HONORARY RANGERS GENERAL MEETING 27 August2015
1 The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting which was opened with a prayer.
HR Committee: John Webber (Chair), Diana van Rensburg (Secretary), Nellie Morgan (Treasurer), Genie Retief.
HR present: Linda Benade, Mike Bezuidenhout, Yula Bezhuidenhout,Dev Farquharson, Lynette de Jong,Peter Joubert, Penelope Mayson, Jim Morgan,Hendrik Visser, Annemarie Esterhuizen, Tom Esterhuizen.
Others present: Jennifer Webber, Jeanette Newey, Errol Potgeiter, JJ van Rensburg.
2 Apologies HR: John Webb,Joce Gordon, Peter Craig Cooper, Graeme Altenkirk, Andrew Hudson, Lenara Joubert, Anri Pienaar, Frik Pienaar, Johan Veldsman.
3 New Members
John welcomed new HRs Tom and Annemarie Esterhuizen and presented them with their caps.
4 Bush Snippets
Ostriches – there is a mother with 4 young plus another mother with 8 young.
Genie had seen a slender mongoose. These are not so common in MP. They are solitary animals.
Dev saw a group of banded mongoose catch a long tailed mouse and devour it. There are too many banded mongoose who can wipe out smaller creatures.
Lions – Genie had taken good photos of Fluffy in Lionspruit.
Mopane Pomegranate with yellow flowers - photos taken by Joce.
Farewell to Andre function photos.
Alien plant display at Field and boards at municipality maintained by Linda.
HvR dam photos showing the bentonite laid down with the municipality assisting.
5 Two Trees
Photos were shown of the new “Stompie Holders” put in at Two Trees by Conservancy.
This was a good initiative but they were being used as rubbish bins for everything creating more mess. They also have to be cleared regularly as the municipality will not empty them. The general consensus was that it would be preferable to post notices asking the public to take all their rubbish away when they leave.
Rubbish is an on-going problem. The dump is no longer manned as Dean could no longer afford the salaries of the workers. Electricity was not supplied for the compactors. It would be better if rubbish bins at houses, particularly the rental houses were removed as baboons spread the rubbish. Although we pay a levy for rubbish removal it is insufficient to meet the costs involved.
6 Vulture Deaths
Onderstepoort could not find the cause of the deathsof the vultures.Moholola was not happy with the report and commissioned a separate report which also was inconclusive. The general view was that they were killed for muti purposes.
7 NIG Feedback -Nkomazi Interest Group
The monthly meeting venue is rotated and was to be held in Marloth Park this afternoon with John and Stuart hosting. Other representatives for MP would be Jaco, Sarel and Derrick with Errol offering to braai. Sharon had donated rolls and boerewors.
The KNP rangers take the gps co-ordinates of each rhino poaching incident and plot them on google earth giving a clear pattern. The worst area is towards Hazyview. They plan to have a seismic fence along the eastern boundary which will trigger if there is any activity.
8 Forum Meeting
A meeting was held to discuss the culling of the impala. The permit expired and they were still short of the target. The municipality obtained a further permit (culling only and not transport) for the NKLM rangers to complete the cull. The ± 170 impalas have been dumped in Lionspruit. A question was posed later in the meeting if people can buy carcasses. The impala are diseased so carcasses are not allowed to be sold unless processed through a registered abattoir.
9 Game Reduction
The game reduction is technically finished but more should be taken out or we will have the same problem next year. It is the conservation manager’s decision whether to cull more but any future permit should include transport.
10 The aerial game count figures of 19 August 2015 are as follows:
Impala 253 135 (550 impala were culled and the ideal number to remain is 150)
Warthog 36 14
Wildebeest 29 10
Kudu 80 41
Zebra 30 15
Giraffe 20 9 (No giraffe have been removed)
Bushbuck 17 8
Duiker 9 4
Baboon 1 troop
It was decided to have a ground count to verify these numbers, to be held on Monday 14 September. We will have 5 vehicles. John, Dev (for Conservancy), Joce, Peter J and Oubaas will arrange their teams and vehicles.
11 Snares, Death and Poaching
No figures were availablefrom the municipality again.
There was a report of 2 suspected poachers seen across the river in KNP though rangers were in the area. 3 well-dressed men were reported on a bench in MP so could have been “spotters”.
12 Ranger Activities
Work parties on Mondaysto clear sickle bush. John to advise meeting places.
Frik has tree tags for anyone wanting to name their trees.
13 Alien Plants SANBI Meeting
A meeting was held in Nelspruit, attended by Joce, Penelope, Jaco, Stuart, Keith, Derrick and Denise, to explain the new developments in alien plant eradication. There has been a programme for 15 years and MP was mentioned as having been very active in this regard. There is now a legal requirement for individuals and municipalities to take responsibility for the alien vegetation and invasive animals such as terrapin on their property. A new group called “Green Scorpions” will collect and manage the information and can be called out to inspect with the property owner responsible for the costs. Further information will be published on the website.
14 Brochure on Alien Plants
Joce and Genie have produced a new brochure which includes more information to assist property owners looking after their stands. We are still waiting for the quote for printing. It was debated whether to distribute it for free or to sell. We would like all property owners to have a copy but there is a high cost to print and sometimes free leaflets are just thrown away. No decision was taken.
It was suggested that Joce write an article on locally indigenous plants that should be planted in MP.
Hooded Vultures were spotted in Lionspruit.
17 Asset Register
The asset register needs to be updated from 12/04/15 and check who has keys to the container.
18 Website /Facebook
19 Bird Walk - 1st Saturday of the month.
Next walk 5 September2015at 7.00 am.Meet at c/o Volstruis and Crocodile.All welcome.
NB - In October the walk will start at 6.00 am.
20 Rates Inserts
Next month it will be an article bringing attention to the Ralf Kalwe report.
21 Snake Removal
2snake removals in August - 1 Puff Adder, 1 Python.
22 Fire Fighting, Disaster Management
A meeting was held this monthto arrange testing of the hydrants and servicing the nozzles. Peter J is preparing a reaction plan. It was suggested that there be a display at the shopping centres to try to raise funds. Next meeting 23 September.
Details of funds raised at the fair were discussed at last month’s meeting with a detailed spreadsheet shown. There have been very few expenses this month.
A suggestion was made that notices be put up at the main stopping points e.g. shopping centres, Two Trees and the Krans asking people to report any misconduct to the LEOs and giving the cell no. There are numerous reports of bad behaviour such as vehicles driving over the parkland, leaving rubbish etc.
Honorary Rangers general meeting dates
September 24, October 29, November 26, December no meeting
September 7, October 12, November 9