ഀ ഀ ഀ Chitter Chatter Newsletter - June 2018 ഀ ഀ ഀ ഀ ഀ
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MWITU’S MEMO

ഀ Welcome to our latest issue of ChitterChatter! We hopeഀ you enjoy reading all the latest updates from the rest of myഀ pack. As always, we love to hear from you, so if there’sഀ something you’d like to hear more about, please feel free toഀ drop me a line at mwitu@ewt.org.za and let meഀ know.
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ഀ We’re particularly proud of three EWTers, Thabo Mdlalaഀ (African Crane Conservation Programme Field Officer), Samsonഀ Phakathi (Threatened Grassland Species Programme Fieldഀ Officer) and Cherise Acker (Threatened Amphibian Programmeഀ Field Officer), who were recently featured in the Sundayഀ Tribune as part of a series on Saving KZN. The trio went onഀ to win Environmental Change Maker awards at the inauguralഀ Sunday Tribune 'Amaqhawe' Awards – well done to all three ofഀ our green heroes!
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ഀ It is always wonderful to see our pack members beingഀ recognised for making a difference. You can easily make aഀ difference too, and help us with our critical conservationഀ work , where it’s needed the most. You can vote for us to winഀ a share of R1 million, simply by visiting www.vote4charity.co.za . Forഀ every vote received, MySchool will donate R5 on your behalf.ഀ Voting runs until 18 June 2018, so please share and encourageഀ your friends and family to vote too! Registeredഀ MySchoolMyVillageMyPlanet cardholders get one vote each. Noഀ card? New supporters can sign up instantly online. No card setup feesഀ will be charged for any new cards issued during thisഀ campaign. It only takes a moment, but your support can make aഀ huge difference to the work we do.
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ഀ ‘Til next time
ഀ Mwitu


A WORD FROM THE CEO

ഀ In South Africa, we are all too familiar with the discourseഀ around equality. Or inequality. When living in one of theഀ most unequal nations on Earth, the concept of equality is aഀ standard feature in most political grandstanding,ഀ philosophical introspection, socio-economic debate and theഀ discourse of civil rights movements. And yet the MOSTഀ staggering facts around the REAL inequality that is shapingഀ our world, ruining millions of lives every day,  andഀ which may potentially destroy us all, appear to go unnoticedഀ – and unaddressed - by politicians, academics and rightsഀ campaigners globally. 

ഀ The Weizmann Institute of Science recently published researchഀ that shows that the world’s 7.6 billion human beings, whilstഀ being by far the most prolific species on the planet, onlyഀ comprise around 0.01% of the biomass of the planet on whichഀ all live, meaning that we represent only 0.01% of all life onഀ our planet! Furthermore, this 0.01% has caused the loss ofഀ 83% of all wild mammals and half of the plants that onceഀ occurred naturally on Earth, while we have massively andഀ disproportionately increased the numbers of livestock –ഀ simply to feed the voracious appetites of the most abundantഀ species on the planet!

ഀ The research goes on to indicate that humans are displacingഀ wild animals and plants with those that are cheaper andഀ easier for us to eat, at alarming rates. Today, farmedഀ poultry comprises 70% of all birds on the planet, with onlyഀ 30% of birds being wild. A staggering 60% of all mammals onഀ Earth are livestock, (cattle and pigs), and wild animals formഀ only 4% of mammalian life on Earth. Despite human beingsഀ making up only 0.01% of the planet’s biomass, in terms ofഀ sheer numbers, we make up around 36% of all mammals found onഀ Earth.

ഀ We are by far the most successful species on the planet andഀ we keep finding ways to become more successful – if speciesഀ proliferation is the key measure of success. Yet tragically,ഀ this is coming at the expense of most other forms of life onഀ Earth. If inequality between humans is a major source ofഀ societal instability then how can the disproportionateഀ ongoing growth of the human population and our staggeringഀ distortion and destruction of the planet’s natural resourcesഀ not be recognised as the single greatest threat to our ownഀ survival? Ironically, it is almost a political imperative theseഀ days to highlight and demands redress for the inequalityഀ between people; yet likewise, it is politically taboo to evenഀ contemplate that the unequal use and abuse of almost allഀ other species by our own species, is just as serious.ഀ Serious, not for the sake of those species who get driven toഀ extinction every day in the name of ‘development’ orഀ ‘utilisation’, but serious because of what it may mean forഀ all humans on a day not too far into the future. Homo sapiensഀ may in fact, become the one species that is able to breedഀ itself into extinction.
ഀ The EWT works to save those 4% of the wild mammals that areഀ left, and the 30% of our wild birds that remain. We do thisഀ for the wild ones and we do this for you.ഀ We do this because we know that only balance can keep us allഀ flourishing and because we know that we need them,ഀ more than they need us.

ഀ Support the EWT today. Visit www.ewt.org.za for more.

ഀ Yolan
yolanf@ewt.org.za

 

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PROJECT NEWS

Tackling the problem ofഀ snaring
Oldrichഀ van Schalkwyk, Manager, Soutpansberg Protected Area
oldrichvs@ewt.org.za

ഀ The EWT’s is committed to protecting wildlife, while at theഀ same time assisting neighbouring communities in minimisingഀ livestock losses in the Soutpansberg Protected Area (SPA). Weഀ therefore recently , volunteered the services of the Medikeഀ Nature Reserve’s anti-poaching unit to sweep the neighbouringഀ Ndouvhada Communal land for snares. After meticulouslyഀ covering about 50 hectares outside the reserve’s southernഀ boundary, the SPA rangers removed 56 active snares.ഀ Unfortunately, they also found the lost breeding bull of aഀ community cattle farmer, killed by a poacher’s snares, asഀ well as a snared Vervet Monkey. Fortunately, no snares wereഀ found during patrols on Medike Nature Reserve during thisഀ period.

ഀ The team is also assisting the Primate and Predator Projectഀ (PPP) from Durham University, UK, based on Luvhondo Privateഀ Nature Reserve, to try and capture a snared female Leopard,ഀ whose territory stretches over the neighbouring farms ofഀ Ottoshoek and Ottosdal. The snare was most likely picked upഀ on Ottosdal, where a number of snaring cases has beenഀ reported by PPP researchers. Four bomas were set up, eachഀ with a foot-loop capture system, as this is a more humane wayഀ of capturing large predators than the use of box traps.

ഀ Currently the traps are kept closed until the snared femaleഀ is sighted via scout cameras at the bomas. This is to avoidഀ capturing non-target animals. This proved to be a goodഀ strategy as a male Leopard went into one of the bomas threeഀ times on the first night!

ഀ Known as Tokoloshe, the snared Leopard is a five-year-oldഀ territorial female on the only commercial farm, Ottosdal, onഀ top of the far western Soutpansberg. She was lastഀ photographed on 9 May 2018, this time in a remote, almostഀ inaccessible, area of Ottoshoek (east of Ottosdal). She wasഀ still wearing the snare but it seemed to have loosened a bit,ഀ giving us hope that there is still time to save her. We haveഀ placed more trail cameras around the area where she was seenഀ last and if seen again here, will place capture bomas in thisഀ remote area. We are also working to get some hounds that canഀ tree her for darting, as an alternative to the bomas. Weഀ continue to persevere in hope that she can still be helped.ഀ Once caught, the snare will be removed and the Leopard willഀ be given the necessary medical attention to best ensure herഀ survival.

Thisഀ work is made possible by Rainforest Trust, who is funding theഀ SPA’s anti-poaching unit, and the Roberts family inഀ Australia, who donated the funds to purchase the EWT’s firstഀ protected area in the Soutpansberg, from where the SPA teamഀ currently operates.

 

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Patron Supporters
ഀ (R250,000 and above per annum)

 

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Departmentഀ of Environmental Affairs, Natural Resource Managementഀ Programme

 

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Dohmenഀ Family Foundation

 

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Elizabethഀ Wakeman Henderson Charitable Foundation

 

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Leisureഀ Charitable Trust

 

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Protectingഀ the last free-roaming Wild Dogs in South Africa

Derek vanഀ der Merwe, Limpopo Regional Co-ordinator, Carnivore Conservationഀ Programme
derekv@ewt.org.za

ഀ The Waterberg is the last remaining area in South Africa that stillഀ has free-roaming Wild Dogs. This means that they were notഀ reintroduced and did not escape from any fenced reserves, butഀ rather, they occur naturally outside of fenced reserves. In other words,ഀ these are the only Wild Dogs with no boundaries enforced upon them.ഀ With the increase in the price of game animals over the lastഀ decade, conflict between carnivores and farmers over the killing ofഀ game is a reality in the Waterberg region. There have been someഀ cases where Endangered species such as Wild Dogs have been directlyഀ persecuted through the use of poisons, and organised hunts, andഀ some have even been deliberately run over on our roads. In anഀ effort to safeguard this last free-roaming pack,  the EWT’sഀ Carnivore Conservation Programme was recently able to collar two ofഀ the dogs near Melkrivier in the Waterberg.....READ MORE
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Reapingഀ the rewards of eco-friendly projects

Zethuഀ Sibiya, Environmental Education & Urban Conservation Projectഀ Officer, Urban Conservation Project
zethus@ewt.org.za

ഀ The WESSA Eco-Schools in Hammanskraal, supported by the EWT andഀ Bakwena N1N4 Toll Concessionaire, are moving full steam ahead inഀ the implementation of various action projects to improve theirഀ school environments, and to give back to nearby communities. Actionഀ projects selected by the schools include growing food gardens toഀ contribute to school feeding schemes or for additional income forഀ the schools; recycling initiatives, using EcoBricks to constructഀ much-needed infrastructure such as benches and walls around theirഀ veggie gardens; and water and electricity saving activities.

ഀ One of our schools, Phelang LSEN, which is a school for learnersഀ with special needs, was very excited to share the news of theirഀ first harvest of the year! The veggies harvested from the foodഀ garden are measured and documented so that we can monitor how muchഀ money they are saving by growing their own veggies, which they useഀ for the schools feeding scheme. We are very proud of them! Watchഀ this space for news from our other schools.

Thanks toഀ Bakwena N1N4 Toll Concessionaire for their support of this work.
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Showcasingഀ the work of the Drylands Conservation Programme

Estherഀ Matthew, Specialist Conservation Officer, and Cobus Theron,ഀ Manager, Drylands Conservation Programme
estherm@ewt.org.za and cobust@ewt.org.za

ഀ The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme (DCP) entered the Zoologische Gesellschaftഀ für Arten- und Populationsschutz (ZGAP) 2018 CLIP Awardഀ competition on 8 April 2018. The video clip showcases our work withഀ the focus on Jessie, our scent detection dog.  The DCP teamഀ also included German captions in the clip to keep the Germanഀ audience engaged, and incorporated highlights of the past 20 yearsഀ in which ZGAP has been sponsoring our work. This is one of the mostഀ long-standing sponsorships of any EWT programme. The DCP video wasഀ selected for the second prize as voted for by 134 ZGAPഀ members.  The €1,000 prize money will be used to expand ourഀ Riverine Rabbit conservation initiatives. We would like to thankഀ ZGAP for their ongoing support, particularly for our most innovativeഀ concepts.
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The newestഀ member of the Wild Dog metapopulation family

Cole duഀ Plessis, KZN Regional Co-ordinator, Carnivore Conservationഀ Programme
coled@ewt.org.za

ഀ Maremani Nature Reserve, which lies at the northern tip of Limpopoഀ and borders Zimbabwe, has recently become the latest reserve toഀ join the Wild Dog Metapopulation, offering safe space to the mostഀ Endangered carnivore in South Africa. The reserve has plentifulഀ game and 40,000 hectares of safe space where the Wild Dogs canഀ thrive in an area made up of tropical savannah.

ഀ Although Maremani Nature Reserve has only just received their firstഀ pack of Wild Dogs, they had already been supporting a group of fourഀ male Wild Dogs that had been threatened with persecution inഀ northern KwaZulu-Natal and had nowhere else to go. Rieker Botha,ഀ manager of Maremani Nature Reserve, was kind enough to convert hisഀ elephant boma into a Wild Dog boma and offer these four importantഀ males refuge.....READ MORE
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Changingഀ perspectives

Jibaഀ Magwaza, Junior Field Officer, Threatened Amphibian Programme
jibam@ewt.org.za

ഀ Winter is almost upon us, and it is time for our frogs toഀ hibernate. While most amphibians hibernate during this season, someഀ of our amazing frogs are still calling and active in field. Theഀ Striped Stream Frog and the Common River Frog are two species ofഀ frogs that remain active all year round and can be heard callingഀ throughout the cooler months. These two special frogs are much moreഀ tolerant of the cold and can breed in all seasons. The EWT’sഀ Threatened Amphibian Programme (TAP) has also continued to work onഀ exciting projects into autumn. We have been engaging local schoolsഀ in Isipingo, Durban, to gauge knowledge on wetland habitats andഀ overcome fears about frogs....READ MORE 
 
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Celebratingഀ World Fish Migration Day

JP le Roux,ഀ Aquatic Conservationist, Source to Sea Programme
jeanpierrel@ewt.org.za

ഀ World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) is a one-day global celebration toഀ create awareness around the importance of open rivers and migratoryഀ fish and in 2018 it was celebrated on 21 April, with the theme of Connecting fish, riversഀ and people.....
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Thanks toഀ Elizabeth Wakeman Henderson Charitable Foundation for their supportഀ of this work.

 

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Solvingഀ the riddle of the Riverine Rabbit

Estherഀ Matthew, Specialist Conservation Officer, Drylands Conservationഀ Programme
estherm@ewt.org.za

ഀ The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme recently launched aഀ Riverine Rabbit awareness campaign on social media, called theഀ Riddle of the Riverine Rabbit. The purpose of the campaign was toഀ create interest in this fascinating species and to answer some of theഀ questions that the public might have regarding these elusiveഀ creatures. We started the campaign by sending out teasers about theഀ impact of a “small but significant thing going missing”, followedഀ by riddle cards with questions and answers about Riverine Rabbits.ഀ Fourteen questions were posed and answered about the species’ഀ distribution, diet, threats, identification, and more. The socialഀ media campaign created a lot of interest with approximately 40,000ഀ people reached through Facebook and Instagram. We would like toഀ thank Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, the Riverine Rabbit Retreat and theഀ Rooi Granaat Guesthouse for sponsoring amazing Karoo accommodationഀ prizes for the campaign, and Artifact Advertising for developingഀ the campaign at no charge.

ഀ Although the competition is now closed, you can still SMS RABBIT toഀ 31913 to donate R15 to help save these special rabbits.
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EVENTS


Country Clubഀ Johannesburg Talk


Turningഀ back the clock for Cheetahs in southern Africa – Country Clubഀ Johannesburg talk
ഀ Date: 12 June 2018
ഀ Speaker: Vincent van der Merwe

Killing Meഀ Softly: Captive Lions in SA – EWTea and Talk
ഀ Date: 22 June 2018
ഀ Speaker: Dr Kelly Marnewick
ഀ Venue: Nestle Environmental Education Centre, Walter Sisuluഀ Botanical Gardens
ഀ Time: 09:30 for 10:00
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Untouchable?ഀ Transnational criminal network and southern African poaching crisisഀ – Country Club Johannesburg talk
ഀ Date: 3 July 2018
ഀ Speaker: Julian Rademeyer
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Raptor Research Foundation 2018 Annual Conference –ഀ South Africa
ഀ 12-16 November 2018
ഀ Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa
ഀ The 2018 Raptor Research Foundation conference will be hosted atഀ the Nombulo Mdluli Conference Centre located in the Skukuza Restഀ Camp of the world-famous Kruger National Park, South Africa. Apartഀ from being home to the Big Five and a host of other iconic Africanഀ mammal species, the park is also renowned for its avian diversityഀ with more than 550 species having been recorded there. The listഀ includes 43 diurnal raptor, eight vulture and 10 owl species, manyഀ of which occur in substantial populations.
ഀ The conference will be co-hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trustഀ and BirdLife South Africa.
ഀ Deadline for submission of symposium proposals:  30 April
ഀ Deadline for abstract submission:  31 July

ഀ For information on the conference and to register, go to:
https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/293968/637236/

ഀ Participants are strongly urged to register, obtain lodging, andഀ make travel arrangements as early as possible.

Come andഀ experience the magic that is Africa and its fantastic range ofഀ raptors in November 2018!
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Online Store

Visit ourഀ e-store at www.ewtshop.co.za

 

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SUPPORTERഀ NEWS

 

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Timeless Africa Safaris,ഀ proud supporters of the Endangered Wildlife Trust


ഀ As luxury travel specialists, the team at Timeless Africa Safarisഀ is passionate about the unique beauty and wonder of the Africanഀ continent. Our goal is to share our knowledge and love of Africaഀ with our guests by arranging bespoke travel experiences that offerഀ an intimate and unforgettable taste of African hospitality,ഀ wildlife and beauty.

ഀ We focus on creating personalised itineraries based on the uniqueഀ interests of each guest or group and delivering once-in-a-lifetimeഀ journeys that are carefully considered and perfectly planned. Forഀ many, Africa is a bucket-list destination that they have longഀ dreamed of and our guests return home with lifelong memories, oftenഀ transformed by their close encounters with the natural wonders ofഀ Africa.

ഀ As heartfelt proponents of conservation, we believe that each andഀ every one of us is a custodian of nature in all its forms and weഀ share this philosophy with discerning guests from all over theഀ world. We support the Endangered Wildlife Trust by purchasing andഀ gifting a rhino bracelet to each of our guests. We use the braceletഀ to draw attention to plight of the rhino, as well as the wonderfulഀ work the Trust does to help prevent the extinction of one of theഀ world’s most beautiful and endangered species. We are completelyഀ dedicated to assisting in any way we can to safeguard the preciousഀ natural heritage of Africa entrusted to us by future generations.
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Donating is now as easyഀ as snapping your fingers… or your phone! 


ഀ Supporters can now donate to the EWT quickly and safely, usingഀ SnapScan. All you need to do is:

  1. Download theഀ SnapScan application on your smartphone
  2. Register with yourഀ details – this should take no more than a few minutes
  3. Scan our EWTഀ barcode to make your donation in the amount of your choice (beഀ sure to choose donation rather than e-shop from the dropdownഀ menu) – you’ll be asked to enter your PIN so you know theഀ transaction is secure

It’s as easyഀ as one-two-three! Once you’ve made your donation via SnapScan,ഀ you’ll get an SMS confirming the transaction, and the EWT will beഀ notified via SMS too. Supporting Conservation in Action couldn’t beഀ simpler.

ഀ No SnapScan? No problem! Simply SMS ‘SAVE’ to 31913 to donate R15,ഀ once-off, or SMS ‘EWT’ to 31913 to make a monthly donation of R15.ഀ Protecting forever, together.
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Everyഀ swipe counts!


ഀ Did you know that you can support the EWT through the MyPlanetഀ programme? The MyPlanet fundraising programme was launched as anഀ extension of MySchool to provide community-minded people likeഀ yourself the opportunity to support a worthy cause, such as the EWT,ഀ that is focused on the improvement and protection of theഀ 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. Thenഀ swipe your card at partner stores when you shop, and they willഀ donate a percentage of your purchases on your behalf.

  • If you don't have aഀ MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card yet, simply apply for yourഀ free card now and select the EWT as your beneficiary. Once youഀ start swiping your card, we’ll start receiving funds.
  • If you already haveഀ a MySchool card, but would like to change your beneficiary orഀ add a charity, simply call the Client Service Centre on 0860ഀ 100 445 or email cs@myschool.co.za – there isഀ no need to get a new card!

Find outഀ more by visiting http://www.myschool.co.za/schools/myplanet
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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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ഀ Endangered Wildlife Trust · Ardeer road, Building k2 · Pinelands Officeഀ Park · Johannesburg, Gp 1645 · South Africa

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