A day in the life of a Junior Ranger

The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (NWSMA) played host to the Agulhas National Park Junior Rangers in July. Nine young nature lovers and their parents visited various NWSMA activities as part of their Junior Rangers Camp.

The young rangers, who are between Grade 7 and Grade 10, visited the buffalo at the boma, as well as the Black Duck Hide, at Zoetendals Winery.

Here they saw how alien biomass had been used to build the bird hide, which overlooks the Nuwejaars River.

Former NWSMA Executive Member Mick D’Alton told the youngsters about the Quagga Project. In this project, a group of southern Plains Zebras are been selectively bred, in an attempt to retrieve the genes responsible for the Quagga’s characteristic markings. The SMA is host to 14 ‘Quagga’, including Freddie – rated as one of the top ‘Quagga’ in the country.

The rangers also learned about the Blue Crane, South Africa’s national bird. The Overberg region serves as a hub for the Blue Crane, which is listed as vulnerable on the Red Data List of Threatened Species. The NWSMA in particular provides the habitat that Blue Cranes make use of, including the wheat fields and wetland areas.

The NWSMA will again partner with the Agulhas National Park in October, to play host to five schools, as part of the Kids in Parks Programme. From the NWSMA Executive Committee, a huge thank you to the Park, and in particular to Alliston Appel, for organising these important environmental education opportunities. The NWSMA is excited to be a part of building capacity for future conservationists.