Category Archives: Environment

Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark

South African great white shark
The endangered great white migrates to Australian waters where a culling operation is now in progress. As top-level predators, sharks regulate the marine life they feed on by removing the sick, weak and injured – click to enlarge

Open Letter to the Honorable Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Colin Barnett:

Dear Mr. Premier,

I’m writing to you about the Australian Shark Cull Policy, which targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. This policy was initiated late last year following a spate of fatal attacks in 2011. Despite widespread criticism in Australia, you have refused to back down, claiming your catch-and-kill policy is justified.

South Africa is a world leader in shark research and the killing of great white sharks is prohibited in South African waters.

Australia should not be allowed to make unilateral policy decisions that affect the global ocean environment. Furthermore, the Australian cull policy violates international laws. It targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. An independent study has found that there is no proof that this initiative will reduce attacks and shows that it would probably have an adverse effect on the environment. Continue reading

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5 Fishing Tips For The Eco-Friendly Fisherman

Make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one
Make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one

If you’re reading this, it can be assumed that you love to fish. But perhaps this is the first time you’ve stopped to consider that you can do it in a way that’s kinder to the environment.

“Keep an eye out for sensitive flora and other natural elements”

If this is the case, then please continue to find out how you can make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one.

Fishing gear
Your fishing trip starts by packing your tackle box and it is here where your eco-friendly efforts should start as well. Get rid of all – or most – of your lead equipment and purchase biodegradable bait and line products instead. If your search for these proves unsuccessful, opt for fishing gear made from tin.
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Save Geyser Energy While Staying Warm

Mayan Hot Chocolate Winter warmer
Mayan Hot Chocolate Winter warmer – Image: Foodista

Summer is well and truly gone. That probably became obvious when you had to pile on some extra blankets to not shiver yourself to sleep.

Winter can be wonderful, with its call for hot chocolate and staying in with a book. But cosiness has a cost, which you’ll see reflected on your energy bill at the end of the month.

Here are some tips to keep your energy usage down, while still keeping your environment toasty.

Mind that geyser
A big energy guzzler in your home is your geyser. There are a few things here you can do to make it more efficient.
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Sunset on The Bot River Estuary #6

sunset on the Bot River Estuary
The sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountains at sunset on the Bot River Estuary – click to enlarge

It’s 17:53pm as the sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountain range.

The windless and warm conditions and the absolute silence magnify the beauty of the Bot River Estuary.

This estuarine system lies on the eastern border of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on the Southern tip of Africa.

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Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary

Bot River Estuary
Looking North over the Bot River Estuary, the renowned Arabella Estate is visible at centre on the opposite bank. In the middle distance, just left of centre, a group of four pelicans is feeding in the shallows – click to enlarge.

It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.

Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence.

The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers.

In the middle of August 2012, the mouth of the Bot River Estuary was artificially breached. This was done after consulting with the Bot River Estuary Forum (BREF), and estuarine specialists (9 Images, click here for Flickr slideshow).

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Green Ways To Wash Your Car

Green Ways to Wash Your Car
Green Ways to Wash Your Car

What’s the most eco-friendly way to wash your car? According to some experts, it’s the automatic car wash, which runs vehicles through an efficient series of cleaning processes and minimizes water use and chemical run-off.

But there are additional risks that come with automatic car washes. The dirt and grime from other vehicles can stick to some of the cleaning mechanisms in an automatic car wash and scratch your paint.

Car washes that use brushes instead of pressurized water washing systems could also damage your car, if the brushes aren’t properly maintained.
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Gold In The Sky At Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset On The Bot River Estuary
Sunset On The Bot River Estuary -- click to enlarge

Here on the southern tip of Africa it’s 7:50pm and the sun is sinking on the beautiful Bot River Estuary.

One can just make out the estuary mouth at extreme left on the horizon.

The estuary mouth remains closed to the sea for long periods, sometimes years, before it opens naturally to start a new breeding cycle for the many species of fish that populate the estuary.

Image: John L Bradfield

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Rhino Horn Poaching Massacre Reaches Record Levels

The African white rhino
The African white rhino adults in this photo appear to have been de-horned as a protective measure --click to enlarge

The number of rhino poached in South Africa increased to more than 400 in the 2010-11 financial year, according to the South African National Parks.

In a 22 percent increase on the 2010 figure, the tally of rhino killed for their horns has risen to 405. A staggering 229 rhino were killed in the Kruger National Park alone. The Kruger is one of the worlds largest game parks, roughly the size of Israel. The open borders of the park link reserve areas in Zimbabwe and Mozambique to form the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Poachers can enter and leave with ease.

More than 90% of the worlds white rhino are found in South Africa. White rhino are more numerous than the black rhino. There is no colour difference between the two species. The Dutch named the white rhino the “Weid mond rhino”, meaning “wide-mouth rhino”. The English interpreted “weid” to mean “white”, and thus the modern name is due to a simple misinterpretation of the Dutch name.
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World Heading For Population Of 7 Billion — Really?

Street scene in Kowloon, Hong Kong
Street scene in Kowloon, Hong Kong -- click to enlarge

The latest global population projections, published by the United Nations a few weeks ago, predict that the world will be teeming with 10.1 billion people by 2100. This is a billion more than previously estimated. Once again, there’s talk of a ticking population time bomb. No one knows if the world can sustain that many people.

Not everyone agrees with this scenario. The United States Census Bureau, which also employs sophisticated mechanisms to predict population levels, forecasts that the seven billion mark won’t be reached till next year, on the 12th of March, 2012.

So why did the UN estimate choose October 31, 2011? Why does their projection differ from the other available predictions? The truth is that a closer look at the assumptions behind the UN calculations shows that there may be perverse and contradictory reasons to blame. Many believe that it looks more like a political construct than a scientific analysis.
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Baby Elephant And Mother In Dramatic Rescue From The Mud

The elephants inspect the mother and daughter
The elephants inspect the mother and daughter

Just two weeks ago in the wilds near Kapani Safari Lodge, in the Luanga Valley, Zambia, a group of tourists came across this amazing sight. A hopelessly trapped baby elephant and her mother.

The Kapani lagoon, where the baby elephant and her mother were trapped, is nearly dry and very sticky at this time of year. The Kapani Lagoon is a source of drinking water for the animals of the area, as well as the place to go for a relieving mud bath.

The elephants had gone to bathe and the baby became ensnared. The mother elephant, attracted by the cries of the baby, also sank into the mire and became trapped as well. The rest of the elephant herd had initially tried to help the screaming mother and baby escape, but they were stuck too deeply. The herd quickly retreated when the rescuers arrived (9 photographs).
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