Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


Endangered Wildlife Trust

The Endangered Wildlife Trust was established in 1973 and is registered as a Non-profit Organisation.

Our niche

The EWT fills the key niche of on-the-ground conservation action. Our specialist programmes and large team of skilled field staff are deployed throughout southern Africa and focus on applied fieldwork, research and direct engagement with stakeholders. Our work supports the conservation of species and ecosystems, and recognises the role that communities play in successful conservation programmes.

We focus on identifying the key factors threatening biodiversity and develop mitigating measures to reduce these. Through a broad spectrum of partnerships and networks, we develop innovative methodologies and best practice guidelines that help to reduce negative environmental impacts and promote harmonious co-existence and sustainable living for both people and wildlife.

Our Vision

A healthy planet and an equitable world that values and sustains the diversity of all life

Our Mission>

The Endangered Wildlife Trust is dedicated to conserving threatened species and ecosystems in southern Africa to the benefit of all people.

We fulfill our 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; and
•taking a strong leadership and advocacy role in promoting environmental and social justice.

Programmes & partnerships

Our dedicated, specialist programmes collectively coordinate around 80 projects throughout southern Africa. These programmes focus on specific issues, species and ecosystems ranging from conserving wetlands and grasslands to addressing the irresponsible use of poisons and agro-chemicals to protecting the last remaining Blue Swallows that breed in South Africa.

We also work extensively with partners, turning stakeholders into supporters and colleagues. Farmers, organisations such as South African 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.

Riverine Rabbit Programme (EWT-RRP)

The Riverine Rabbit Programme aims to ensure the survival of the Critically Endangered endemic Riverine Rabbit by implementing sound conservation programmes for the species and its unique Nama and Succulent Karoo habitat. (Read more in project section ' 1.3 Action – Mitigation (Restoration): Riparian Habitat Rehabilitation Project in the Karoo' (internal link at the bottom of this page))

African Crane Conservation Programme (EWT-ACCP)

The EWT’s crane conservation work is largely conducted through a joint venture between the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and the EWT. The resulting programme empowers individuals and organisations to develop conservation activities and promotes the sustainable use and wise management of wetland, grassland and Karoo ecosystems.Wetlands and peatlands have an important role in mitigating and sequestrating climate change.

Download an article lookingf at the possible effects of climate change on the population ecology of blue cranes (Altwegg and Anderson, 2009)

Wildlife & Energy Programme (EWT-WEP)

Energy & communications infrastructure represent one of the most important interfaces for interaction between man and wildlife, particularly in SA's growing economy. The Wildlife & Energy Programme is at the forefront of managing these interactions, to the benefit of both wildlife & industry.

Airport Wildlife Programme (EWT-AWP)

Our partnership with the Airports Company of South Africa has led to innovative solutions being developed to minimise wildlife problems at airports. Specially trained Border Collies are used to keep birds away from runways, thus providing a way to keep both wildlife and people safe by reducing the risk of bird strikes.

Birds of Prey Programme (EWT-BoPP)

The Birds of Prey Programme actions conservation projects for the diurnal and nocturnal raptors of southern Africa. An amalgamation between the EWT's Raptor Conservation and Vulture Study Groups brought about this Working Group and strengthened the effectiveness of the birds of prey conservation network in the sub continent.

Carnivore Conservation Programme (EWT-CCP)

The Carnivore Conservation Programme promotes research on carnivores in southern Africa and even further a field particularly those species that are vulnerable or endangered with special emphasis on those aspects that will improve their conservation status through the implementation of sound management strategies.

Conservation Breeding Specialists Group Southern Africa (CBSG Southern Africa)

The CBSG is one of more than 125 IUCN Species Survival Commission specialist groups. The regionally-based CBSG Southern Africa operates as a partnership with the EWT and aims to catalyse local conservation action by developing processes and tools which support conservation decision-making and the effective management of threatened wildlife species and ecosystems.

Conservation Leadership Programme (EWT-CLP)

The Conservation Leadership Programme is building future leaders in conservation from the previously disadvantaged citizens of South Africa. Students on EWT-CLP programmes are mentored and trained in conservation theory and hands-on fieldwork to assist them in developing their own conservation vision and to become champions for the conservation cause in their communities.

Healthy Rivers Programme (EWT-HRP)

The EWT’s Healthy Rivers Programme aims to conserve river ecosystems, including both the river itself and the adjoining riparian ecosystem. These systems are under severe pressure and will become more important as water becomes scarcer in the future. The programme began in mid-2008 with two projects focusing on yellowfish breeding ecology and movement in the
Vaal River Catchment.

IT4 Conservation Programme (EWT-IT4CP)

The Information Technology for Conservation Programme aims to use information technology to deliver data, knowledge and services in an effective and easy-to-use manner for the benefit of biodiversity conservation in southern Africa.

Law and Policy Programme (EWT-L&PP)

A small but important group, the Law and Policy Programme offers the EWT greater access to many parliamentary processes, giving the Trust a voice in the development of policies and legislation relating to the environment, and allowing us to make a difference at this level too.

Marine and Coastal Programme (EWT-M&CP)

The Marine and Coastal Programme began its programme with a project to monitor the status of Humpbacked Dolphins Sousa chinensis, a species often accidently harmed by shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Interactions with specialists, government and other NGOs revealed an increasing number of threats negatively affecting oceans and coasts in southern
Africa. This has expanded the focus of the EWT-MCWG, which now works with partners to tackle some of the major threats and promote healthy marine and coastal ecosystems.

Threatened Grassland Species Programme (EWT-TGSP)

The EWT-Threatened Grassland Species Programme was developed as a programme combining the EWT’s Blue Swallow and Oribi Working Groups and the KwaZulu-Natal Biodiversity Programme. The Blue Swallow and Oribi Working Groups had been implementing conservation action for grasslands, based on a single species approach, but conservation policies globally have moved away from this narrow approach in favour of protecting entire ecosystems. The EWT-TGSP was formed in line with this trend, using these highly threatened species as indicators of grassland health and conservation.

Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Programme (EWT-WCMP)

The primary objective of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Programme is to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, with the effects of pesticides on wildlife and the environment as a common thread throughout. The primary objective is achieved through focused projects aimed primarily at the conflict interface between pesticides and wildlife, pesticides and human health, and the interface between pesticides and urban and rural/agricultural (animal and crop) environments.

What does this mean for 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 the people who share the water. The same goes for everything that affects us. For example, poisoning and persecuting bats removes a crucial pest controller as well as an important plant pollinator. Without bats, crop failure and heavy pesticide loads would increase, raising food prices and damaging our health. Without healthy grasslands our agricultural industry would become degraded and our ability to produce food for export and for consumption by all South Africans would be compromised.

Our history

In 1973 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. This initiative was so successful that Clive, together with businessman Neville Anderson and James Clarke of the Johannesburg newspaper Star, registered the Endangered Wildlife Trust as an NGO focusing on endangered and threatened animals and began to raise funds from an office based out of Clive’s garage!

The first three projects to carry the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s logo focused on Cheetah, Brown Hyaenas and vultures. These projects dealt with population monitoring and human-wildlife conflict, issues still topical today. Thus from the word go the EWT was all about action for biodiversity conservation and 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 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.'


Telephone: 011 486 1102
Fax: +27 11 486 1506
Postal Address: Private Bag X11 Parkview 2122 South Africa
Physical Address: The Gold Fields Environment Centre Johannesburg Zoological Gardens Erlsworld Way Parkview South Africa

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Posted: 8/13/2010 (12:35:00 PM)

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