Thanks all for your welcome back messages. I visited family in Switzerland, which was stunning, but it's always good to be home.
Our petition hasn't reached its goal yet of 30 000 signatures. At the moment, we are sitting on 26 600 - 3 400 left to go. Anyone who has not signed the petition yet, please do so using the link below. And thank you again to all the people who have already signed, and passed the link on to friends and family to sign too. Here is the link:
One of the major newspapers in Johannesburg (The Saturday Star) ran an article in Saturday's paper, on our desire to save the wetland. After quotes and information from our side, the developer was quoted as saying:
" They (Allan and Tracy) are talking about Spotted Eagle Owls. They are the most common owl in South Africa, and will adapt"
While the developer is correct in saying that the Spotted Eagle Owl is one of the most common owls in South Africa, he fails to address the pertinent issue of the complaint we have against the development - that over 70% of the property is delineated wetland. Wetlands should be protected by Law in our country, and indeed, we do have laws that supposedly protect these sensitive ecosystems.
The developer failed to address the issue of all the other fauna and flora in the wetland which are not as 'common' as our owls - the Giant Bull Frog (currently on the Endangered Wildlife Trust's list of Highly Threatened Species); a red-listed data species of orchid found only in this area of the country (photographed as evidence of its existance); and sightings of grass owls (highly endangered in South Africa), amongst many other wetland species.
I hope that someone reading my blog, will pass on the above information to the developer for comment. I wonder how he will attempt to justify the 'adaptation' of our highly threatened species as listed above.
A 'common' species today, left unprotected and their fate in the hands of ignorant people, will be threatened tomorrow, and extinct before we know it.
On a sunnier note, we had a couple of sightings of the chicks this weekend - quick fly-bys, landing on a rooftop for a minute, and flying away again. They are still hissing, which is the only way now we can tell them apart from the adults. They are fully grown and from a distance, I can't see any fluff on them. Only in flight, is it easier to identify these little chicks who are still less graceful than their mom and dad. Still haven't seen Pot Plant Owl, but have heard Pappa hooting.
Will keep you updated.