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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Field Guide to Birds of the Kruger National Park – featuring over 500 species

Field Guide to Birds of the Kruger National ParkStruik Nature is proud to present Field Guide to Birds of the Kruger National Park by Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan:

The Kruger National Park, one of the largest and best-known conservation areas in the world, supports a remarkable diversity of birdlife. This attractive guide presents more than 500 species that have been recorded there. Of these, more than 400 of the most common or likely to be seen species are described and supported by full-colour photographs and unique distribution maps based on actual sightings of the birds.

An informative introduction describes the park’s underlying geology, vegetation types, climate and rainfall, and how these dictate bird distribution within the area.

About the authors

Warwick Tarboton is a well-known bird expert and writer of several well-received books. He is a past president of BirdLife South Africa and has been awarded the Gill Memorial Medal and the Stevenson-Hamilton award for services to ornithology and zoology.

Peter Ryan is Director of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town. He is a keen bird photographer and has travelled widely in pursuit of birds. He is also the author and co-author of several books on birds and on Subantarctic Islands.

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Wildlife of the Okavango by Duncan Butchart – an invaluable guide to this magnificent oasis

Wildlife of the OkavangoStruik Nature is proud to present Wildlife of the Okavango by Duncan Butchart:

A remarkable variety of animals and plants can be found in the wilderness region surrounding the Okavango Delta. This photographic guide covers more than 470 of the area’s most conspicuous and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, invertebrates, trees and aquatic plants.

An informative introduction describes the area’s geology, climate, habitats and the key roles played by some animals, such as termites and elephants. The species accounts feature concise text describing the species’ appearance, size, habits, habitat and status, with full-colour photographs to facilitate identification.

About the author

Duncan Butchart is a naturalist, illustrator and photographer. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on wildlife, including Wildlife of South Africa (Struik Nature), and has worked in 11 African countries as a specialist in ecotourism communication.

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Find out more about 44 of Africa’s most spectacular geological sites

Africa's Top Geological SitesAfrica’s Top Geological Sites by Richard Viljoen, Morris Viljoen and Carl Anhaeusser:

Africa comprises some of the oldest and most extraordinary geology on planet Earth, which is discussed in this detailed and colourful book.

Some 44 of the continent’s most spectacular and interesting “geosites” are included, from Table Mountain in the south to the eroded necks and plugs of the Hoggar region in Algeria; and from the volcanic islands of the Atlantic Ocean to the continental fragments off the African east coast. Each site is authored by a geologist (or specialist in a related field) with in-depth knowledge about the particular feature or landform: how it formed and developed, its current geological status, ecological impact, and its archaeological and cultural interest.

Supported with many photographs, maps, satellite images and explanatory illustrations, the text is accessible to geologists and lay enthusiasts alike, unpacking the how’s and whys of Africa’s most intriguing landforms, sites and geological features.

About the authors

Richard Viljoen, Morris Viljoen and Carl Anhaeusser are all Honorary Professors of Geology at Wits University. They have overseen and edited submissions from more than 40 contributors to this volume, ensuring quality, accuracy and readability throughout.

About the International Geological Congress

Africa’s Top Geological Sites is being published as a legacy project to coincide with the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC), which will be taking place in Cape Town from 29 August to 2 September. Over 4 000 delegates from all over the world will be attending presentations in the many geoscientific themes, with over 600 delegates also taking part in numerous pre- and post-Congress excursions. All of the above will be highlighting and promoting South African and African geology to a world-wide audience.

The Great Mineral Fields of Africa, describing a selection of the world-class mineral deposits on the African continent, will also be published, as a special volume of the IUGS journal, Episodes.

In addition, a special edition of 10 South African stamps and two First-day covers, commemorating the top 10 geological superlatives of South Africa, will also be launched.

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Spring botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death

Botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death
Butterflies of East AfricaBaobabs of the WorldPocket Guide: Birds of East AfricaGiant StepsLandy

 
The UCT Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town will celebrate the arrival of spring with a botanical art exhibition, bringing together artwork from established artists of Cape flora with new artwork that has been commissioned for the exhibition.

The Western Cape floral kingdom, with its unrivalled diversity of plant species, has attracted explorers, artists and botanists for hundreds of years.

An exhibition titled “Flora Old and New” will be held at the Irma Stern Museum in September as part of the special public programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the internationally renowned South African artist, Irma Stern.

The exhibition will run from 3 September to 1 October, with opening hours of 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday to Friday, and 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday.

The director of the Irma Stern Museum will be giving a special walkabout on 20 September at 10 AM.

Please RSVP by 15 September.

Enter the lucky draw at the exhibition to win a hamper of Struik Nature books. The winner will be notified at the close of the exhibition.

Special Walkabout Details

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The Bedside Ark: A riotous assembly of unrespectable southern African creatures by David Muirhead

The Bedside ArkStruik Nature is proud to present The Bedside Ark: A riotous assembly of unrespectable southern African creatures by David Muirhead:

This riotous assembly of unrespectable creatures comprises 42 short accounts of southern Africa’s vibrant collection of wild animals.

From the one-of-its-kind aardvark to the wilfully ignorant ostrich; the Houdini-like honey badger to the precariously specialised klipspringer; and from the curvaceous, sports-model springbok to the recklessly insensitive hyena, this book airs the dirty laundry (and shares the trade secrets) of some of our wackiest, most eccentric fauna. Many of the stories are illustrated with delightful line drawings.

Basing his accounts on accurate, true-to-life detail, but always looking on the light side, author David Muirhead captures the weird and wonderful lives of his subjects, investigating their often exaggerated reputations, their habits, weaknesses, armouries and modi operandi.

At once informative and hugely entertaining, this riotous assembly will appeal to anyone with the slightest interest in wildlife and – for its excellent entertainment value – will make a particularly wonderful gift.

Long-time English writer and journalist Muirhead has already published several books, including a collection of satirical short stories that drew acclaim from the British press.

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Don’t miss the Pokemon Go Day at Crocworld Conservation Centre

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Image credit: Joclyn Easton

 

 A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern AfricaCrocworld Conservation Centre on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has become a Pokémon hotspot after discovering Crocworld hosts five “Poké stops” and one “Poké gym”.

On Saturday, 3 September the centre will be hosting its second Pokémon Go Day from 9 AM to 4.30 PM.

They will also be running a competition for participants to enter their best three images while catching a Pokémon. The images – showing the Pokémon in creative spots – can be shared on the Crocworld Conservation Centre Facebook Page.

The best three images will receive free annual membership, allowing them to return and play at any time.

Henry, the resident Nile Crocodile, is one of the Poké stops, which means gamers get to view the renowned reptile while collecting the sought-after Pokémon supplies. Crocworld also has a Poké gym, another big drawcard where Pokémon teams battle it out for a spot inside.

There is a special entrance fee for Pokémon Go players, every day of the week:

  • R50 for adults
  • R35 for under 12s

Gamers just need to show the Pokémon Go application at the entrance for the special price.

For more information, visit the Crocworld Conservation Centre Facebook Page, call 039 976 1103 or visit www.crocworld.co.za

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Essential for landscapers, gardeners and tree enthusiasts: Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern Africa

Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern AfricaStruik Lifestyle is proud to present Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern Africa by Hugh Glen and Braam van Wyk:

Southern Africa is home to more than 2,000 introduced (not indigenous) trees. These non-native species are encountered daily and form a familiar part of our urban landscapes, growing successfully in parks, gardens, along roadsides, and in other open spaces.

This guide features nearly 600 of the most common and familiar of these and, using the same model of identification as FG Trees of Southern Africa, facilitates ID based on leaf and stem features.

The book provides the country of origin for each species and offers key information on cultivation and uses. Each entry is supported by colour images that depict key features, and a shaded map that shows the plant’s cold tolerance (where the species can grow).

An essential guide for landscapers and gardeners as well as tree enthusiasts who will struggle to find these trees in their guide to indigenous trees.

About the authors

Hugh Glen worked as a scientist at the Botanical Research Institute (later SANBI) for 36 years and is a member of the IUBS Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. He has authored a number of publications and academic papers.

Braam van Wyk is a professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Pretoria. He is a plant taxonomist and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on the botany of southern Africa.

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Special offer on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides

Struik Nature


 
The Struik Nature Club is running a special discount on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides until the end of June!

Save R50 on each book, plus free delivery in South Africa.

 

See the list of Struik Nature Pocket Guides here:

Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall
Book homepage
EAN: 9781920572471
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Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa by Charles Griffiths, Mike Picker
Book homepage
EAN: 9781775841951
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Mammals of Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa : Pocket Guide by Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770078611
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Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa by Marieka Gryzenhout
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770077560
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Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa by Bruce Cairncross
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770074439
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Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch
Book homepage
EAN: 9781775841647
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Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa by Piet van Wyk, Braam van Wyk
Book homepage
EAN: 9781920572020
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Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770077690
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Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa by Braam van Wyk
Book homepage
EAN: 9781775841661
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For specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike: Baobabs of the World

Baobabs of the WorldComing soon from Struik Nature: Baobabs of the World: The Upside-Down Trees of Madagascar, Africa and Australia:

A photographic masterpiece, this beautiful book is a fitting tribute to the baobab – an extraordinary and majestic tree found principally in Madagascar, and peripherally in Africa and Australia.

The first section offers a short introduction to the classification and general description of baobabs, details of their life history, biogeography, dispersal and their role in people’s lives. The second section comprises a guide to each of the eight baobab species, including botanical description, details of their habitat, distribution and principal uses, accompanied by clear images and line drawings of the leaves, flowers, fruits and growth habit of each species.

Interesting text and lavish photographs throughout make this book irresistible for specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike, and it will have particular appeal for tourists too.

About the authors

Andry Petignat is an amateur plant enthusiast with a particular interest in succulents, including baobabs. He has authored Guide des plantes succulentes du sud-ouest de Madagascar, published in 2009, and is responsible for the famous Arboretum d’Antsokay in Toliara, Madagascar.

Louise Jasper is a British photographer of nature, an artist and designer with a special interest in the diversity of flora and fauna in Madagascar. She has lived in Toliara since 2006 and has travelled widely in the country in search of baobabs. She has also contributed to a range of publications on the wildlife of south western Madagascar.

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‘A bit of bleeding but very little damage’ – Johan Marais shares the story behind recent python photoshoot

python bite
Snakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaSlange and Slangbyt in Suider-AfrikaA Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa'n Volledige Gids tot die Slange van Suider-Afrika

 
Johan Marais, internationally renowned herpetologist and author of Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa, has shared the story behind a recent photoshoot involving a python and a very bloody arm.

The shoot involved Shawn Hefer of the African Snakebite Institute being bitten “a few times” by a young python, resulting in “a bit of bleeding but very little damage”.

Have a look at the photographs, and check out the African Snakebite Institute on Facebook for more:

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There is a great deal of myth about pythons, especially with regards to attacks on people. Pythons in Africa do kill people, but rarely so.

There are as few as 3 proven cases where people were killed by pythons in Africa in the past 100 years+. Attacks by pythons are often reported, especially when one has been killed and appears on the front page of a newspaper. But these attacks are seldom true and there is a likelihood that the snakes are being killed for the muti market.

During a study on python behaviour at Kwalata Reserve, the members of the Alexander Lab at Wits had two or three python bites in the wild but the snakes immediately released after biting, as if they realised their mistake. The wounds were superficial. Pythons do have a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and have the ability to inflict very nasty bites, often resulting in stitches. The reason is that people pull the pythons off and the sharp teeth rip through skin.

I am busy with a program on pythons and we staged some photographs this morning where a young python latched onto Shawn Hefer’s arm a few times, causing quite a bit of bleeding but very little damage. Have a look at the photographs. Incidentally, the Southern African Python (Python natalensis) is projected in most provinces and is on the TOPS list but it is not an endangered species – in the Reptile Atlas it is listed as ‘least concerned’.

 
Related stories:

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