Waterberg Nature Conservancy - Speakers
November 2020

DR PHILIP CALCOTT

Philip Calcott, the physicist, is Waterberg’s own go-to-man in matters such as science and astronomy; not only those but on Solar Power.  In these days of the unreliability of Eskom providing all the power we need as well as taking climate change into consideration, it is very important to get the latest information on solar power.

The title of Philip’s talk is: “SOLAR POWER RECENT INNOVATIONS AND THEIR APPLICATION TO US IN THE WATERBERG”

 

DEREK VAN DER MERWE

Another Waterberg’s own – the Waterberg Wild Dogs.  Derek is kindly coming along to chat with us about the formation of the Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative.  As many of you know, Derek is an excellent speaker and extremely passionate about his subjects.  Not to be missed.

Derek’s presentation is: “WATERBERG WILD DOG INITIATIVE – ITS MEANING AND WHERE WE’RE AT”

The April, June and August general meetings were cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions.
However the following visual presentations were made and circulated:

June

Judi Groenewald of Waterberg Tourism gave an update on how Waterberg Tourism was still operating in the lockdown periods

Reilly Mooney – A Year As A Babooner

July

Marilize Greyling – Impala In The Waterberg

February 2020

MICHELLE THOMPSON

Michelle is Media and Communications Coordinator at Welgevonden Game Reserve and comes from a very strong, diverse background in scientific research. She studied Zoology at the University of Pretoria and completed her masters there, followed by a PhD in avian physiology.

The intriguing subject presentation is about using bird behaviour to assess species relative vulnerability to climate warming: the journey of the HD50 concept.

The title of Michelle’s talk is:

“Hot Birds Research Project”

 

LESIBA MASIBA

Lesiba, in his Waterberg Biosphere Chairman capacity, will tell us about the Biosphere’s proposal to USAID requesting support in conducting a WBR strategic environmental support assessment to obtain evidence/scientific based data to assist with reviewing WBR zonations and boundaries. Good news is this proposal has been approved.  Let’s hear Lesiba give us all the positive aspects of this project.

“WBR Extending Its Boundaries To Include Key Biodiversity Areas like Nylsvlei”

 

JESSICA BABICH

Surely known to all of us, Jess, who is also on the WNC Executive Committee, will be prettily wearing her Save The Waterberg Rhino hat today to give us a fascinating and informative talk on STWR’s recent trip to Kenya for the Tusk Conservation Symposium which had an attendance of representatives from 45 Tusk supported projects across 16 African countries. An indelible memory from the Symposium were the images of the last 2 remaining northern white rhinos. The four day event’s significant impact is its positive relationships and collaborative ventures.

Jessica’s presentation:

“A Broad Overview And Highlights Of The Tusk Symposium 2019”

November 2019

HEINRICH HATTINGH

Heinrich is the CEO & Co-Founder of Agri600 – Dust & Erosion Control.  We’re sure the majority of you experience problems with both of these so this will be fascinating and informative as he will be providing information regarding Agri600 Polymer which is a latex co-polymer soil stabilisation and dust prevention product which has had huge success. Additionally, and an important subject, Heinrich will talk to us about their new technology water retainer that assists in using half the water on vegetation as would normally be used.

As the above suggests, Heinrich’s talk is: “Dust & Erosion Control”

CARMEN WARMENHOVE

You’ll no doubt remember Carmen is an Assistant Volunteer Research Programme Co-Ordinator at Welgevonden.  At our first WNC meeting this year, she touched our emotions with the story of two orphaned cheetah cubs and how Carmen and her colleagues stepped in to help them.  In February, the story was only half way.  What happened to the cubs we have been asking? Come listen to Carmen and hear the conclusion of this “book” – or is it the end?  We shall find out.

Carmen’s presentation: “The Orphaned Cheetah Cubs – their on-going tale”

August 2019

ADRIAAN LOUW

Having studied nature conservation at Pretoria Technicon then working in the Kruger and Songimvelo Game Reserve for 11 years Adriaan now has a sound background in the subject. With his understanding of the savanna ecosystem, he has chosen to use those principles on his Waterberg cattle farm as well as choosing to work with predators and not against them.

He considers where and when did we loose soil life and the effects of that.  How do we get life back in the soil with Soil Microbes and what are the benefits?

Adriaan’s talk will give us some answers: “Soil Bio-Microbes – The Benefits”

CLIVE WALKER

No introduction really needed here for Waterberg’s very own Clive! His contribution to conservation, wildlife, research, art, books et al is endless. His book “Baobab Trails….an artist’s journey of wilderness and wanderings” reflects on all of these things, particularly on his love of baobabs.

Clive will bring a limited number of signed copies to the meeting for sale at R250.00 each.  He is then very kindly donating R50 per book sold to the WNC Education Fund.

Clive’s presentation is:  “Once Upon A Baobab……..why are Africa’s baobabs dying”

WARWICK TARBOTON

An expert on many things, Warwick, last came to speak to us wearing his dragonfly hat.  It suited him very well, but perhaps he’s slightly more recognisable with his bird hat. Perhaps you know that the Waterberg has been recolonised with red-billed oxpeckers and more recently the first ever yellow-billed oxpecker was recorded here, but we definitely need more information on both of these.  Can’t wait…

Warwick’s talk is: “Oxpeckers – The Come Back Kids”

June 2019

LESIBA MASIBE

As well as being at the helm of the Waterberg Welfare Society, Lesiba is, as you know, Chair of Waterberg Biosphere.  You’ll also probably know that WBR, with a new board, reformed itself just 12 months ago.  What are they doing? What projects have they got? What are their plans?  And the like.  It’s important for Waterbergers to know and Lesiba will certainly enlighten us.

Lesiba’s talk is: “WBR – Where We Are Now and Where We Are Going”

SEAN HENSMEN

Director of Adventures with Elephants & Managing Director of Elephants For Africa Forever (EFAF)

The background and history to Sean’s passion of elephants is really fascinating. That story alone could take up much more than his 20 minutes slot. However, he will also talk to us about how he has developed a tourism product that promotes educational as well as conservation values in a holistic manner. Sean believes that there are many things to learn from elephants and has actively pursued research in various fields from the uses of elephants as bio-detectors (for tracking criminals to finding landmines and drugs) to communication and Human Elephant Conflict Resolutions.

PROFESSOR NIGEL BARKER

University of Pretoria, Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences – Dept. of Plant & Soil Sciences

Please don’t think this will be a uninspiring talk; absolutely far from it as Nigel himself was completely inspired by the Waterberg on his recent first visit and was amazed by the topographic and biodiversity of the region.  He took this exciting news back to his colleagues and the seed of establishing a medium to long term research programme on this area’s biodiversity was firmly planted.  This seed needs nurturing.  Nigel will talk to us about how with Waterbergers’ help and co-operation this important programme can be grown.

RICHARD WADLEY

Richard probably doesn’t need any introduction – he’s a geologist and a complete mind of information on the history and many other things connected with the Waterberg.  He will enlighten and entertain us with his presentation: “History of Churches in the Waterberg”

April 2019

MOJI KITSI

Some of you will know Moji, some of you won’t.  Some of you will have seen him but he’s so busy he may have passed you by in a blur! Moji is conducting Environmental Education on behalf of Welgevonden.  He will tell us how he runs the programme with its content and challenges and the need for collaborations towards such a programme.

The title of Moji’s talk is: “Environmental Education In the Waterberg”

MARK GODFREY

Mark will take off his headmaster’s mantle and don a reptile one for this meeting.  He’ll tell us about experts’ latest opinions on how to survive a snake bite and the excellent, much needed idea of having local anti-venom banks and how they work.                          

His presentation is called: “How To Survive A Snake Bite and Anti-Venom Banks”

SHAUN MCCARTNEY

Now for something different! The Waterberg is very fortunate to have Shaun McCartney back in his role as CEO at Welgevonden.  In his sojourn away from this area, he didn’t actually take a break but opened a craft beer brewery in Mpumalanga.  He’s very happy to share with us not only his knowledge of craft beer but also do tastings.

Shaun’s presentation is entitled: “The Craft Of Craft Brewing”

February 2019

GREG CANNING

Many of you know Greg.  Not only is he a member of the WNC Executive Committee, he’s Welgevonden’s Volunteer Research Programme Co-Coordinator and has a wealth of environmental knowledge.  He’s been researching spiders and is going to enlighten us with some interesting and fascinating spider facts…..listen and learn!

The title of Greg’s talk is: “Spiders of the Waterberg”

LUZANNE KATZ

Luzanne has been working with primates for 20 years and is based between Vaalwater and Modimolle, running a centre possibly not so well known – The Baboon Rehabilitation Centre.  Some people may think – “oh baboons, what a nuisance” but wait until Luzanne has chatted to us.  It’ll probably be a mind-changer.                              

Her presentation is called: “Co-Existing with Baboons”

CARMEN WARMENHOVE

We’re so lucky to have two people from Welgevonden speaking today.  Carmen is an Assistant Volunteer Research Programme Co-Ordinator.

She’s been completely involved with a heart-warming and unusual endeavour on the reserve.  A cheetah mother suddenly died, leaving behind two young cubs.  Carmen will tell us the super story of how these cubs have and are surviving.

Carmen’s talk is entitled: “Orphaned Cheetah Cubs”’