50|50 Episode 37 Season 7: 27 October 2016

In die Spervuur: sharks, skates and rays

There are more than 1250 species of cartilaginous fish – of which there are approximately 500 different species of rays and skates. These marine creatures play an essential role in aquatic ecosystems and have huge cultural and economic value. While the conservation status of nearly half these species is poorly known, one-quarter are estimated to be threatened with extinction. While many of these are lesser known marine animals, they find themselves ‘in die spervuur’ none-the-less.

CoP 17: CITES conference

From the 24th of September to the 5th of October, representatives of almost every country gathered in Johannesburg for the world’s most important wildlife trade summit – the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to CITES – or the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It was the largest CITES CoP ever, with 182 Parties voting on a record number of proposals to regulate the trade in specific species and boost the fight against wildlife crime. Some key African species up for discussion included elephants, rhinos, pangolins and lions. Bertus attended this historic event, and brings us all the details.

Malawi elephant relocation:

Between 2007 and 2014, elephant populations dropped by 30% in Africa primarily because of poaching. Currently, the population is declining at 8% per year. Luckily, there are people and organizations passionate enough about these enormous animals that they are willing to take a stand against all odds. The 500 Elephant Project is the continent’s largest translocation of elephants to a 42,000-acre preserve within Malawi’s Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, managed by the non-profit organization African Parks from the Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park. We bring you the whole story on this giant effort to move Africa’s largest giants to their new home.


Aquatic antics steal VeldFokus’ last set of entries for the season, with some amazing behaviour from some equally amazing creatures! A crocodile seems to have dinner in the bag, a group of elephants give a synchronised swimming routing, and a Rock python demonstrates that it is just as comfortable in water as on land.



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