How many of us have driven the highways and byways of South Africa after dark and have suddenly had to brake or swerve to avoid a collision with an animal crossing the road? And how many of us driving during the day have passed the carcasses of mammals, birds and reptiles that have been killed by other passing motor vehicles? In the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area, 1 121 fatalities of 162 different species were recorded in a 120-day period. This is on a single section of a road in one small geographic region of South Africa.
All in all, the country has 754 600 km of roads, most of which bisect habitats, territories and home ranges of animals and separate feeding areas from den sites. Over the past two years, Wendy Collinson of the Endangered Wildlife Trust has been conducting the very first comprehensive roadkill survey in South Africa.
In recent years, 50|50 has received several complaints about the conditions at Bloemfontein Zoo. People were concerned for the animals’ health and wellbeing. The NSPCA went to investigate and found that things were not as they should be, and that the run-down zoo was on its last legs. The NSPCA intervened, threatening shutdown if changes were not made quickly. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of people committed to the zoo, it was saved, with new cages, more workers and better care for the animals. Help came from an unexpected source.
In 2010, a small 25-hectare island in the Seychelles became the world’s first carbon-neutral nature reserve, despite hosting thousands of tourists annually. The Cousin Island Special Reserve was listed as carbon neutral after several innovative carbon offsets were put in place, as Bonne uncovers. The coconut trees have been removed and indigenous species are being planted. We look into carbon credits and the merits of being carbon neutral in our fossil-fuel-burning society. Small changes in third-world world parts of the globe can offset large carbon costs elsewhere.
Maurice and Villiers look into the art of taking landscape photographs. What are the key elements of composition needed to take a great photograph? As usual they have some great hints and tips.
This week the animals on VeldFokus are literally in the poop!
All photos © 50|50