Willie Froneman offered to come and present a talk on rare/threatened water birds and the impact of pollution on water bird populations in our area and surrounding areas on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We decided to combine Willie’s talk with a market day and light lunch at Wickedfood Earth (Mike & Cilla Crewe-Brown’s property).

On 3 February 2016, the Department of Labour announced an increase in the minimum wage for workers in the farming and forestry sectors, notes a Cape Times report. The department said it applied consumer price index (CPI), excluding owner’s equivalent rent – which is lower than what the department used to apply – to calculate minimum wage increases.

The department said as of 1 March, the minimum wage increases will be adjusted to:
* An hourly rate of R14.25, up from R13.37 in 2015/16;
* A weekly rate of R641.32, up from R601.61;
* A monthly rate of R2 778.83, up from R2 606.78.
* A daily wage for a farm worker who works nine hours per day will now be R128.26 – up from R120.32 in the 2015/16 financial year (email received on 4 February 2016).

In a press release on 13 November 2015, it was announced that Eskom, in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Bioinsight South Africa, has deployed two carcass detection dogs, Aston and Wanda, in an attempt to increase the safety of wind farms for birds and other wildlife in the long run.

The Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is native to sub-Saharan Africa, but in SA they were introduced, where after they became naturalised as they spread to new areas. According to Wits researchers, Craig Symes and Elize Fourie (School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences), most of these populations are derived from escaped birds, and probably originate from aviculture.