ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
This important annual
meeting of our Friends group takes place…..
Date: Thursday 5th May 2005
Time: 7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m.
Venue: Rietvlei Education Centre, behind MAC Clubhouse, off
Speaker: James Collicott
Enquiries: Pauline 557 6920 a/h or 4644748 o/h
Milnerton Lighthouse lies on our boundary so this a
pertinent speaker topic. The AGM is also the time of hearing
what has been done over the last year and setting up an
effective committee for the next year, so the committee will
present the business matters of the past year to the
members. Members it will be your opportunity to get involved
and make sure that the committee goes from strength to
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ATTEND OR SEND APOLOGIES. VISITORS AND
POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS ARE REALLY WELCOME.
For members paying an
annual subscription please find attached a renewal form. The
new financial year started on 1 April so your subs are now
due. Please post a cheque, direct deposit at the bank or pay
at the AGM. Your subs keep this newsletter going as well as
contribute in many ways to the conservation of Rietvlei.
Rainfall.. or the lack
of it…….. NOW LOTS OF IT
As we wrote last month Rietvlei was dry and the City was
suffering under a lack of water. Fortunately this all
changed on 10/11 April. So far this year the following rain
has been recorded at Rietvlei: Jan 2005 16mm, February 4mm,
March 14,5 , and on 10 April 44mm. In the days thereafter
there has been more rain. The total water in the City's dams
has crept up from a low of 26,3% to 27,9% by 18 April.
Rietvlei has filled up considerably due to this local rain.
The heavy rain of 63mm at Malmesbury ensured that the Diep
River catchment area also flowed and by Tuesday 12 April the
Diep River rose considerably. The most unusual occurrence of
muddy water flowing from the central pan across rapids into
the South Vlei and North Vlei was observed by people
driving along the R27.
The Rietvlei conservation staff had to brave the cold wet,
windy and muddy conditions on Monday 11 April to retrieve
the pump and pipes that had been used since 28 February in
keeping the central pan damp. Had they not got the pipes out
on Monday the pipes would have been buried under mud until
next summer. Ironically the pump and pipes were rushed off
to be used in suburbs that were flooded.
Fortunately the rains brought rapid relief to local
residents who experienced dust clouds blowing off the pan on
Friday 8 April. The exceptionally strong south-east winds
picked up the dust, but unusually these winds also brought
the rain, thunder and lightening.
SATURDAY OPEN DAY :
09H00 TO 12H00 : 7TH MAY 2005
BRING FRIENDS & FAMILY TO
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL CENTRE TO READ, CHAT AND LOOK. A WALK TO
THE BIRD HIDE WILL DEPART FROM THE CENTRE AT 10H00. PLEASE
"Otterless du Plessis
(Written by: Cassandra
Quinton Sheasby; Photos taken by: Kareemah Jacobs)
On the 31 January 2005, a member of the community notified
the Nature Conservation Office at Milpark that a dead Cape
Clawless Otter had been seen on the side of Otto du Plessis
drive. It was more than likely knocked down at night over
the weekend. Nature Conservation Officials then went to the
site and picked it up. The lower body of the Otter had been
badly mangled by the car that hit it so determining its sex
was difficult. From the size and the lack of signs of
lactation, it was assumed to be a male.
On the 01 April 2005, two more Cape Clawless Otters were
reported dead on the side of Otto du Plessis drive to the
Nature Conservation staff of Rietvlei Wetland Reserve. These
were collected by the staff and were sexed. The still
lactating mother and her male cub were probably trying to
cross the road from the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve to the
coastal section of the road when a car hit them. The two
Otters were donated to the Blaauwberg Conservation Area for
taxidermy in order to serve an educational purpose.
The Otter population at Rietvlei is probably not more than
one or two family groups as they are quite territorial. The
population will not be able to sustain itself if this
continues and it may eventually lead to the local extinction
of Otters from Rietvlei. These are not the only animals that
are hit by cars along this road. A Grysbok was also
collected along this road during February this year.
The speed limit on Otto du Plessis is 80kms per hour along
the stretch adjacent to the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve, but
often people drive faster than 100kms per hour here
especially at night when these animals come out to feed.
Future management of this road may have to include a
"subway" under the road for animals to cross safely and
"Otter Crossing" signs, but until that is possible, we are
requesting people to drive more slowly and carefully along
this road to prevent sad events like these occurring as
frequently in the future.
|This newsletter comes to you with the kind
assistance of Caltex.