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Tag: nature conservation

Sanccob – all in a day’s work

Sanccob – all in a day’s work

Have you ever heard an African penguins Spheniscus demersus call? Perhaps that is the reason they are know as Jackass penguins; their call sounds very similar to a donkey braying. Another important fact about these flightless aquatic birds is that they (like so many other species) are endangered. The cause of their decline is mainly due to low fish stocks from overfishing. Another threat to their colonies is oil spills. The main colonies which are dotted around the southern coast…

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The Giant Panda – least we forget

The Giant Panda – least we forget

What is happening to the giant panda? For my entire life the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has been on the endangered species list. I remember one of my teachers at high school mentioning that the giant panda was no longer endangered and that the population had increased. I also remember not believing him and having my doubts. Conservation regarding the Giant Panda has been overshadowed around the world with regards to climate change, plastic pollution, the Amazon forest on fire…

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West Coast National Park

West Coast National Park

Where is West Coast National Park? The West Coast National Park is found on the west coast of southern Africa. This national park of 40,000 ha was established in 1985 conserving the Langebaan Lagoon and surrounding landscapes, also including the islands in Saldanha Bay, and extends from Yzerfontein to Langebaan. It is located about two hours from the Cape Town CBD. It has a Mediterranean-type climate with cold, wet winters and hot dry summers, has an average rainfall of 265…

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Wildlife Tourism – when the show is over

Wildlife Tourism – when the show is over

When last did you see an animal performing tricks? Was it at a circus? Was it at an amusement park? Or was it at an animal sanctuary? Wildlife tourism attracts tourists to many different parts of the globe, and they pay large sums of money to see it. Unfortunately, some businesses neglect the animals, keep them in small cages and abuse them. Let’s take a closer look. What it’s all about Wildlife tourism is often promoted as an activity that…

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Rivers – the arteries of the earth

Rivers – the arteries of the earth

From raging rapids to small gurgling streams, rivers carry one of the essential resources of life; you guessed it – water. Rivers are not only important to humans but from the smallest of insects to the biggest of land mammals. Importance of Rivers Human Importance Rivers are significant to humans as they supply a range of uses about domestic, industrial, agriculture and recreation. Some examples of this include drinking, irrigation, washing and cleaning, aquaculture, power generation, fishing and boating. Ecological…

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The Lungs of the Earth are on Fire

The Lungs of the Earth are on Fire

What’s Happening in the Amazon Rainforest? The earth’s lungs are on fire; the Amazon rainforest is burning at a devastating rate. The Brazilian Amazon has undergone more than 74,000 fires this year, whereas last year’s total was around 40,000. Around 10,000 of the 2019 fires have started in the past couple of weeks. Some of these fires were started by farmers and loggers seeking to use Amazonian land for industrial or agricultural purposes. However, once the blazes start, hot temperatures…

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Table Bay Nature Reserve

Table Bay Nature Reserve

During my internship for my diploma in nature conservation, I was fortunate enough to be placed at a wetlands nature reserve called Table Bay Nature Reserve.  I was involved with bird counts, fish surveys, water quality tests, environmental education and it was an amazing year. Where is Table Bay Nature Reserve? Table Bay Nature Reserve falls within the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), the smallest yet most abundant of the world’s six floral kingdoms. It is found on West Coast of…

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Strandfontein Birding Area

Strandfontein Birding Area

What is the Strandfontein Birding Area? Bird watching at a sewage work? Really! Why would you voluntarily visit a notoriously smelly place to identify birds? I thought that the first time I heard about the Strandfontein Birding Area (SBA). However, people kept on recommending it and talking about the diversity of birds that were present.  While doing my B Tech degree in nature conservation, my lecturer suggested comparing the research I did at Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve with the results…

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Exploring the Jargon of Nature Conservation

Exploring the Jargon of Nature Conservation

This week I will be exploring the jargon of nature conservation. Isn’t it annoying when you’re reading an interesting article either on the news or National Geographic but the authors keep putting big complicated words or jargon in them?  The need to keep on having to look the words up is distracting from the article. Some of these words (that if we are really lazy just skip altogether and hope that it all make sense at the end) are quite…

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Wading birds and their declines

Wading birds and their declines

How important are water birds?  Are they necessary?  Do they serve a purpose? These are just some of the questions I asked myself when I started my research.  So today I will be talking about wading birds and their declines. I have been working on wading birds and their population trends which  looked at  Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. The trends I analyzed covered an average of thirty years. I thought I knew my bird species before doing this research, however…

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