Motor Bikers Riding for Wildlife

In Articles, Sports & Hobbies by Wendy CollinsonLeave a Comment

On 1 November 2014, three motor biking enthusiasts, Nicholas Yell, Dirk Ackerman and Jaco Loots, will set off on a two week bike ride to the Karoo, in the Western Cape to highlight the plight of our African wildlife affected by the impacts of roads and transport. The bikers will be collecting roadkill data for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).

The 5,000 km motor-biking adventure will start in Aberdeen from  where the riders will  navigate the Karoo, passing through the towns of Uniondale, Willowmore, Middlepos, Beaufort West, Merweville, Sutherland, Kenhardt, Brandvlei, Verneuk Pan, Luckhoff, Prieska,  Hopetown, Schoombee, Trompsburg, Aliwal North, Cradock and Pearston, before returning  back to Aberdeen. This biking adventure can be followed on   www.facebook.com/EndangeredWildlifeTrust and twitter.com/TheEWT.

The EWT has been actively collecting roadkill data on South African roads for the last year through its Wildlife and Roads Project. A national campaign was also launched to encourage members of the public to assist with roadkill data collection through the reporting of their sightings.

“The campaign has been very successful, and we have numerous volunteers collecting roadkill data, not just in South Africa, but also in Namibia and Botswana,” said Wendy Collinson, Project Executant of the EWT’s Wildlife and Roads project.

Data collected will help the EWT to identify ‘roadkill hotspot’ areas, which will lead to the identification, development and implementation of mitigation strategies that will ultimately protect wildlife from roads and road users, and improve human safety.

Nicholas Yell, author of “Circling the Karoo”, will be revisiting his epic 5,000 km journey, which he first completed in 2005 on an old Yamaha XT250. This time he will be riding in the opposite direction with two other motor-biking enthusiasts. Yell says that “there is a sense of great exhilaration when you set off on a long motorbike journey – especially when it entails riding the Great Karoo’s minor dirt roads seldom visited by anybody other than the diehards who farm there, and manage to thrive in one of the harshest environments and climates on the planet”.

“With almost 4000 roadkill data points already submitted by members of the public, more data will help us to accurately assess the level of impact that roads and traffic pose to our wildlife,” added Collinson.

The public is invited to continue to submit roadkill data and photographs. Participants should specify the location of the roadkill (preferably GPS co-ordinates), try to identify the species seen and record the date on which it was seen.

Recorded roadkill sightings and photographs can be sent to roads@ewt.org.za and via the EWT’s Road Watch South Africa smartphone app which can be downloaded on http://www.prismsw.com/roadwatch/android/RoadWatchSouthAfrica.apk. The South African iTunes store also offers a facility to download the EWT’s Road Watch app for iPhone users. Additional information is available on www.ewt.org.za.

Three members of the public who accurately record and submit the most roadkill sightings between 1 November 2014 and 31 January 2015 will win prizes.

Prizes up for grabs include:

·Two Desert Fox 5L fuel cells, two Halogen spot light sets, and a set of off-road tyres, (Courtesy of Bike Gear);
  • ·Two Zeus zs2100B helmets, five P1 lubes and five tyre repair kits, (Courtesy of FG Enterprises)

    The EWT’s Wildlife and Roads project is supported by Bridgestone SA and Arrow Bulk Logistics, with logistical support from Mopane Bush Lodge. For further information please contact Wendy Collinson on wendyc@ewt.org.za

 

 

 

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