50|50 Episode 8 Season 7: 7 April 2016
Wilde Bure: Pelicans
With an estimated global population of around 250 000 birds, the Great White Pelican is listed as vulnerable in the 2013 South African Red Data Book. Currently there are only two breeding populations in South Africa. The first breeding colony is at Lake St Lucia in KwaZulu Natal and the second colony is on Dassen Island off the West Coast. These comical birds have waddled into the gardens AND hearts of many South African residents who watch them as they patrol our beach fronts, ready to swoop down on a tasty meal. With their great big throat pouches and their ungainly way of walking, these birds are definitely one of our favourite Wilde Bure!
When heading out for a stroll in nature, most of us are pretty certain that we are not going to bump into a dinosaur right? Well, think again! There are dinosaurs living amongst us, right here in SA! No, they are not the big scary ones with huge teeth and tiny front legs that make puddles tremble, but the less obvious plant variety. Cycads are some of the oldest plants on the planet, dating back millions of years. Last season we covered the story on cycad poaching, and how unscrupulous people were digging up these prehistoric plants, intent on selling them on the black market. But these plants are now facing another threat, in the form of a Japanese scale that was most probably introduced as a result of unregulated illegal trade. These ancient giants have survived on this planet for millennia, witnessing the rise and fall of countless eras. What a pity it would be if we were the reason for their extinction.
The reason early trophy hunters included the African buffalo as one of the big five is that they were considered to be one of the most dangerous species to hunt. When pursued by humans, buffalo have a reputation for circling back on their pursuers and counter attacking. Natural predators also have to contend with these bulky herbivores, wielding their formidable horns with skill and confidence. With 4 times the strength of a big ox, this week’s Wonderwêreld features the mighty Cape buffalo.
Confusion reigns in the VeldFokus studio this week – a family of birds can’t remember what species they belong to, a Black heron endures a chaotic bird party, and a hippo makes a splash at the local watering hole.