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Books and other Resources

FYNBOS – Ecology and Management

The fynbos region is one of the most spectacularly diverse places on Earth. This is not an idle statement. When one considers the diversity of insects, freshwater and marine species also associated with the Cape, this hotspot is arguably the hottest of all.

It is also confusingly heterogeneous, with a diversity of fine-scale habitats, from wetlands in the lowlands to seeps in the mountains, unique soil, nutrient, aspect and rainfall conditions, all of which combine to sustain and drive this diversity. Fynbos is a fire-adapted vegetation and needs fire to sustain itself: without fire the vegetation would thicken and senesce, permit trees to enter and dominate the system, and eventually exclude the precious nutrients liberated by fire and which the system depends upon for rejuvenation.

This book is a guide that will help people who visit, live, manage or own land in the Fynbos Biome to appreciate and manage its extraordinary natural richness.

Editors: Karen J. Esler, Shirley M. Pierce, Charl de Villiers

ISBN: 978-1-920217-37-2


Historical incidence of the larger mammals in the Free State Province (South Africa) and Lesotho

Authors: André Boshoff and Graham Kerley.
Published (2013) by the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
A4-size, hard cover, 480 pages of text (including 23 boxes), 5 tables, 55 figures, bibliography, index.

Prior to a progressive increase in their human populations, which commenced in the 1820s and 1830s, the Free State Province (one of the Republic of South Africa’s nine provinces) and its south-eastern neighbour, the Kingdom of Lesotho, incorporated a wide range of mammal habitats in a number of almost pristine wetland and terrestrial ecosystems. The latter were dominated by extensive grasslands, with lesser areas of savanna and karroid vegetation. These habitats in turn supported a remarkable array of medium- to large-sized mammals, including the large carnivores (such as the lion, the leopard, the spotted hyaena and the African wild dog) and the very large to smaller herbivores (such as the hippopotamus, the eland, the Burchell's/plains zebra, the black wildebeest, the vaal rhebok and the steenbok).

Until now there has been no single repository for detailed information pertaining to the incidence of these animals, during the early historical period, in the territories in question. Given that many of them were exterminated, or underwent considerable declines in range and numbers, it is crucial to appreciate what occurred there historically, to enable the setting of policy to guide the reintroduction (where appropriate) and management of these species, on public and private land, today.

Using a diverse range of sources of information – notably the letters, diaries and journals of early, literate, travellers, explorers, missionaries, military personnel, hunters, traders and agri-pastoralists, supported by selected palaeontological, archaeological and museum records – this book attempts to establish the occurrence and estimate the distributions of 54 larger mammal species for the early historical period, i.e. from the 1820s (when the first written records were made) to the 1920s (before large-scale translocations of game animals were undertaken by landowners). All the known records are presented, by decade within each territory, in a series of independent species-specific accounts. For those species for which the quantity and quality of the records is satisfactory, maps depicting the localities of qualifying written, historical records and supporting records are included. For each of the species covered, an ‘Overview’, which provides a brief interpretation of the distributional information in the text and on the maps, is presented. Additional information is given in a series of Boxes.

The book described above forms a companion volume to Historical incidence of the larger land mammals in the broader Eastern Cape Province by CJ Skead (published in 2007) and Historical incidence of the larger land mammals in the broader Western and Northern Cape provinces by CJ Skead (published in 2011). Information on the contents of the three books, and how to obtain copies, is available at http://ace.nmmu.ac.za/home or at ace@nmmu.ac.za or at 041 504 2316

Game Guard Management

Written and illustrated by Ken Coetzee Conservation Management Services Published by
New Voices Publishing, Cape Town, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-620-58316-9
(175 pages; 230mm x 160mm; perfect bound)

The game guard’s task is one of great responsibility and huge commitment, often dangerous and it can only be done effectively if the game guard is completely loyal to his task. This level of commitment and loyalty can only be ensured if the game guard is well supported and his worth well appreciated.

This book was prepared for the benefit of the people who employ and manage game guards (or who should do so) for the purpose of game ranch security.

Numerous instruction manuals and handbooks for the training of game guards have been produced to date, but it is often those that actually manage the game guards that require guidelines and instruction, this then is a manager’s guide to game guard supervision and management.

This focus on game ranch security is due to the alarming current escalation in rhino poaching. Dealing with rhino poaching can be used as a kind of “flagship” objective, but illegal activities of every kind are increasing on game ranches, and in conservation areas, and they can be significantly reduced through the deployment of adequately trained and motivated game guards.

The book is about the appointment, training, motivating, deployment, uplifting and appreciating the game guard wherever he may be employed and whatever the focus of his duties may be.

The objective of this book is to provide inspiration for the establishment of effective game guard units
and operations, whatever style of game ranch management is employed. These pages provide guidelines for optimal game guard management and each game ranch owner or manager, on reading this book, will hopefully find practical ideas that may better equip him to meet the demanding security
challenges on game ranches today, and in the future. The objective is to provide general instruction
and a basic framework that can be modified to suit any particular set of conditions in any part of Africa.

Price: R190-00 including packaging and postage
R160-00 without postage

A percentage of the sale price will be donated to the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa
to be used for game guard training projects.

Order by email or telephone: consken@mweb.co.za
044 - 8708472

Northern Cape bird calendar

Remarkably 15 of southern Africa’s 16 ducks and geese have been recorded in the Northern Cape, a province which is generally dry with limited habitat for waterfowl.

In order to promote an interest in and knowledge of the birds of the Northern Cape, SwiftPrint and, wildlife photographer and ornithologist, Mark Anderson have once again produced a very attractive bird calendar

Each month has a different waterfowl photograph and an informative caption with information about the species in the Northern Cape. Some ducks, such as the Cape Teal and Cape Shoveler, are widespread in the Northern Cape even making use of saltpans.

Others, such as the African Black Duck, are not widespread and are mainly found along the Orange and Vaal Rivers. Others, such as the Comb Duck and Whitebacked Duck, are not common in the Northern Cape.

Each month has been sponsored by a prominent Kimberley business and in this way they are contributing to promoting an awareness of the Northern Cape’s birds and thus their conservation. The calendars are being sold for R50.00 with proceeds going to the Wildlife & Environment Society (Northern Cape Region).

Copies of the calendar are available directly from Mark Anderson (082-7880961), from SwiftPrint (13 Brand Street), the Book Bin (78 Jones Street), the McGregor Museum, and Annette’s Gift Shop at the Big Hole shop. For orders from out of town, the packaging and postage cost is an additional R35.00.

For more information about the calendar, please contact Mark Anderson (082-7880961; mailto:torgos.t@gmail.com) or Butch Evans at SwiftPrint (053-8392900).

Books (Van Schaik Publishers) : Wildlife series and the Wildlife CD