Municipal rubbish collection in Pearly Beach is on Monday morning only
The municipality have provided a drop off zone for your rubbish disposal at any other time.
This facility is used by some but not all residents and visitors to Pearly Beach, every long weekend visitors often leave their rubbish outside their houses when they leave on Tuesday, this then sits there for the whole week, festering and potentially attracting wild animals and sadly vagrants to rip open the bags searching for food. There is a fine of approximately R 3000 for putting rubbish out on any other day other than Monday morning even in the baskets people have erected to prevent dogs, as they don’t stop people birds and baboons.
Please be a responsible visitor and dispose of your rubbish in the correct manner.
Pearly Beach Conservancy
Fireworks in Pearly Beach
We wish to thank all members of the Association as well as residents and visitors to Pearly Beach, who responded to the questionnaire which was circulated earlier this year, regarding fireworks in Pearly Beach, particularly on New Year’s Eve.
The survey resulted in 30 families being in favour of fireworks while 37 families were opposed to fireworks being allowed in Pearly Beach. The Pearly Beach Conservancy has expressed their opposition to fireworks being permitted in the village. The Angling club also conducted an independent survey which was signed by members of the club. The majority of people who responded to this particular questionnaire were in favour of allowing the use of fireworks in Pearly Beach.
Because of the diverse opinions received on the question of permitting fireworks in Pearly Beach, the Pearly Beach Ratepayers’ Association management committee has decided not to challenge the present status quo. At present there are no designated areas in Pearly Beach where fireworks may be set off. However anyone wishing to do so, may apply to the municipality for approval which may or may not be granted at the sole discretion of the Fire Chief.
Nurturing an appreciation of nature
The second Eluxolweni Nature Club event organized by the Pearly Beach Conservancy took place in the afternoon of 26 July 2016. The sky cleared up after the heavy rain and offered a perfect backdrop for the occasion. Twenty primary school learners participated in a colouring-in competition and twenty high school learners attended a talk by Nashlin, an accredited guide from Grootbos. He informed the older students about tourism and conservation opportunities, while Beatriz and Susanne of the Pearly Beach Conservancy supervised the colouring-in competition of the young children who coloured in pictures of local animals such as penguins, guinea fowl and even crayfish, leopard toads and puff adders. The six best pictures were selected and the winners were thrilled with their Crazy Bird prizes sponsored by Sheryll of the Conservancy. The young children were treated to cupcakes and the older students to sandwiches donated by members of the Pearly Beach Conservancy. The Conservancy would like to extend a big thank you to Nashlin for making time to come out all the way to Pearly Beach, to Jeanette of the Eluxolweni library for helping with the organization and implementation, to Jan Koekemoer for the use of the projector and to the Eluxolweni community for their support and providing the hall and the creche as the venue. The Conservancy looks forward to organizing similar events in the future.
The system works!
This week one of the Conservancy members was walking on Castle Beach and came across a baby penguin standing all alone on the sand.
On closer inspection they found the poor bird was in a weaken state and covered in oil!
So the little chap, christened “Percy” was taken to their house and APSS (African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary) were called, who within one hour came to collect him and take him to their centre at Kleinbaai for rehabilitation.
So please when you are next going to the beach take a look at the APSS signs, they are at all the entrances to the beaches, pop their number in your cell and use it if you find a stranded bird….because as you see, the system does work!
Craft Market 2015
The Conservancy held its annual Craft Market on the village green in December and despite the weather being a bit dull and overcast many locals and holiday makers came along to browse the local stalls and indulge in some great home made food!
New Fynbos Centre Posters
The Fynbos Centre on the village green has just had its latest update in the form of 5 bespoke posters.
These information posters have been placed inside the Centre. They comprise of two plant identification ones, concentrating on the plants you can find in the garden and locally in Pearly Beach.
Another poster explores the relationship of fire with Fynbos, while the fourth gives historical medicinal uses of many of the local Fynbos plants.
The last poster shows off the Conservancy’s new logo!
All the posters and the information thereon were designed and constructed by members of the current Conservancy committee.
The Peacocks from Pearly Beach are being relocated to a more suitable habitat, some are sorry to see them go, but they had become a pest for some people and therefore before any harm came to them the Conservancy found a suitable home up at Panorama restaurant where there are big trees for roosting, lots of food and guests to appreciate their colourful displays.
Peacocks are not endemic to this area or even to Africa with the exception of the little-known Congo peacock, which inhabits African rain forests. In retrospect it was a mistake to introduce these birds to Pearly Beach a few years ago. At the time the Conservancy had no objections as they were supposed to be kept on the village green but unfortunately they started to wander around and we were unable to keep them in one place.
Otter Watch update
The first photographs of the Cape clawless otters that inhabit our coast line were taken today (14th September 2015) by a resident playing in the rock pools off Charlie van Breda Rd.
These otters were very happy to stay around and play for the camera as they foraged for early morning foodstuffs in the tidal pools.
If you want to see them for your self then you must get up bright and early as they don’t stay around for very long.
And if you do try and see them don’t forget your camera, and please send us a photo and location for our records.
Injured penguin & seabird information signs and emergency number
072 598 7117
Today, 29th July 2016, members of the Conservancy and the APSS centre erected 8 new information boards along our coastline from Blue Water Bay all the way to the Resort Beach
These boards give a 24/7 telephone number which anyone can call to report a stranded or injured penguin or other seabird.
Local volunteers from the village will then be altered and come out quickly to rescue the bird and arrange for its immediate care and later transportation to the APSS centre at Klienbaai.
So please put this number in your cell phone and don’t be afraid to use it…no call is a wasted call, you will probably save a life!
The Pearly Beach Conservancy has started a few new projects this year to improve nature awareness and to get people actively involved in our urban conservancy. Two of these projects are an Oystercatcher bird count and an Otter watch. The Conservancy has also raised awareness of tortoises by erecting signage provided by the municipality throughout the village, but much more assistance from the public is needed to increase awareness of tortoises.
The Conservancy is very keen to start with a new project, namely a tortoise study in order to monitor tortoise movement and territory by numbering 100 tortoises found inside the Pearly Beach Village, and then to record the date, location, age and sex of each animal. The angulate tortoise, bowsprit tortoise or rooipens, is a species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in South Africa. This tortoise in the only known member of the genus Chersina. Each time a numbered animal is seen, the date and location will be reported without again disturbing the animal and an individual’s movement pattern can be logged.
The initial numbering shall be done with a nontoxic paint (type used in the Abalone farms) on the uppermost scute in small print. A photograph will be taken and handling shall be kept to a minimum (approx. 2 minutes). This shall only be done by trained people and only during the wetter season of winter (never in summer, because if disturbed during the dry period, the animal releases its water reserves as a defense mechanism, water which re- hydrates the animal during dry spells.). The initial numbering will only take a month given the many tortoises in Pearly Beach.
The objective of this project is to provide an interesting study with results, raise nature awareness and protect the local tortoises, as sometimes they are illegally collected, sold or eaten. Remember that the collection of any wild animal is illegal. Hopefully this is less likely to happen if the animal is identifiable. Before this project can get off the ground, we would very much like to receive some support of the idea and any suggestions or proposals are also welcome. These can be e-mailed to email@example.com
Driving on the Beach
Still driving on the beach? This is your last warning!
Driving on the beach is an old controversial topic but beware the transgressors, R500 000 is a lot to cough up for a quick joy ride, and now the general public can catch you out too!
In 2002, the Government’s decision to regulate and ban beach driving around the South African coast caused a huge outcry from 4x4 enthusiasts and fishermen. Now, 13 years later it is clear that this ban was the correct one to make.
Pristine beaches, clear of vehicle tracks allow the recovery of all coastal organisms that benefit from the lack of disturbance and compacting of the substrate by the heavy vehicles crushing many of the invertebrates that make this environment their home. These invertebrates are a crucial link in the ecological food chain.
With the lack of disturbance on the beaches, all endemic shore birds and many migrant wading species such as this Sanderling, are now able to re-colonize summer feeding and breeding grounds, where their invertebrate prey items are also increasing in numbers and diversity.
4x4 vehicles caused extensive damage to dune systems and coastal vegetation. This vegetation is crucial to stabilizing the coastal zone and helps protect the interior from storm surges.
One of the only negative consequences of the beach-driving ban, is that it has now placed increased fishing pressure within estuaries, these estuaries are critical nursery areas for many line fish species and conservation efforts will need to ensure that over-exploitation does not occur in these areas.
Photos of vehicles driving on the beach must have visible number plates, date and location, where the incident took place.
Department of environmental affairs
Send photo to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Phone 0800205005 or 0725959139
All correspondence is treated confidentially, this is also the hotline to report all ecological coastal crime.
Black Oyster Catcher Bird Survey
We are conducting a year long survey of the endangered Black Oyster Catcher birds at Pearly Beach.
We are hoping that residences and visitors to the village will want to contribute to this important survey and are asking that if you walk along the coastline ALL you have to do is count the birds you see in any particular zone.
All you have to do then is send a short email to Steve with the basic information e.g. Zone 3, 6 birds on 21st June, that’s it!
Even if you only send him one sighting it will all help the bigger picture…thank you
Cape Clawless Otters
We are urging people visiting or residing in the village to report any sightings of Cape Clawless Otter tracks or send us a copy of any photographs you may be lucky enough to snap.
The best places to try and see these elusive creatures are around the beach and dunes at the Blind River (½ kilometre up from the resort), Blue Water Bay or in the rock pools off Charlie van Breda.
We will of course post any sightings and photos we receive…good luck and thanks.
Donation to APSS
This month the Conservancy has made a donation of R1000 to the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) at Kleinbaai.
This new ground breaking project is fully supported by the Conservancy and the work they are doing already is making a diffence to the injured coastal birds in our area.
Since its opening in February of this year, two Penguins have been rescued and released back into the wild, after being found entangled in a drifting net. Other birds that have been omitted and released are Northern Giant Petrels, Kelp Gulls, Terns and numerous Cormorants.
Again we urge you to visit the project just off the road to Kleinbaai, see for yourselves and support them in any way you can.
Fynbos Garden / Centre gets tourism recognition
Great news for all the people from the village that are involved with the Fynbos Garden and Centre!
Gansbaai Tourism Office have been recently heavily involved in rebranding themselves and have launched a major advertising campaign to encourage tourists’ and locals to visit the attractions within the town and surrounds.
Pearly Beach’s Fynbos garden & Centre gets a big mention as a very worthwhile place to come and visit.
This is fantastic recognition for all the hard work that has been put into these attractions by members of the Conservancy and Ratepayers’ Association.
We are always looking for people to help with the Garden and Centre, there’s always work to be done in the garden so if you want to lend a hand, or perhaps donate some local indigenous plants or even wish to make a donation to its upkeep then please contact our Chairman Jason on the details in the Committee members section of our webpage.
On the 20th of March we experienced a new moon in South Africa, nothing unusual in that, except it coincided with the moon being in close proximity to the Earth, a mere 357 583 km. Astrologists call this a Supermoon and with it falling on the equinox (meaning equal night) marking the start of Autumn or Spring, depending on where you live, combining this event with the solar eclipse seen in the northern hemisphere which hasn’t happened on this date since 1662! You can imagine the excitement and predictions Astrologists foretold surrounding this event!
Well it was very exciting on the shoreline here in the Overberg simply the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon working together combined with the close proximity of the moon caused extreme tides exposing rocks seldom seen, and eroding primary dunes. Had we had a storm swell at the same time, we would have experienced extreme erosion. Interestingly for those on a diet during this short period while the moon and sun were pulling in the same direction your mass would have been a few grams lighter, unfortunately 12 hours later you would have been a few grams heavier!
The lighter side of load shedding
When we are left in the dark, as has often been the case of late, the night sky looks particularly spectacular. At this time of the year, in late summer, the constellation of Orion is right above us in the evening. It rises in the East and sets in the West. As a result, it was an important navigational aid in former times. It is named after a great hunter in Greek mythology. Three stars in a row depict his belt (Orion se Gordel). These stars are also known as The Three Kings or The Three Sisters. One of his shoulders (Betelguese - reddish) and one of his knees (Rigel – bluish) are two of the brightest stars in our galaxy. Soon Orion will disappear and we will start to see Scorpio. These two constellations are never seen together, since they are at opposite sides of the night sky. The Southern Cross (Suiderkruis) and the Pointers are already quite prominent in the evenings – all signs that we are moving from summer into autumn. Because Pearly Beach does not have street lights, these wonderful sights can be admired on every clear night, even when there is no load shedding.
Christmas Market 2014
The Conservancy’s second Christmas Market on the 20th of December was a festive occasion. On the beautiful sunny morning enthusiastic members got up early to erect the marquee, the excitement built as over 18 store holders started arriving and setting up their colourful stalls around the new village green. It wasn’t long before the activity was noticed by the holiday visitors and locals alike and the market was underway. It was a wonderful social occasion and seemed to be over all too soon. Many last minute Christmas gifts were found and bought and all the stall holders were delighted with the event, many having sold out of their home made goods.
We look forward to hosting the Christmas Market next year and for many years into the future, so please make a note in your diaries.
Thanks to all those that attended.
Chairman of the Pearly Beach Conservancy
The Conservancy AGM that will be held on Wednesday 17 December 2014 at 10:00am in the NG Church at Pearly Beach.
We are privileged to have Ernst van Jaarsveld, the Fynbos fundi from Kirstenbosch, as our guest speaker. It will be appreciated if you can make an effort to attend and please invite all friends and family along as well!
Craft Market Day
The Pearly Beach Conservancy is planning a craft market day on Saturday 20 December 2014 from 09:00 on the village green next to the Herbarium. Bring your own tables, chairs, umbrellas and sell your crafts or home made goodies. Or come and buy your Christmas presents. Please support our fund raising effort. Stands are R50.00 each. The profit of your sale is yours. Contact our secretary to book a stall if you are interested in supplying goods for sale. Or just please come and support and enjoy!
For more information, please contact: Beatrice Bollman - tel 028 381 9657 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unintended Death Trap
Discarded fishing line, when not disposed of properly is a cruel time bomb often causing a long and agonizing death for many coastal animals.
Five more new fishing line bins have been erected at favourite fishing spots on our beaches, thanks to Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the volunteers from Marine Dynamics.
Pearly Beach Fynbos Garden
The establishment of a Fynbos Garden in Pearly Beach has long been the dream of the members of the Conservancy. When the Village Green was established in 2011 and the Herbarium relocated to its new home, the Committee decided that the remaining veld was the ideal position for the garden. Under the guidance of Mrs Heilie Mostert and the help of Numsi and her group of Coastal Workers, the paths were laid out and a start was made to collect and plant locally indigenous fynbos. At present there are over 400 indigenous shrubs and 40 trees in the neatly laid out garden. The main aim of the garden is to protect and preserve local fynbos from extinction as our village expands and plots are cleared.
The Herbarium work is done by Heilie. This involves the collecting, identification and preserving of plants found in our area. Volunteer “pickers” and “cleaners” take care of the display area and put in fresh specimens on a weekly basis. The Coastal Workers help with the maintenance of the garden. There are also benches for visitors to enjoy the peace and tranquillity in the garden. To help bird watchers identify their feathered friends plinths with bird posters have been placed along the paths.
We encourage local residents and visitors to visit the garden. All plants have names for easy identification. This enables you to know what can be grown here under our coastal conditions. If you are interested in the conservation of our fynbos, please join the Conservancy, we welcome any new volunteer pickers or cleaners!
This week we finally managed to get the rest of the edging stones (via a friendly nearby builder!)
The Working for the Coast team set about enthusiastically breaking them down and eventually they had enough to edge ALL the remaining pathways through the garden.
“Go on”….. take a look….it looks stunning!
PEARLY BEACH BEWAREA CONSERVANCY MARKET DAY
The Pearly Beach Conservancy is planning a craft market day on Saturday 21 December 2013 from 09:00 on the village green next to the Herbarium. Bring your own tables, chairs, umbrellas and sell your crafts or home made goodies. Or come and buy your Christmas presents. Please support our fund raising effort. Stands are R50.00 each. The profit of your sale is yours. Contact our secretary to book a stall if you are interested in supplying goods for sale. If it will be raining on the day, the tables will be placed on the stoep of the Herbarium.
For more information, please contact: Beatrice Bollman - tel 028 381 9657.
CONSERVANCY / BEWAREA
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING /
Tuesday 17 Dec 2013 /
Dinsdag 17 Des 2013
Time / Tyd: 10:00
Dutch Reformed Church Hall /
NG Kerksaal, Pearly Beach
Guest Speaker / Gasspreker: Sean Privett - Grootbos
REMINDER: AGM of Pearly Beach Ratepayers: 19 December 2013 at 10:30
General Meeting 2013
This meeting will be held at the NG Church in Pearly Beach on Tuesday 17th December 2013, starting at 10am, everybody is welcome.
The Pearly Beach Conservancy is planning a craft market day on Saturday 21 December 2013 on the village green next to the Herbarium. Bring your own table and sell your crafts or home made goodies. Or come and buy your Christmas presents. Please support our fund raising effort. Stands are R50.00 each. The profit of your sale is yours. Contact our secretary to book a stall or if you are interested in supplying goods for sale. If it will be raining on the day, the tables will be placed on the stoep of the Herbarium.
The start time is yet to be determined but will be placed on the village notice board, this web page and directly to anyone who has pre booked a stall in due course.
Heilie Mostert is always in and out of the Herbarium clutching various specimens of flowering plants either for display in the fresh flower section or for pressing for scientific documentation. Heilie has now ventured into the garden with the help of Khoisan project workers now known as the W.C. “Working for the coast” project. Her green fingers have been orchestrating the planting of the new fynbos garden in Pearly Beach, which is already starting to bloom, this large section of coastal fynbos designated by the municipality for a village green in front of the new herbarium will be an asset to the area and walking on the winding paths amongst the well labelled diversity of plants growing here will be enjoyed by everybody for many years to come.
July to September is Leopard Toad Time
With the arrival of the first post winter warm weather, The Western Leopard Toads will start to breed again. At this time, they congregate around the banks of ponds or dams or near rivers and vleis in sandy coastal lowland areas. The males attract the females with a loud snoring call that lasts about a second and is repeated every third second. The females lay their eggs in gelatinous strings. It takes more than 10 weeks for the tadpoles to develop. The toadlets leave the water between October and December. Therefore, this is a bad time to mow the lawn, as the toadlets are on the move in the long grass and can get killed. Toadlets emerge from the water in search of food (insects) and a place to live. Unlike frogs, toads do not need to live near water to survive. As a result, they live under logs and piles of dead leaves and in fynbos and shrubs. The toads will return to the water bodies during their breeding season each year. It is believed that a Western Leopard Toad will go back to the same pond/dam/vlei every year. Since the toads are territorial, they will return to the same garden or area they left, after breeding.
The Western Leopard Toad Amietophrynus (Bufo) pantherinus (Luiperdskurwepadda) is the largest South African toad with females growing up to 140 mm in length. In the past, these creatures have been called “August toads” or “snoring toads”, most probably because of their specific breeding habits. They are identified by the chocolate brown patches on their backs, which are surrounded by a yellow border. They have a pink-brown swelling (the parotid gland) behind each eye. Western Leopard Toads can be confused with Raucous Toads Bufo rangeri (Lawaaiskurwepadda). Nevertheless, their call is very different. The Western Leopard Toad makes a snoring sound (listen to a sound clip of the breeding call at http://tinyurl.com/toadsnore), while the call of the Raucous Toad sounds like a quack.
Western Leopard Toads used to be quite common from the Cape Peninsula to the Agulhas Plain. Because of rapid and extensive urban development, however, many of the fynbos wetlands to which the toad is endemic (restricted) have been lost. Consequently, these toads have suffered. In fact, the conservation status of the Western Leopard Toad is classified as “Endangered” under the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Frogs and toads are an important link in the natural food chain. Tadpoles feed on algae and are also a food source for other animals. Frogs and toads eat small insects and invertebrates, thereby helping to keep their numbers under control. In turn, eggs, tadpoles and frogs represent food for other animals. In addition, frogs and toads are considered to be biological indicators. They provide important information about the health of their environment because they are very sensitive to water and air pollution.
Various nature conservation organizations and local volunteer groups are monitoring these toads (particularly in the Cape Peninsula area, e.g. Toad NUTS, Noordhoek Unpaid Toad Savers, visit them at http://toadnuts.ning.com) under the supervision of the Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee (www.leopardtoad.co.za). If you see a Western Leopard Toad in or around Pearly Beach, please take a picture with some kind of size reference and let us know, when and where you saw it. We will gladly pass on your information to one of the monitoring groups or you can send an e-mail to Bianca Ferreira (email@example.com), who is one of the monitors for the outlying areas in which toads are still known to live and breed.
The History of the Herbarium in Pearly Beach
The term "herbarium" means the collection of dried plants or parts of plants that are indexed and stored for scientific research information.
The Pearly Beach Conservancy was started many years ago with a realisation that something must be done to conserve our precious environment, and also to develop a love and interest among the people staying in Pearly Beach. One of the projects begun by the Conservancy at that time was the development of a small herbarium , started with the permission of the local Municipality and Cape Nature Conservation.
We were indebted to be able to seek advice from people and organisations in our area with prior knowledge of starting this type of project, e.g. Cape Nature and Grootbos, as well as the friendly ladies at the existing Fernkloof Herbarium in Hermanus.
To house the plants, a small wooden "house" was bought and converted into the herbarium building. Heilie Mostert became the project leader and she managed the herbarium from its infancy, through to its new home in a purpose-built brick building on the village green.
So how does the herbarium work?
Every Friday, cuttings of fresh plants and seeds are gathered by four ladies for the exhibition room, done strictly under the conditions of the permit issued by Cape Nature. A GPS reading is taken of where each plant has been picked, and the plant is then identified by making use of research books.
Any new specimens that are identified then go through the pressing process. The plant's scientific name, and the book used to identify it, along with the date it was picked are recorded on the back of the specimen card. This card is then numbered and filed.
Each December, a complete list of all the plants that have been picked in Pearly Beach are submitted to Cape Nature. They catalogue the information and, in return, provide us with a satellite photo of where each plant was picked.
The reason for the conservation of plant specimens by pressing is so that they can be kept indefinitely and, in Pearly Beach alone, 316 indigenous plants have been identified to-date.
The exciting prospect of discovering a plant that was thought to be extinct, along with preserving a snapshot of our unique floral environment is the reason we run this project.
So, please come and visit us in our new home on the village green and see for yourself this fantastic and important work.
INVASIVE WASPS - YOUR ASSISTANCE NEEDED....
There are 2 species of invasive European wasps that have been seen in
the Western Cape in recent years. The University of Stellenbosch is
asking for assistance in estimating the extent of their presence in our
area. Both alien species are medium-sized with yellow legs and black
and yellow markings on the abdomen.
Firstly, there is the European Paper Wasp. Note the YELLOW antennae.
Secondly, the very similar German or Yellow Jacket wasp has BLACK antennae. This wasp is often found in vineyards feeding on damaged grapes. It is very aggressive and will attack farm workers.
If you spot either of these wasps, please record the date and location, take a photograph and email it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Yellow Jacket) or email@example.com (Paper Wasp)
PEARLY BEACH BEWAREA - PEARLY BEACH'S CREEPY CRAWLIES
At the beginning of March 2012, Ms Candice Owen of the Department of Zoology and Entomology of the Rhodes University in Grahamstown left her office for a month of escapading around South Africa's coast. Her mission - To locate two spider species (Desis formidibalis [Desidae] and Amaurobioides africanus [Anyphaenidae]) and collect samples of their egg sacs. These two spiders are recorded as setting up shop in rock cracks, under shells and behind tube worm conglomerates on rocky shores from Walvis Bay on the West coast, around the South coast to East London (Eastern Cape).
She is an entomologist, and spiders, not being insects, are not actually her true target. In 1968, Lubomir Masner published a paper on a very interesting species that had been discovered on the boulder-strewn beach of Kommetjie, Cape Peninsula. The subject of his paper was a tiny, hairy, wingless wasp, no more than 1-2mm in length. Masner goes on to proclaim this wasp, Echthrodesis lamorali Masner, "the very first evidence of an intertidal maritime Scelionid ever known" (Masner, 1968) ('Scelionid' referring to the family the wasp belongs to - the Scelionidae). Echthrodesis is a parasite of Desis and Amaurobioides, laying its eggs inside the spiders' nests, their young thereby providing a convenient food source for the quickly-hatching baby wasps.
Since Masner's paper, very little has been published on the wasp. In 2009, Dr. Simon van Noort (of Iziko Museums, Cape Town) and colleagues began re-looking at the species, paying particular attention to its genetic make-up and how it fits in with other wasps that parasitize spiders. Ms Owen attended one of Dr. Van Noort's talks given at the ESSA Entomological Conference last year and he offered to supervise her, along with Dr Julie Coetzee of Rhodes University, in their endeavours to unravel more of the wasp's ecophysiology (behaviour, physiology, genetics and distribution).
Ms Owen is now in the early stages of her MSc - attempting to determine the wasp's full distribution throughout South Africa. Pearly Beach has proven a fantastic host for spiders, both of which she has found in unstinted populations. The wasp, however, remains elusive, making her think it has rather remained in its more sheltered habitat in Kommetjie.
Thanks must be given to Candice Owen as well as Warren and Sally Rutherford for their charming interest in this project. Echthrodesis and its two spider hosts are beyond bizarre and nothing short of amazing and we revel in spreading word of them.
SCARCE WHITE BRUNSIVIGIA PLANT
It was under the guidance of the late Louis de Wet and Heilie Mostert that the Pearly Beach Conservancy became aware of a very scarce White Brunsvigia plant that grew within a road reserve in Pearly Beach.
In order to preserve this plant, the bulb was removed during 2006 by Jim Holmes from Cape Seed and Bulb.
He specialises in the growing and multiplication of scarce bulbs.
From the one plant, he has at present a few young bulbs growing and these will be ready to be replanted during the winter of next year.
He has handed back 5 bulbs to the Conservancy and these will soon be replanted in the Fynbos garden near the Herbarium in Pearly Beach.