Say no to plastics

Plastic free July. Can you do it?

All food establishments should allow customers to bring their on containers for takeaway or drinks. The pourers or buttons just need to have some flow measurer to automatically stop when the quantity is right. And servers need to know how many scoops of food are small, medium or large. It’s so doable.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-01/plastic-free-july-tackles-takeaway-food-container-problem/8666492?pfmredir=sm&sf94556575=1&smid=Page:%20ABC%20News-Facebook_Organic&WT.tsrc=Facebook_Organic

Why is large scale farming bad?

The following article shows again why an overpopulation of humans is terrible for our planet. 

It also shows how changing land use for farming actually impacts wildlife populations. They are talking about subsistence farming (people growing crops for themselves)! Even though it’s still typically a variety of vegetation and technically a green space, it’s still changed the wildlife dynamics. These large numbers of subsistence farms have overtaken the previously privately owned land that kept natural vegetation, because of land reforms.

By reducing the natural habitat, you take away areas of land that were the territories of several different species. They become homeless and may be lucky to wander off and fight another one of its kind for their territory but then one of them will still have to find a new one.  

Us humans affect all wildlife numbers and hence overpopulation is a bad, bad thing.

This is in Zimbabwe with subsistence farming and based on the change in law for land reforms, which is also affecting South Africa in recent years.
Now imagine the western world, where we don’t have much subsistence farming, instead we have massive supply and demand farming and enormous monoculture farms without even any variety to sustain the variety of wildlife that previously inhabited that land.

Us humans have truly made this world uninhabitable for so long. Don’t you think it’s time we changed?

http://theconversation.com/how-badly-implemented-land-reform-can-affect-wildlife-a-zimbabwean-case-study-79282

True green

Southern Africa is truly blessed to have over 300 species of birds. The variety of sizes, shapes, colours and lifestyles of these birds makes Africa such a wonderful place for people to fall in love with birding.

My favourite birds tend to be the most colourful ones like the rollers and bee-eaters. 

For some birds like the bee-eaters and starlings, the colour we see isn’t actually the colour of their feathers but through a trick of lighting called iridescence or due to the structure of the feathers with air cavities playing up that light refraction.

Down in the garden route of South Africa, we have the Knysna Turaco, picture above, similar in size to a Grey Go Away bird. This is one of few birds that have truly green feathers. 

During a recent trip to Knysna (before the recent horrific fires), I was fortunate enough to be able to observe so many of these birds.  

They are stunning and even more so when they take off and fly giving you a glimpse of the bright red underneath their wings!

Learning about birds in South Africa has truly made being out in the bush and on game drives that much more rewarding and breathtaking. 

The humble warthog

Most people associate warthogs with Pumba, the funny character from The Lion King. My first ever sighting of ones of these little creatures was at Kruger from a far distance and it was hidden behind fallen tree trunks and bushes so all I ccould see was grey and the tusks. But from where I sat without my glasses and it being my first safari, my first thought was: “Mini rhino!” 

Physically, the male warthog has four warts on his face whilst the female has two. It is thought that the males have more to protect them from the tusks during their dominance fights with other males.

During my studies, these little creatures have actually endeared themselves to me as I learnt about their social behaviour, which may be similar to the domestic farm pig. Of all the animals, the warthog is a romantic, a story I love to share whenever I am on a game drive taking guests!

The Human Wildlife Conflict 

Humans are the number 1 negative impact affecting the environment and the natural world.

We have the capacity and capability to also be the number 1 positive impact but as a species we have as yet failed to show that.

Elephants and baboons are possibly the next ones in the queue for their influence on the environment around them being the gardeners of Africa, changing the landscape, spreading seeds and creating/destroying habitats and feedfor different animals.

This article explains how we as humans are continuing the negative impact even as NGOs trying to do our bit to alleviate the pressure on local communities to turn to poaching or trying to uplift the levels of poverty.

‘If we stopped poaching tomorrow, elephants would still be in big trouble’

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/14/if-we-stopped-poaching-tomorrow-elephants-would-still-be-in-big-trouble?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Conservation: Noah’s Ark and trophy hunting

Conservation is a complex business. Life, real natural life, is full of interactions, butterfly effects and things we are yet to understand. 

There’s a great project to relocate animals from one park in Zimbabwe to another in Mozambique. It’s going to cost a lot and allegedly a significant portion has been provided from hunting.

What do you think of this?

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2017/jun/19/rewilding-mozambique-trophy-hunting-elephants-giraffe-poaching-zimbabwe-sango-save-zinave?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Focus on elephants

This month I have started a new life in unchartered territory! I’ve started work at a new NGO focused on African elephant conservation.


I’m very excited to be able to work in this space as elephants are magnificent creatures and have such an impact on the environment for other little creatures and plant life. They are are the gardeners of Africa. 

As part of my role I am looking into other NGO’S and the work that is already being done and seeing how we can support those activities, whether it is to connect with other NGO’S who can provide complementary functions, finding more efficient solutions to save them costs, bringing across donors to make them aware or supporting local communities in order to prevent them from becoming part of the problem.

The NGO’S I’m most looking forward to meet are those who’ve done so much work in expanding wildlife protected areas and opening up corridors and migratory pathways. Years of dedication, advocacy and strong conservation understanding is needed for this to happen. I would love to see how we can open up more of Africa for these animals who used to roam all over Africa and are now only 1.25% of theirestimated original population!

Wild changes for life. Life for the wild. Conservation in action.