Welcome to 2018! I hope the year has gotten off to a good start for all our wonderful supporters – my pack at the EWT has certainly hit the ground running, and we’re excited to get a new year of conservation action underway. The news below is just a taste of what we’ve been up to, and I look forward to sharing more with you as the year progresses. I’d also love to hear from you – drop me a line at and let me know what you’d like to hear more of.
A new year often encourages us to be introspective and consider how we’d like to do things differently. At the EWT, we’re challenging each other to “Walk the Talk” and do our best to ensure that our actions in our daily lives are in line with the values of the organisation we love to work for. This includes doing things like saying no to plastic straws, or other single-use plastics, carpooling to work, having a recycling station at the office, reusing grey water, minimising travel to conferences and events, and so much more. We’re also hoping to introduce a range of eco-friendly products, such as glass straws and reusable bags, into our online shop soon, so watch this space! Do you have any resolutions to live a more eco-friendly life this year? Let us know what you have planned and how you’re doing with keeping those resolutions!
‘Til next time


At the end of 2017, as is tradition in the EWT, the ~95 staff members of the EWT convened for our annual Conservation Week, this time in the homely little town of Parys. The week is an opportunity for our team, which is normally spread across the vastness of our beautiful country and several of our neighbours, to share stories, knowledge and experiences; socialise and team build; and strategise for the year ahead. A favourite on the EWT calendar, the 2017 Week did not disappoint and great memories were made for everyone. Memories were also shared, and some of the most special moments of 2017 were captured by our numerous intrepid photographers and film-makers and compiled into a heart-warming, hilarious and inspirational video by Ian Little – a slightly sanitised version of which is available for our members and partners to enjoy watching here.

The nature of the EWT’s work is to be in the field, making a difference where it matters the most. As a result, video footage of spectacular landscapes and exhilarating wildlife often makes for jealous office staff, whose offices do not vaguely resemble pristine beaches, rolling hills or Big Five reserves. However, the tiny gems of wildlife that still exist in our urban environments are not be overlooked or cast aside. In Johannesburg, we are surrounded by millions of trees that are home to thousands of birds, insects, reptiles and small mammals. If you just open your eyes and ears, you will be astounded to see who shares out city with us!....READ MORE




Celebrating World Wetlands Day

Steven Segang, Highveld Community Projects Officer, African Crane Conservation Programme

World Wetlands Day, marked annually on 2 February, is an opportunity to celebrate a natural resource that is critical for people, the environment, and biodiversity. Wetlands come in all shapes and forms, from estuaries along our beautiful coastlines and high altitude inland wetlands within the grasslands of Mpumalanga, to the hard working wetlands within our urban landscapes. A great deal of our work at the EWT involves the protection, restoration, and management of wetlands and the catchments that feed them, and we celebrate World Wetlands Day accordingly....READ MORE

Strengthening partnerships to combat poaching with dogs

Catherine Hughes, Manager, Threatened Grassland Species Programme

Even though it has traditional cultural roots, the hunting of animals without a permit and using domestic dogs remains illegal. Over recent years, there has also been a shift from hunting with dogs for subsistence purposes to hunting for sport. In this case, hunters place bets on the dogs’ hunting success, and many wildlife species are harmed or killed, as are livestock. There may also be damage to property and security threats to private landowners and communities......READ MORE

Hunting dogs

What does the Red List revision mean for South African mammals?

Belinda Glenn, Marketing and Communications Manager

Last year, the EWT ran a very special campaign, sharing our Mammal of the Week on our website and social media every Thursday. The collection of assessments on which this campaign was based, the 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, has now been finalised in its entirety and can be accessed here. During this mammoth undertaking, 331 species, subspecies or subpopulations were assessed, and it was found that 17% are threatened with extinction, while 10% are near to being threatened.
To launch the final Mammal Red List, we created a short video, which encapsulates some of the good news and some of the worrying trends we unpacked while assessing the status of the mammals in our region.
We hope you enjoyed the Mammal of the Week campaign as much as we enjoyed sharing a small part of Africa’s extraordinary Mammal Kingdom with you.
The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland was funded via the South African National Biodiversity Institute (through a grant by the Norwegian Government that aims to build capacity in the southern Africa region for undertaking assessments), the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Department of Environmental Affairs, E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers Group of Companies.

Youthful crane conservation ambassadors win trip to Akagera National Park

Adalbert Aine-omucunguzi, East African Regional Manage, African Crane Conservation Programme

Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum) have declined by up to 80% over the last 25 years, and this is particularly evident across their stronghold in East Africa. One of the key objectives of the African Crane Conservation Programme is the stabilisation of the East African Grey Crowned Crane at key sites. One of these key sites in Rwanda is the Rugezi Marsh. Our programme in Rwanda is working towards securing and improving the ecological integrity of the marsh, and other key wetlands of importance where Grey Crowned Cranes live. This is done through various interventions, including public awareness, which has a school component. In September 2017, competitions were organised for students in participating schools to showcase Grey Crowned Crane conservation interventions that work well. The theme of the competition was "Conserving Grey Crowned Cranes through wetland protection" and the prize for the winners was a fully funded trip to Akagera National Park. Nine schools participated in the competition and GS Nkanga Secondary School emerged as the winners.....READ MORE


Patron Supporters
(R250,000 and above per annum)












Elizabeth Wakeman Henderson Charitable Foundation



























Facing fears

Dr Jeanne Tarrant, Manager, Threatened Amphibian Programme

The EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme is currently working with community members on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, with the aim of improving understanding of the value of selected wetlands across three areas within the Ilembe District Municipality, namely Nyoni, Groutville, and KwaDukuza. This work will develop local citizen science capacity and lead to the development of an Alien Invasive Plant Eradication plan for these areas. Local community members are integral to the work and have been contracted as citizen scientists who will monitor and report on the health of the wetlands.

It soon became apparent that the teams, especially those based in KwaDukuza, are afraid of snakes. Since the work makes it likely that they will encounter snakes at some point, the EWT requested Nick Evans, local snake expert, to conduct a snake awareness demonstration with all the teams, in the hope of putting some of these fears to rest. Although there were a few team members that were not responsive to the snakes, most of them were able to interact with the snakes after the demonstration. Thank you to Nick for providing this demonstration, and to the team members for their bravery in participating!

This work is in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in the Ilembe District Municipality.


Bravely overcoming fears


Safeguarding our Sungazers into 2018

Catherine Hughes, Manager, Threatened Grasslands Species Programme

In the April 2017 issue of the EWT’s Conservation Matters, we featured an article by one of our overseas collaborators, Fraser Gilchrist, who is based in Scotland and is a representative of the European Studbook Foundation. Fraser has a keen interest in reptiles, and Sungazers (Smaug giganteus) in particular. In February last year, Fraser paid a visit to the beautiful Highveld Grasslands of Mpumalanga and Free State with our Senior Field Officer, Bradley Gibbons.

The Sungazer, which only occurs in South Africa’s grasslands, faces ongoing threats from various types of land transformation, including mining and agriculture. The EWT works closely with a number of landowners in the Highveld Grasslands (our “Sungazer custodians”) to ensure that pristine areas are kept intact, as these are very important Sungazer habitat, and that appropriate grazing and veld-burning techniques are used to ensure grassland health to the benefit of these lizards and other species....READ MORE


Fraser obtaining data from the data loggers during his trip to South Africa in 2017


Go green for frogs this February!

Dr Jeanne Tarrant, Manager, Threatened Amphibian Programme

Leap Day for Frogs is South Africa’s flagship campaign for raising awareness about and celebrating frogs! These small creatures have been around since long before the dinosaurs came and went, but are now disappearing across the planet, including in South Africa. The EWT launched Leap Day for Frogs in 2013 to help bring the plight of frogs to the public across the country.

This year we’re calling on all schools to get involved and help us to make a difference. Take part in this year’s Leap Day on 28 February by dressing in green and donating R10 towards the conservation and protection of some of South Africa’s most endangered frog species…and have some fun in the process! Schools/organisations with the most participants stand to win a prize. Schools can register to participate here and can share their fabulous photos of the event afterwards on the Leap Day for Frogs Facebook page

Why February?
Frogs are famous for leaping across long distances – up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap! The South African Cape River Frog holds the world record for Frog Jump – the longest distance covered in three consecutive jumps – at 10.3 m. Not bad for a 5 cm frog! And of course, February leaps into March, skipping days 29, 30 and 31 except on Leap Years, which occur every four years, adding the 29th of February to the calendar. People born on this day are called “Leaplings.”

For more information please visit
or email Jeanne at

This work is made possible by Kloof Conservancy and Rand Merchant Bank



Country Club Johannesburg Talk

Who let the Dogs in? – Country Club Johannesburg Talk
Date: 6 February 2018
Speaker: Grant Beverley
Leap Day for Frogs
Date: 28 February
For more information visit

Climate-smart and water-efficient farming techniques in the strategic Marico catchment – Country Club Johannesburg Talk
Date: 6 March 2018
Speaker: Oscar Mohale and JP Le Roux
Golf and Giggles for a Good Cause
Save the date for the annual EWT golf day, with entertainment provided by a top South African comedian!
Date: 1 June 2018
Venue: Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club

More details to follow soon. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Frank Jackson at

Online Store

Valentine’s Day and t-shirt sale



Conserving our heritage one bracelet at a time

Trappers recently embarked on a new adventure with social enterprise, the Relate Trust and has launched their own cause bracelet in support of the EWT.

Sold through Trappers stores nationally for R50 each, proceeds of these beaded bracelets contribute directly towards the EWT to conserve and protect threatened species and ecosystems in southern Africa ­– our heritage. "Trappers and the EWT have a long established partnership based on an alignment of core values. As an outdoor lifestyle brand, Trappers respects nature and supports the EWT’s conservation efforts,” commented Vanessa Marx, Trappers: Marketing Manager.

Relate’s core philosophy rests on the concept that lots of small purchases add up to make a big difference. Locally made and proudly South African, all Relate products contribute not only to charitable causes (like the EWT), but the senior citizens who thread the bracelets, the young Relate production staff who are upskilled in their chosen future careers, and various enterprise development initiatives.

Neil Robinson, CEO of Relate Trust, adds, “It is hugely important to protect and preserve all life on this planet, and with partnerships like these, we are able to do so while creating employment and learning opportunities in the process.”

Buy something beautiful and make a difference

freeRange Jewels was started when a team of creative Capetonians, who are magpies when it comes to anything and everything jewellery, combined their passions for design and manufacturing technique into a quirky range of jewellery available to the discerning buyer. Having their own workshop allows various service offerings (aside from their creative product) such as custom design, remodelling from old jewels to new, and repairs, to name but a few. Their business name includes the term freeRange as it represents their philosophy and passion about being environmentally and eco-conscious.

Aside from their personal adoration of animals (amongst the team are six cats, two dogs and a parrot!) and our planet, they opted to support the EWT because of a belief for and respect in the organisation’s Vision and Mission. This brought on the question: ‘how can we contribute, even if with something small to start?’

freeRange Jewels creates awareness through two of their jewellery design ranges, specifically the Riverine Rabbit and African Honeybee ranges, and the proceeds from the sales of these jewellery ranges are donated to the EWT.


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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