Kabelious Reserve Action Group Newsletter - August 2020

It is hard to believe that just over two years ago the Kabeljous Reserve was an unused, overgrown area of land.

Earlier this year, our KRAG logo was launched (see top of newsletter). It was developed by Johno Swanevelder and CCPrints has sponsored the printing of signs and stickers for use on volunteers’ vehicles.

It has been wonderful to see how well used and popular our reserve has become. It is encouraging to all our hard-working volunteers to see a full parking area, and visitors, both local and from out of town, enjoying themselves hiking, cycling, trail running, picnicking and bird watching. The lagoon water pushing up into the wetlands has given the reserve a whole different look recently, and it is possible to canoe beyond porcupine bridge. This has also attracted much birdlife.

Unfortunately, several events had to be cancelled. The popular moonwalk was cancelled firstly due to bad weather, and then the lockdown. We are looking forward to holding these again as soon as possible.

We were also due to host two trail runs. The 60km Smhart trail run in April, and the Winterfest trail run in July. We look forward to being involved in these events again next year.
Despite the lockdown, our volunteers obtained working permits which allowed projects to be tackled during level 4.

Two surveys have been carried out in the reserve this year. A small mammal survey was done, assisted by Prof. Graham Kerley, Director of the Centre for Conservation Ecology at NMU. We were loaned 40 Scherman traps which were set up in different vegetation types. They were checked and cleared three times daily over a period of 5 days. Two species were recorded, striped field mice (Rhabdomys pumilo) and vlei rats (Otomys irroratus). We plan to start writing up the report on this survey later in the year.

KRAG in partnership with the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, installed advanced wildlife acoustic equipment and collected data on bat activity for 3 months. This data will allow identification of the bat species present in the reserve. We will be consulting with bat specialists, as well as NMU to analyse the data.
We have a rich source of wildlife in our small reserve. Camera traps have revealed over 30 “larger” mammals, the bird club has a list of more than 150 different bird species, and reptiles are frequently seen.

To read more on the summary of maintenance activities carried out over the past few weeks, click here.



images (1)

Jeffreys Bay - Awarded Blue Flag Beach

Dolphin Beach at Jeffreys Bay is one of only six beaches across the Eastern Cape to have been awarded international Blue Flag status ahead of the 2019/2020 summer season.

Read More
main beach

Captivated by JBay Lifeguard

As dejected as it may seem, the word drowning resonates with me, especially during this time of the year. Drowning is defined as respiratory impairment that typically occurs silently, with only a few people able to wave their hands or call for help. Statistics show one person drowns every two to three days during summer. Surprisingly, the number one killer in the sea is the current. This is a short personal narrative of my experience during December 2018 with the hope that it might save someone’s life. The NSRI terms a rip current as a strong, narrow, fast-flowing current directed toward the sea that travels up to one to two meters per second. Rip currents usually develop close to the shoreline in very shallow water around a meter deep – just where beach bathers are usually found. My dad always educates me on when and where to swim. From an early age, I remember spending countless hours on the beach and in the sea every holiday. By the same token, I see myself as a decent swimmer who is able to swim myself to safety when necessary. Last year, my two girls and I were swimming at Dolphins Beach. As a rule, we never swim deep and stay between the red flags at all times. When we entered the water, there was no upshot current or at least I could not see any in the water. After an hour of swimming, suddenly I could not stand. My kids and I found ourselves in a dark spotted rip current. As former Northern Transvaal swimmer, lifesaver and Learn to Swim Instructor I tried to use the force of the waves to help us get back to shore. Unannounced, a giant wave plunged over us and split us apart. “Stay Calm, please stay calm”, I yelled! I was surprised to find my two daughters listening attentively. My oldest floated on the water imitated by her younger eight year old sister. Reminiscent of my days as a lifesaver, I decided to swim parallel to the beach and dragged both my daughters along. My eye caught the lifeguard patrolling the beach on his paddle s

Read More
Derrin Smith, of dormakaba, leads the reduced group from which both the first and second place at the 2019 Trans Baviaans Race came. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Dormakaba and Galileo Risk Overcome Rough Terrain to win 2019 Trans Baviaans

The 2019 Trans Baviaans, which took place in the Eastern Cape on Saturday 10 August, was won by the dormakaba and Galileo Risk teams. They and their fellow competitors in the Trans Baviaans Race, the first of two events, had to brave the roughest conditions in years on the traverse through the Baviaanskloof.

Read More