Conservancy game count next week

2015-08-12 06:00
Wire snares recovered in the Umvozana Zone by game guards. Animals caught in these snares die a horrible death. They are a hazard to game, livestock and pets.

Wire snares recovered in the Umvozana Zone by game guards. Animals caught in these snares die a horrible death. They are a hazard to game, livestock and pets.

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GREYTOWN Conservancy was honoured at a recent AGM of the KZN Conservancies Association in Pietermaritzburg when it was presented with a long service award in recognition of its sterling work over the past 30 years.

Greytown Conservancy was founded over 30 years ago by a group of landowners who were concerned about the general decline in wildlife numbers in the district. Conservancies were a relatively new concept, and advice was sought from established conservancies elsewhere, and a suitable model adopted. The concept has since been emulated all over the country with conservancies being established in widely diverse areas – even in urban areas. The basic principle is simple – like-minded people taking responsibility for whatever wildlife occurs on their properties, and actively going about protecting and encouraging the presence of wildlife – of whatever form in their neighbourhoods.

Snaring on farmland has been an ongoing problem for decades, and one of the tasks of the game guards who are employed by the conservancy is to patrol fences and remove snares. Thousands of snares and traps of all shapes and sizes have been recovered and destroyed over the years. Wildlife is under extreme human pressure over most of our country, and landowners must take responsibility for what they have, and actively protect it. Protection of hospitable habitats is critical – no matter how small. It is amazing how adaptable some of our wild animals are, and how little they really need to survive - provided they are not interfered with or molested. Modern conservation is about looking after habitats! Our little pieces of untransformed grassland, wetland and forest are priceless and irreplaceable.

The conservancy will be undertaking its annual game count this Friday 14 August and both Umvozana and Greytown zones will be counting. Members and their friends are reminded to start counting shortly after dark, and to cover as much of their farms as they can The usual gathering will be held at Wembley Dam afterwards, and there will be people on duty to collate the numbers, and others to feed the counters. Landowners please contact Jason Gorzellok on 082 783 5437 or Kevin Cockburn on 082 783 5436 and let them know whether you farm will be counted, and also whether you will be attending the post-count function. If you are unable to count your farm we can find someone who can help. Counters are encouraged to get their numbers in by 7.30pm if possible, and those not attending the function must please phone them in.

The conservancy’s efforts have not been in vain. Game counts were started in 1986, and 23 years of data show some very interesting and positive trends, with numbers of most species responding to some protection and increasing in number. Anyone who may be interested in becoming involved in conservation affairs locally is encouraged to contact one of our committee, or members of the local Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Honorary Officers group. This group serve as eyes and ears for EKZNW, and actively assist them on conservation matters.

Members are welcome to bring along families and friends, but please notify for catering purposes. Game-count sheets can be collected from Pidelta office at Chailey, Pannar Security, or from Wally Gevers or Jason Gorsellok in the Umvozana area.

Contacts:

Kevin Cockburn 082 783 5436

pidelta@gom.co.za

Jason Gorzellok 082 783 5437 Jason.g@pidelta.co.za

Wally Gevers 082 376 3766 Gevers@skyafrica.co.za

Ankia Jonker 033 413 2074 a.jonker@pidelta.co.za

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