with an environmental impact, and individual countries as a whole, throughout the SADC region over the past forty years. This delivers a unique offering as nowhere else will you find a resource that delivers not only a detailed reflection of where we have come from as a region, but suggests the promise of a hopeful future that has come to define Vision. We are immensely proud of what the EWT has achieved with the Vision annual and we are delighted to wish you hours of reading pleasure and food for thought with what this special edition has to offer.

This 20th edition of the Vision would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and the Hans Hoheison Charitable Trust.


Citizen Science assisting the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme
By Wendy Collinson, Project Executant of the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme’s Roadkill Research and
Mitigation Project

Awareness of roads as a threat to wildlife has been highlighted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife & Transport Programme (EWT-WTP) through four road ecology workshops, held in 2012 and 2013, as well as a number of published media articles. Consequently, public concern over roadkill and its impacts on biodiversity has been raised, with many individuals keen to provide assistance with reducing this threat.... READ MORE LINK


Farmers and conservationists join forces to save Riverine Rabbits
By Bonnie Schuman, Senior Field Officer of the EWT’s Dryland’s Conservation Programme

Members of the Sak- and Krom River Conservancies recently joined forces with the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme (EWT-DCP) to ensure the survival of the Critically Endangered Riverine Rabbit Bunolagus monticularis. This partnership between landowners and conservationists was considerably strengthened during a Conservancies Workshop, hosted by the EWT-DCP, which is based in Loxton in the Nama Karoo... READ MORE LINK


Spotting Dugongs!
By Karen Allen, Project Executant of the EWT’s Dugong Emergency Protection

The Dugong Emergency Project’s pilot was unavailable in September and so we enlisted the support of the Bateleurs ( Flying over the brilliant blue waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago in search of Dugongs is considered an idyllic activity that indeed may interest many a pilot. In fact, many of the Bateleurs volunteer pilots were vying to assist the Dugong Emergency Protection Project with this mission in September.
However, only one lucky fellow was appointed for this job, and Brett Hill soon discovered the magnificent azure charms of Bazaruto’s bay. Accompanying the mission was Paul Dutton- conservationist and pioneer of Dugong surveys in the Bazaruto Archipelago as far back as 1981. Paul was involved in bringing about the expansion of the National Park in 2001. Thanks to the keen eyes of observer João Masani a total of 34 Dugongs were counted during 3 days. A big thank-you to the Bateleurs for their support! For any queries, please get in touch: To report Dugong sightings or gill nets, please text: 00258 84 2020704


Wild Dog Diaries – The Intrigues of Dispersal
By Brendan Whittington-Jones, the EWT’s Coordinator of the KZN Wild Dog Advisory Group, Carnivore Conservation Programme

Biologically it makes sense to move away from home at some point. Among other reasons, it results in the building of experience, the spreading of genes, and colonization or consolidation of new territory. It is however, rarely without risk. In a recent case in London, some venomous Brazilian Wandering Spiders hatched from the skin of imported bananas and caused consternation among the unsuspecting Londoners aiming for a snack. Admittedly these spiders couldn’t really be classed as dispersers since they just happened to hatch where their banana-châteaux had been relocated too, but such a move from resident territory did highlight some of the inherent risks of leaving resident range. The spiders were swiftly dispatched in a cloud of fumigation sponsored by the supermarket which sold the bananas...READ MORE LINK


A few hundred chubbyheads and sixty sandfish plus spawn – the CCR counts threatened fish
By Alwyn Lubbe, Field Officer for the Cape Critical Rivers Project and Christy Bragg, Manager of the EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme

The Cape Critical Rivers (CCR) Project aims to integrate freshwater biodiversity conservation with water resource management in the Cape’s special Olifants-Doring and Breede-Tradouw catchments. The Olifants-Doring is the lifeblood in the heart of the South African fruit farming industry, and of significant conservation importance as its waters thrive with species - a remarkable 43 species of fish (approximately 10% of Southern African freshwater fish), of which 10 are endemic. Unfortunately, eight of these endemic species are listed as Threatened, primarily due to the spread of predatory invasive alien fish species. This threat is exacerbated by habitat loss due to the increasing demand for agricultural and domestic water use, and pollution... READ MORE LINK


The EWT at the Sunday Tribune Garden Show
By Dr Ian Little, Manager of the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme

From the 27th to the 29th of September the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme, in partnership with the Karkloof Conservancy, KwaZulu-Natal Crane Foundation and Shawswood Education Centre, represented the work of the EWT at the Sunday Tribune Garden Leisure Show.

The show was a fantastic experience which gave us a platform to share our conservation work. The exhibit represented the indigenous forests, grasslands and wetlands of the KwaZulu-Natal region and the necessity of caring for these three biomes as they ensure healthy water supply to all in the region.

The four organisations worked extremely well together to produce an exhibit that was both eye-catching and thought provoking. The Trust engaged with the many visitors who attended the show and who expressed their appreciation for nature and precious biodiversity.


Digging for Golden Moles - Using predictive models to focus conservation efforts of the elusive Golden Moles
By Chanel Rampartab, MSc Candidate from the University of Cape Town

The Endangered Wildlife Trust's Threatened Grassland Species Programme (EWT-TGSP) has launched a golden mole modelling study in the Mpumalanga Highveld grasslands in order to better conserve the species... READ MORE LINK

Where Rare Rabbits Roam [repeat quickly 10 times whilst drinking a glass of Graham Beck wine – specifically Chenin Blanc from the Game Reserve brand]
By Christy Bragg, Manager of the EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme

The Riverine Rabbit was discovered hiding out in the Touwsriver only 10 years ago. So for hundreds of years, there were little furry rabbits with their distinctive ‘smile’ (the black line on their chins) and furry brown paws hopping about practically in people’s back gardens in the southern Cape and nobody knew! Now we know that the rabbit is doing well in Sanbona, a private reserve near Montague; there is a population on the Bijstein Private Reserve; and there were even some new sightings on the Njalo Njalo Safari farm near Bijstein earlier this year; but there is still much to learn about this rare rabbit’s ramblings in the Southern Cape. Particularly as they occur in a different habitat, low-cover Renosterveld shrubland on top of mountains, as opposed to the typical riverine shrubland plains that the Northern Cape rabbits frequent! So the Drylands Conservation Programme decided it wanted to start some conservation actions in the southern Cape and decided to team up with Graham Beck Wine Estate to see if they could get some of the ideas (and wine) flowing... READ MORE LINK


The challenges of engaging rural and semi urban communities on sensitive environmental issues
By Samson Phakathi, Senior Field Officer of the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme,

Given the state of our planet and unsustainable development which continues to exacerbate wildlife destruction green lobbyists are even more at loggerheads with perpetrators of environmental crimes than ever before. The past few years have seen the bulk of the attention and resources directed to the fight against Rhino poaching with little emphasis on other species, many of which are in dire situations. The Oribi for example, a small, grasslands antelope, is being driven to extinction by illegal hunting with dogs and this charming species has received very little attention to date. ... READ MORE LINK

Rush hour traffic – Limpopo style!
By Wendy Collinson, Project Executant of the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme’s Roadkill Research and Mitigation Project

And so, I found myself in a position of ‘unexpectedness’ the other evening. With the sun just setting, and driving west on the tar road to visit a friend, I came across a large, old giraffe bull, ambling along the road. With the sun in my eyes, I had to squint, to establish whether he was really walking ‘down the road’ or whether he was on the National Park. I didn’t have too much time to think, as suddenly a bakkie appeared out of nowhere, speeding along the road, full-pelt towards the giraffe...READ MORE LINK


The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Morning Talk - Painted Wolf
Presented By Kelly Marnewick
When: 5th December 2013
Where: The Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Road Entrance, Old Elephant House
Time : 10am to 12noon
Entrance fee: R50, includes tea, coffee, biscuits and Zoo Entrance fee
Contact: Joel Thosago on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or at

The history of Cheetah Conservation
Presented by renowned Cheetah conservationist, Dr Gus Mills
When: Tuesday, 4th February 2014 at 19h00
Where: Country Club Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: R60 members, R85 non-members, dinner R130 per person
Contact: Debbie Thiart on 011 372 3600/1/2/3 or for more information


Limited edition Clive Walker prints
Clive Walker will be selling signed, limited edition prints of a gorgeous canvass he has painted to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the EWT. The prints will be selling for R1000 each and you can contact Debbie Thiart on to secure one of these gorgeous creations for yourself.


Piccoli Nursery gives the EWT’s sniffer dogs a R50 000 bonanza!
The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) Rhino Project would like to extend a big thank you to the children and teachers of Piccoli Nursery School for their donation of R50 000 towards the care and keeping of our sniffer dogs – Rico, Heddie, Condor and Renaldo.

Celebrate the Festive Season by gifting yourself and your loved ones with Relate bracelets
The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Relate’s collector’s range of beautifully beaded bracelets are now for sale. Three of the EWT wildlife bracelets – Cheetah, Wild Dog and Dugong - can be purchased from Tiger’s Eye stores like Indaba and Out Of Africa nationwide, and the EWT Rhino bracelet from selected CNA stores. To place your orders contact Relate at or the EWT at and our eshop

The EWT and Richard Du Toit 2013 Calendars
We are selling absolutely gorgeous 2014 portrait and landscape wildlife calendars. Please contact Debbie Thiart for further information on or visit

We would like to take this opportunity of welcoming our newest supporters to the Endangered Wildlife Trust and to thank them for their support
Piccoli Nursery School
Modderfontein Golf Club
PPC Sandton HO
Sharon Boonzaaier
Relate Trust
The AAWDC Interclub
Waterkloof Airforce Base

Head Office: Endangered Wildlife Trust, Private Bag X11, Modderfontein, Gauteng, 1645 (T) +27 11 3723600 (F) +27 11 6084682,

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