Roodekrans Black eagle project

According to Gerald Draper, chairperson of this project, urbanisation has had a major influence on the survival of these eagles. Their diet consists mainly of rock rabbits (dassies), but as a result of declining dassie populations, they now mainly feast on guinea fowls. Because of housing developments in the area the eagles’ range for finding food has shrunk to such an extent that they have to fly vast distances to find food. Emoyeni, the female of the pair of eagles living on the cliffs of the waterfall at the Walter Sizulu Botanical Gardens, is already about 35 years of age, while research references estimate their average age at 30 years. In February each year, the eagles start tidying up their nests, and eggs are laid in April or May. Only two chicks hatch, of which only the strongest survives. The survival rate is only about 20% (Wes-Beeld, 13 March 2015).

Be kind to bees by knowing which alien trees to axe: Gum trees provide nectar and pollen for swarms of commercial bees – and bees in turn pollinate about 50 food crops. The ‘service’ bees provide is worth about R10.3 billion per year. Nectar provides carbohydrate in the bees’ diet, and pollen, the protein. Because healthy bee populations depend on gum trees, if they were all removed, it would mean a serious shortage of food for bees. Only six gum species (e.g. Eucalyptus grandis, or Saligna gum and Eucalyptus sideroxylon, or Iron bark gum) are listed on the NEMBA list of invasive plants. These should go, especially from areas that are at risk of fire. According to Guy Preston, Deputy Director-general in the Alien and Invasives Department, “Blue gums are one of the invasives that are a problem, but it depends on where they are. A group of blue gums around a Free State farmhouse surrounded by wheatfields have nothing to invade to” (The Star, 20 February 2015). Remember - The NEMBA Regulations and lists of alien and invasive species are available at http://invasives.org.za/legislation.html or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Declared Weeds & Invader Plants).

Bamboo presents an eco-friendly solution to the deforestation of the earth and the depletion of our natural resources. Bamboo grass plants are a completely sustainable resource because they are naturally anti-bacterial and grown without pesticides or fertilisers. The plants grow in both wetlands and arid conditions, utilising less water and rejuvenating up to 35% more oxygen than the equivalent tree forest land.