DEEP AT THE REFOREST FEST

March 20, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

The 2019 intake of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP), joined Greenpop’s Treevolution Reforest Festival this weekend in Platbos. This was an Eco-friendly, Zero Waste event for families to rebuild this indigenous ancient forest. It was a weekend filled with fun activities, puppet shows, forest walks, talent show and music and a platform to educate people about the importance of trees. Over 500 people attended this camp and ±2000 trees were planted on Saturday. “The DEEP kids enjoyed themselves and loved the tents. This was their first time camping. They had the opportunity to mingle with other children from different schools and to experience vegetarian meals. Special thanks to Wilfred Chivell and the staff of Marine Dynamics for the support of this outing,” said Trust educator, Pinkey Ngewu.

 

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PENGUIN PICTURE HAS THE PERFECT HOME

March 19, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

In 2018, our penguin philanthropist, Mike Gibbs, kindly donated a special drawing of African penguins by Hermanus artist Malcolm Bowling. This picture went on silent auction at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS). It finally has a home - with the Kendziorski family. The Kendziorski’s are from the USA and have been volunteering their time at APSS while in South Africa. Alex, Rebecca and their son Liam, were very excited to take this picture home. They are previous donors to the sanctuary and the APSS team is grateful for their generous R8500 donation for this iconic image of rehabilitated penguins.

The Kendziorski’s had the following to say, “We are grateful that we can participate in one of the last chances to prevent the extinction of the African penguin. Working with the birds directly has also been a joy as well as inspiring. Seeing how our donations are put to use in person has given us great confidence in our continued support. We can all be part of the change needed to save the penguins. Reducing the use of plastics, shoreline clean-ups, and learning and sharing information about what actions you are doing to help prevent their extinction. We are better together.”

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Great White Sharks Tagged in Gansbaai

March 15, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

“We are thrilled to have acoustic tagged two Great White Sharks from our research boat today!”, said shark biologist Alison Towner. It’s been over two years since a transmitter (tag) has been deployed on a white shark in Southern African waters largely due to their unpredictable distribution patterns, and a notable decline in white sharks visiting two Western Cape aggregation sites.

 

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DEAD BRONZE WHALER SHARKS, GANSBAAI

March 07, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

On Tuesday the 5th March at 9 am, Anthony Fouche of Gansbaai documented the carcasses of eight large bronze whaler sharks at Die Plaat, Gansbaai. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) / Marine Dynamics team were notified in the late afternoon and made their way down to the site to collect them.

On arrival, the team found three of the eight dead sharks. It is assumed that the rest were taken away to be sold, as the bronze whaler is a commercially fished species. Even though bronze whalers are generally regarded as low value there is a market for both their meat and fins for export in South Africa. Of the three shark carcasses left on the beach, the DICT team were able to confirm that all were reproductively mature, measuring around 3 meters each. One was a heavily pregnant female with the tail of a pup expelled from her cloaca. The team removed the pup and decided to open the mother shark to attempt to save any other remaining pups. Another 13 full grown shark pups were found, likely just days away from birth, but unfortunately all the pups were deceased due to the extent of time the shark had been dead. Bronze whaler sharks do not reach maturity until approx. 20 years old and this information is important as it supports the fact that the Walker Bay waters, similar to False Bay, are being utilised as feeding areas for pregnant sharks and even possibly a nursery area for this IUCN near threatened species. Another pregnant female carcass washed up in Walker Bay on the morning of the 7th.

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