Here is the line-up for the South African TV show 50 | 50: Anniversary Season: Episode 16, on 9 December 2013. Find out more about Southern Africa’s looming elephant poaching crisis and join the team as they question the future of Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve – one of the last remaining pockets of unspoiled biodiversity in the Johannesburg surrounds.
The horrific images of eras gone by of elephants are slaughtered en masse, were believed to be a thing of the past. But more than 30 000 African elephants die every year in Africa because of the illegal ivory trade. So far, South African populations are 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, where more than 50% of the continent’s elephants can be found. With highly sophisticated poaching syndicates already operating in our parks due to 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: Kliriviersberg 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 is remaining of our Highveld grassland. A visitor walking through would enjoy the multitude of herbivores, including zebra, hartebeest, springbok, mountain reedbuck and more. What the visitor may not recognize is the drastic transformation from grassland to 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 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 week’s VeldFokus as we see amazing cheetah kills, hospitable hippos, rare pangolins and busy dung beetles.