OVERBERG RENOSTERVELD CONSERVATION TRUST NEWS
Newsletter 29 | Dec 2022
by Dr Odette Curtis-Scott.
“So what do you do all day?” A look back on our 10th year
It’s been a busy year for the ORCT! Our year was centred on our 10 year celebrations and we used every opportunity to raise awareness about our work and to grow the network of support upon which we are dependent.
(We’ll even be appearing on local television programme 50/50 on 12 December 2022).
People often ask us: ‘So what do you actually do all day?’ I think what we achieved this year should answer this question.
We have signed up an additional 523 ha of Renosterveld into our easement programme, and assessed six potential future sites. And on our easement sites, we cleared 540 ha of invasive alien plants across 12 sites, undertook erosion control interventions, and contributed to the labour and materials to fence nearly 20km along Renosterveld remnants to protect them from livestock grazing.
On the monitoring side, we deployed 16 camera traps and undertook fixed point photography monitoring. We surveyed 35 sites in spring and autumn and used the photographs to contribute our records to iNaturalist. We also took part in the Great Southern Bioblitz, where our little team contributed 10% of the total observations for the Overberg (more below). The Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve developments were completed, and we’re now actively marketing the reserve as a learning centre. Our successful Black Harrier campaign allowed us to trap three new adult harriers (more below).
We continued to grow our herbarium collection, which now has over 800 specimens. We brought 150 school children from local schools to our reserve, to learn about nature.
We’re a small team, but we pack a punch! I could not be prouder of my wonderful colleagues: Sharon King, our Office Manager; Grant Forbes, our Conservation Manager; Nande Notyalwa, the newest addition to our team, and the LoveGreen communications team. And to my supportive board: we are like a family. I am lucky to have your moral support and professional guidance.
And then of course, to the donors, without whom none of this would be possible. We thank you, most sincerely, for believing in us enough to invest in our work and our mission. Here’s to the next decade of Renosterveld conservation!