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Elephants and trees

Does removing elephants save trees? This fascinating report delves into this important conservation issue.

To end wildlife trafficking, engage with local communities – study

The international donor community and governments have invested heavily in fighting illegal wildlife trade, but so far, they haven’t succeeded in ending rhino poaching. New research from UCT shows that for these initiatives to succeed, local communities – many of which live in or near protected areas – need to be involved.

Cannibal cobras

While Cape cobras are known to eat other snake species – up to a third of their diet – recorded instances of Cape cobras eating individuals of the same species has been extremely rare… until now, when researchers investigated and discovered how common and widespread cannibalism in cobras really is.

The black & white of African wildlife explained

Every now and then nature experiments by producing a black or white mutation of an animal or bird that is otherwise normally coloured. There is something magical about seeing a white lion, black leopard or ‘king’ cheetah in the wild, as if it were a spiritual shadow of the species, a form of higher being.

Impalas cry wolf, so say zebras!

It turns out that impalas are the drama queens of the African bushveld, and other species know it, and don’t take their predator alarm calls too seriously.

5 Facts you did not know about African wild dogs

Many will know that Africa’s wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) require vast areas to roam, hunt cooperatively to run down their prey and regurgitate food for pups and other pack members. But there are other remarkable facts about these beautiful animals that perhaps you didn’t know.

Could naked mole-rats live forever?

Naked mole-rats are weirdly spectacular – they are bare-skinned, wrinkly and buck-toothed, and they live in large underground colonies in East Africa where only the queen breeds, with a few selected males. Even more spectacular is that research has shown that naked mole-rats do not age in the same manner as other mammals, and in fact show little to no signs of ageing, and their risk of death does not increase with age.

Wild dogs vote with sneezes

Scientists studying wild dogs in Botswana have found members of this endangered species use sneezes to vote on when the pack will move off and start hunting.

Japan’s ivory market must close down, according to study

With China announcing that it would shut down all ivory trade by the end of this year, concerns have been raised that Japan’s failure to prevent illegal ivory exports will undermine China’s prospective ban and the efforts to end the global trafficking of elephant tusks.

Bees protect large trees from elephant impact

A study has found that hanging beehives containing African honeybees from the branches of marula trees protects these trees against elephant impact because the elephants avoid those trees.

Decoding Kruger’s ‘Elephant Management Plan’

The Kruger National Park is vast, at about 2 million hectares, and requires a thorough management strategy in order to ensure long term sustainability. Part of that strategy, The Elephant Management Plan – compiled by Kruger management and Scientific Service – is currently in force, and covers the period 2013 to 2022.

Mega-carnivore dinosaur footprints discovered

An international team of researchers from South Africa, UK, and Brazil have discovered massive footprints belonging to a carnivorous dinosaur that roamed Southern Africa 200 million years ago.

Dragon-like sungazer lizard in danger

Sungazer – it sounds like a cool name for a dragon, and even though these rare lizards look like the mighty dragons from “Game of Thrones”, the fire of their soul may be burned out permanently.