Counting cheetahs in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

first_img30 September 2014If counting African wild dogs in the Kruger sounds like a fantastic adventure, then join the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and South African National Parks Honorary Rangers’s sixth wild dog and fourth cheetah photographic survey.Launched on 24 September, South Africa’s Heritage Day, in Kruger National Park, the survey runs from 24 September 2014 to 24 June 2015.“By launching this project on Heritage Day we are celebrating both the African wild dog and the cheetah as key components of South Africa’s natural heritage,” said Kelly Marnewick, the EWT’s carnivore conservation programme managerLouis Lemmer, SANParks Honorary Rangers national chairperson, asked visitors to the Kruger to “become involved as citizen scientists and help ensure the conservation of these iconic animals’.The African wild dog is South Africa’s most endangered carnivore and there are less than 450 left in the country. Cheetahs are classified as vulnerable with less than 1000 remaining in South Africa.“The Kruger National Park is a conservation stronghold for both species and is home to the largest protected population of cheetahs and wild dogs in South Africa.” said Marnewick.Win with your park picsEach cheetah and wild dog has a unique coat pattern. Photographs from the survey will be used to identify each animal and provide a population estimate. The 2004 photographic survey estimated there were around 151 wild dogs and about 412 cheetahs in the Kruger National Park.It is important to know how many of the animals there are to make sure they survive in adequate numbers.To participate in the survey, enthusiastic conservationists can submit photographs or videos of any cheetahs or African wild dogs spotted in the Kruger National Park between 24 September 2014 and 24 June 2015 to the following:Email: [email protected]: @EWTcensusEWTcensusEntrants stand the chance to win a number of prizes, including:One Nikon D7100 + 18-140mm lens;A Nikon D3100 + 18-55mm DX for the best children’s entry (under 18);Two stays in the Kruger National Park including accommodation and conservation fees for two persons for three nights mid-week, excluding Friday and Saturday nights, outside school holidays; andPainted Wolf wine hampers.Ideally the side view of both sides of the animal needs to be seen in the photographs, but any photographs are helpful.All entries must be submitted with a name, country, email, phone number, and age. Entrants must send only one entry per entry method.For the children’s category (under 18) entrants must provide the date of sighting, location, and the total number of animals in a groupFor more information on the survey, visit the Endangered Wildlife Trust, or South African National Parks.Source: South African National Parkslast_img read more

Non-GMO corn production and purity concerns

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. Many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt produce non-GMO corn attempting to capture an additional premium. Depending on the contracting elevator, standard GMO contamination allowances are typically from 0% to 1%. Producing non-GMO corn within the acceptable tolerances of GMO contamination is possible; however, there are several challenges and potential pitfalls that make production of 100% pure non-GMO corn a tremendous undertaking and can keep growers from capturing a premium for their corn. Planting non-GMO seed does not necessarily mean the harvested shelled corn will be GMO free. Tests used by elevators to determine if GMOs are present may not be 100% accurate, but they are a determining factor as to whether a load will be accepted.If a grower plants non-GMO corn, what could cause GMO contamination?• Contaminated planting equipment and seed tenders • Contaminated seed • Mistakes made in record keeping where hybrids were not correctly identified at planting and/or harvest, leading to contamination • Adventitious pollen from GMO corn fields can cause cross-pollination of non-GMO corn • Contaminated combines at harvest • Contaminated grain carts, wagons, trucks, augers, grain legs, and grain bins.What steps can be taken in an attempt to produce grain that meets GMO tolerances?• Discuss plans for non-GMO corn with a seed sales rep, select the right hybrid together. • Make sure planting equipment is completely and thoroughly cleaned before planting a non-GMO hybrid. • Make sure non-GMO fields are adequately isolated from neighboring GMO fields to prevent cross-pollination. • Vary planting dates and/or hybrid maturities to vary pollination timing between GMO and non-GMO fields. • When harvesting non-GMO fields, completely clean combines, grain carts, wagons, trucks, dump pits, augers, grain legs, and grain bins of all corn that could be a source of contamination. • When hauling corn to the elevator from on-farm storage, make sure all handling equipment (augers, grain legs, trucks, etc.) are completely cleaned to avoid contamination.Seed Consultants does not guarantee or warrant 100% purity of non-GMO grain delivered to the elevator. As discussed above, there are many potential sources of contamination and it can be a challenge to eliminate them all. Seed Consultants works diligently to provide customers the purest seed that is produced with every precaution possible, in adherence to industry standards. Although the process of producing grain that is within allowed tolerances is difficult, Seed Consultants’ sales staff and agronomists are available to help growers understand and plan for the many challenges that may arise. Through careful planning and attention to detail, growers can ensure they have minimized the chance of contamination and provide the best possible conditions for capturing a non-GMO premium.last_img read more