Friday 21 January ‘11 Kruger2Canyon
NEWS & VIEWS
Drakies se nuwe bloed! Success with spiders
HOEDSPRUIT - Laerskool Drakensig is geseënd met die koms van drie splinternuwe onderwyseresse en dit is vir ons ‘n voorreg om hierdie hulle as deel van ons onderwyskorps welkom te heet. Die Drakies sien uit na ‘n lang en hegte vennootskap met hierdie toegewyde en begeesterde leerkragte. Hulle is vol nuwe idees en aansteeklike entoesiasme en ons gaan sommer baie by hulle leer! Elbie Janse van Vuuren is die Grade 3-onderwyseres, Elzandie Haggard is ons Wetenskap onderwyseres by die Intermediêre- en Senior fase en Carine Weyers is ons nuwe Grade R-juffrou. Hartlik welkom!
New faces at SCS
HOEDSPRUIT Meet the new staff of Southern Cross Schools who have joined the school this year. From left to right they are:
Alex Bradford (College NS, EMS, English and Tourism), Justin van Breda (Nature Conservation intern teaching Bush Lore), Kathleen Painter
Ant de Boer
Project leaders, Chris Cooke and James Pearce, now believe that they have found a method to successfully reintroduce the rescued spiders in the wild. ‘The problem is that it takes the female spider 5 to 7 years to dig a new burrow if its original one has been destroyed. This makes the spider very vulnerable to predation. The males are not such a great worry as they are wandering and do not burrow’ says James. The challenge thus has been to create artiﬁcial burrows that the females will accept. During November last year after much deliberation, they tested a new method with two females and judging by the way the spiders have decorated the rims of the burrows with grass, it seems as if they have accepted their new homes. ‘This is pioneering work as no one else to our knowledge has succeeded in successfully
reintroducing females to the wild’ added James. The other side of the project is research and information gathering on all there is to know about these baboon spiders. Khamai is gathering as much information as possible as very little is known about the spider’s habits and social structure. To optimise their efforts they do however desperately need some equipment such as an old but functioning medical endoscope and a probe thermometer/ hydrometer. In the long run Khamai aims to relocate as many as possible rescued spiders to, for example, farmland that has been left to return to its natural state. Khamai asks that you do not attempt to remove a threatened spider from its burrow, but rather call the centre to send someone out as they record all the information from the site before the spider is removed.
(Gap Student), Don de Boer (Nature Conservation intern teaching Bush Lore) and Tracey Osborn (College English).
‘Big school’ for SCS Gr1’s
HOEDSPRUIT - The ﬁrst day of for the Southern Cross Schools new batch of Grade 1s was not only special for them, it was also very special for the school as a whole. This is the
HOEDSPRUIT – Although they are a bit scary and indeed very hairy, Golden Brown Baboon Spiders really are beautiful and interesting creatures. These long living spiders that grow to the ripe old age of 25 are in grave danger due to continuing development causing habitat loss. The species is protected by law and may not be killed nor kept as pets. What makes them even more special is that they are only found within a 200km radius of Hoedspruit. Khamai Reptile Centre is the driving force behind an ongoing project, the Golden Brown Baboon Spider Conservation Project, in order to save these creatures from extinction. For Khamai rescuing a threatened spider from a site where its burrow was sure to be destroyed was one thing, but reintroducing it to a suitable location has been a major challenge. That is up until the end of last year.
Are you a responsible rhino owner?
Hoedspruit Rhino Watch has compiled this short checklist for our local rhino owners.
Simply answer YES or NO. Section A 1. Do you have an 8 step plan in place? 2. Are you a member of the Hoedspruit Rhino Watch? 3. Do you have guards? 4. Have your guards received formal training? 5. Are your guards armed? 6. Do you have an information network ? 7. biggest Grade 1 class in the history of the school. The 22 enthusiastic young boys and girls represent the future growth Southern Cross and while they are starting their formal school
Photograph by Kathleen Painter Story by Ant de Boer
career, they will be following in the footsteps of the school’s ﬁrst Grade 12 Class.
Do you have a reaction plan? 8. Have you done reference checks on your staff? 9. Are your rhino monitored daily? 10. Do you have correct
access control? 11. Do you know the correct procedures when a rhino is poached? 12. Are your staff trained what to say when asked about rhino on the farm? 13. Are your boundaries checked daily? 14. Are your rhino accounted for daily? 15. Do you carry out night operations on your farm? 16. Do you report gun shots? 17. Do your guards know how to identify choppers? Section B 1. Do you have rhino in bomas? 2. Are your rhino fed
seasonally? Do you have staff in quarters and daily visitors/guests on your property? Do you have paid hunts on your farm/ reserve/conservancy? Do your rhino have horns?
All ‘yes’ answers = 10pts All ‘No’ answers = 0 pts
For the total score, subtract the total from section B from the total in A. (130pts - 180pts) – Rhino love you! (100pts-120pts) – Rhino appreciate you. (70pts - 90pts) – Thanks for the thought bud. (less that 60pts) - Shot for the extinction.
Show your support against rhino poaching by ordering these bumper stickers with guts & oomph from the K2C ofﬁce!