The Endangered Wildlife Trust was established in 1973 and is registered as a Non-profit Organisation, registration number 015-502NPO. The PBO number is 930 001 777.
The Trust’s first fundraising effort was also its founding moment … the moment when Clive Walker was inspired to paint a watercolour of a Cheetah, to sell 250 signed, numbered copies, and to use this money to help conserve the Cheetah that was, and in some places still is, shot as vermin.
The founding vision of saving threatened species in a direct, hands-on way and at minimal cost has never been lost. It has, however, been broadened to include species, their habitats and ecosystems, and the role of surrounding communities and landowners.
As Clive, one of the three founding members, puts it: "If the universal slogan was 'Who cares about rhino anyway?', we would be a short step away from applying that mindless slogan to ourselves."
"A healthy planet and an equitable world that values and sustains the diversity of all
The Endangered Wildlife Trust is dedicated to conserving threatened species and ecosystems in southern Africa to the benefit of all people.
The EWT fulfills its Mission by:
- Initiating and implementing conservation research and action programmes;
- Preventing species extinctions and maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem functioning;
- Supporting sustainable natural resources and management;
- Communicating the principles of sustainable living and empowering people by capacity building, education and awareness programmes to the broadest possible constituency;
- Taking a strong leadership and advocacy role in promoting environmental and social justice
The EWT’s Niche
As a leading high-profile player amongst the large number and variety of conservation organisations in South Africa (governmental and civil society), the EWT fills the key niche of conservation action, through applied field-work, research and direct engagement with stakeholders. With specialist Working Groups and a large team of skilled field staff deployed throughout southern Africa, the EWT’s work supports the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems. Priority interventions focus on identifying the key factors threatening biodiversity and developing mitigating measures to reduce risk and reverse the drivers of species extinction and ecosystem degradation. Through a broad spectrum of partnerships and networks, the EWT responds to the key threats driving species and ecosystem loss by developing innovative methodologies and best practice guidelines which support reduced impact, harmonious co-existence and sustainable living for all.
Working Groups & Partnerships
Our dedicated, specialist Working Groups collectively coordinate over 90 projects throughout southern Africa. These groups focus on specific issues and ecosystems, ranging from saving Humpback Dolphins from shark nets, to raising orphaned Wattled Cranes, conserving wetlands and addressing the irresponsible use of poisons and agro-chemicals.
It has always been our policy to work with partners – to turn relevant stakeholders into supporters and colleagues. Farmers, organisations such as national electricity utility Eskom and the Airports Company of South Africa, as well as communities and developers are learning that the best solution for the environment is also the best long-term solution for people.
How does this affect you?
Without a healthy environment, a healthy life is impossible. So when the plight of wildlife draws attention to polluted water, solving the problem benefits not only the wildlife, but also improves the quality of life for the people who share the water. The same goes for everything that affects us. For example, poisoning and persecuting bats removes a crucial controller of crop pests as well as an important plant pollinator. Without bats, crop failure and heavy pesticide loads would increase, raising food prices and damaging our health.
EWMe is your opportunity to join EWT
EWMe is the supporters' arm of EWT. It's your opportunity to help us to continue, and expand our work. Your support is vital to ensure that the EWT can carry on with this important work.
EWMe offers you three levels of support and involvement in this cause.
RIVERINE RABBIT WORKING GROUP OVERVIEW
The Riverine Rabbit Working Group (EWT-RRWG) was established in August 2003 and is delegating and coordinating all conservation efforts on the critically endangered Riverine Rabbit and its habitat. The group is so far the only non-governmental conservation institution based and operating in the Great and Klein Karoo region (Nama and Succulent Karoo) and understands its critical role in future conservation, environmental education, in building capacity and leaders in previously disadvantaged local communities of the Karoo. Due to the remote location of the Karoo it is a challenge for the group to engage future multidisciplinary research and to link with existing conservation, environmental education and research initiatives. The Riverine Rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis) is endemic to the semi-arid Great Karoo and parts of the Klein Karoo of South Africa and one of the most endangered terrestrial mammals of Southern Africa. With an estimation of a few hundred animals being left in the wild today the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction !
The Riverine Rabbit Working Group aims to conserve one of Southern Africa’s most threatened small terrestrial mammals, the Riverine Rabbit, by undertaking transect surveys and habitat evaluation and mapping exercises, environmental education and awareness, habitat management and rehabilitation, conservation stewardship programmes, population monitoring, research within the distribution range of the species as well as publicity.
The RRWG consists of various national and international stakeholders and role players such as Cape Nature, Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation, SANParks, Karoo National Park, Department of Agriculture of the Western Cape, private landowners, Zoological Society for the Conservation and Populations (ZGAP e.V.), WWF-SA, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), IUCN/SSC Lagomorph Specialist Group, Department of Zoology of the University of Stellenbosch, Mammal Research Institute of the University of Pretoria and Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology of the University of the Western Cape.
Conservation status of the Riverine Rabbit
The Riverine Rabbit is one of Southern Africa's most threatened mammals and was re-assessed and upgraded from ENDANGERED to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED in 2002. The species is listed as such in the new edition of the Red Data Book of the Mammals of South Africa (2004). In the eighties it was suggested that the remaining suitable habitat might, theoretically, support a maximum of 1435 rabbits. Today the population size is estimated to be not much more than a few hundred animals. At present, none of the Riverine Rabbit habitat is protected within a provincial nature reserve or national park and the species only occurs on private Karoo farmland.