Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Croaaakk... croaaaakkk”  (that’s ‘Hi’ in TOAD)

Greetings to you from me, SANDILI, and all the other sand-toads living in the Sand River wetland and surrounding marshes. We are thrilled to know that you love us, because we desperately need your help!! You ought to know, we are very special toads that only like living along the Eastern Cape coastline. WHY? Because it’s the best place on Earth to live, of course! Many toadliums ago we had this marsh all to ourselves and we had a hopping croaky life, but lately we have been chased away by runaway fires, poisonous rubbish dumped in our marshes, alien plants that dry up our wetlands and those toadifying quad-bikes that don’t give us a chance to hop away before they squash us! It’s an absolute night-toad!!

Now, here’s how YOU can help us: Keep our marshes (and town and beaches) clean, don’t litter. Don’t spill poisons and rubbish into the rivers or onto the lands and DON’T go biking anywhere off demarkated roads. Find out which plants don’t belong here and help to remove them.  (Get advice from the toad-friendly St Francis Conservancy on 042 2940 803)

How can WE help you?? That’s easy!! 
Do you like mozzies, flies, snails,worms, grubs?    NO?
Well, we just LOVE them, they’re our favourite dinner, yummiee!
So, if you will help us make our living space comfortable once more, we will help you by eating as many mozzies and other goggas as we possibly can and we will also ask our friends to come back and live in our wetland again. A deal, ok?!

Thank you for helping to make ST. FRANCIS the TOADLIEST place to live in the whole wide world!
Yours toadily,

Sand River
St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape


VISION: “ St  Francis Conservancy – this unique natural and cultural heritage, preserved and restored by its custodians as a place of enrichment and inspiration for all.”

MISSION:  “ The St Francis Conservancy exists to preserve and restore the patterns and processes of this unique environment and inheritance to be shared for the benefit of current and future generations, by a collaborative self-sustaining venture involving all interested role players, managed primarily by landowners, with the help of specialists, according to conservation best practice principles and ethics.”

     The St Francis Conservancy is made up of land-owner representatives from an area stretching from Rocky Coast, Cape St Francis, along the coast to Thyspunt, Oyster Bay, and properties along the Kromme River,Sand River and the Cape St Francis road. The Conservancy also has representatives from DEAET,  Kouga Municipality, and various likeminded conservation bodies such as Fourcade, FOSTER, SCOSS and Kromme Trust who all give their valuable input and assistance at our meetings. Last year the Consevancy was officially recognised by the DEAET.

     One of the Conservancy’s main ( long-term ) aims is to help eradicate the area of alien vegetation. To this end, weevils and mites that attack the Port Jackson and Rooikranz have been introduced to strategic points in the Conservancy and we are hoping to start a manual eradication project with funding from ‘Working for Water’ in the near future. 

      An important task is to foster public responsibility for the natural heritage that
surrounds us and we organise eco-tours,beach clean-ups and have anti-snaring/game-poaching campaigns. We liase regularly with the local media to make the public aware of our existence and to get its support in matters such as reporting illegal hunting, stealing of indigenous plants, chopping down milkwoods and the destruction caused by unlawful quadbiking in the Sand River.

     Our logo is the endemic ( to the Eastern Cape) , endangered Sand Toad, existence of which represents a healthy eco-system, which is what we strive to help maintain for our and future generations.

Anyone interested in joining the St Francis Conservancy, please contact Elisabeth Rautenbach on 042 2932039 or rautenbach@grasmereostriches.com