Here is the line-up for the South African TV show 50 | 50, Anniversary Season, Episode 19 on 6 January 2014: The Southern African elephant population has, to date, been largely unaffected by the mass poaching slaughters happening around Africa – but for how much longer? Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is one of the last remaining natural areas in Johannesburg but has it reached carrying capacity? Uncover the answers to these, and other, questions in this weeks episode of 50 | 50.
The horrific images of era’s gone by where elephants were slaughtered en masse, were believed to be a thing of the past but more than 30 000 African elephants are currently dying every year in Africa because of the illegal ivory trade. So far South African populations have remained relatively stable due to successful conservation strategies and have been spared the poaching onslaught – but for how much longer? As the elephant populations are decimated in the rest of Africa, the cross hairs are slowly shifting towards Southern Africa, which contains more than 50% of all the elephants left on the continent. With highly sophisticated poaching syndicates already operating in our parks as a product of the lucrative rhino horn trade, conservationists are determined not to let elephants go the same way. Two parks in South Africa have already had a taste of the poaching. James investigates this looming crisis.
Eko-Ondersoek: Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
Nestled on the southern edge of Johannesburg, the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is a 650ha plot of land containing rocky koppies and precious fragments of what remains of our Highveld grassland. A visitor walking through would enjoy the variety of herbivore species, including zebra, hartebeest, springbok, black wildebeest, mountain reedbuck and more. What the visitor may not recognize is the drastic transformation from grassland to degraded veld and even barren, eroded land caused by overgrazing. After the introduction of game in 2001, the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve Association appealed to Johannesburg City Parks to monitor and manage growing game numbers which are now leading to the destruction of this grassland ecosystem. Our Eko-Ondersoek team investigates why nothing has been done and asks questions of the future of this beautiful reserve; one of the last remaining pockets of unspoiled biodiversity in the Johannesburg surrounds.
It’s going to be difficult for you to keep pace with this VeldFokus as we see amazing cheetah kills, animals up for a ride and busy dung beetles.