We have heard of the bird atlasing projects, we have heard of mapping the locations of butterflies and reptiles but the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) in Cape Town has embarked on a continent-wide search for our mammals. The creation of MammalMAP aims to update the distribution records of all African mammal species. But this is not just for zoologists and other scientists. Anyone who spots, photographs and locates a mammal will be a crucial helper in this massive project. Camera traps have developed over the years are now a crucial tool to help this project. Faye finds out how it is put together.
Vervet monkeys are one of three apes in South Africa and along with the others they are threatened by ever increasing human expansion and increased encounters with some humans. Silke von Eyern had no idea that when she started Bambelela rehabilitation centre nine years ago, it would end up one of the biggest vervet monkey rescue centres in SA. Or that she would be helping transform the lives of men as well as monkey’s. We follow the lives of some of the monkeys who have experienced cruelty at the hands of the pet trade, humans afraid of them and plain animal cruelty. We follow one of the men who work at Bambelela. Jonas, whose life changed after meeting Silke when she released a vervet troop near his community. Jonas’s passion for vervet conservation has resulted in him quitting his job and becoming a volunteer at Bambelela. He now contributes to the local community as well as the livelihoods of many of the rehabilitating monkeys. From the nursery where orphans start off to the main troupes to being set free, the joint effort of surrounding communities and the Bambelela staff have made given these monkeys freedom and a new lease on life.
The Margate beach, once home to many a bed and breakfast, a matric vacation destination and holiday place for countless South African’s, has been closed to the public three times in the last year. The Margate beach has lost its blue flag status. A burst pipeline spews sewage into the lagoon and sea making the beach a severe health risk and bathing extremely dangerous. Durban’s sea water, up the coast has the highest level of some toxic chemicals in the world according to data released by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research. In addition to the burst pipeline in Margate, the severely polluted Hunters stream runs directly onto the beach as well. The stream collects human waste, pollution and chemicals from the surrounding areas and taxi rank which does not have sufficient ablution facilities. Not only does the filth affect the environmental health of the beach, but it is also extremely detrimental to businesses that are positioned to serve customers on the beach. UGU municipality has large scale pollution problems to deal with but is there sufficient funding and infrastructure to clean up the mess?
It seems like Monday blues don’t only affect the human population! In this week’s episode of VeldFokus, we take a look at some grumpy creatures. We see some jackals fighting, some chameleons quarrelling over a tree and ducks flapping about.