Xhora (Wildcoast, SA) Field Work 2012

The annual East London Museum and Border Shell Club field outing took place during the first week in November 2012. Part of the study included collecting snail species, particularly the genus Chondrocyclus and to investigate environmental impacts monitored during previous visits.

A number of snail specimens were discovered in the forests surrounding the coastal cottages of Xhora. One of the more exciting finds was a fungi specimen (still to be identified) by George Kockott (Shell Club member). George has a strong natural history interest and the specimen illustrated below was a first for the museum on the many Wildcoast field trips.

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It was disturbing to note that shingle mining persists in the area causing exacerbated erosional degradation to the coast. Illegal roads are forged to the beach area to load the shingle and these roads, in turn, become deep gullies after heavy rains. This was recorded after during last visit. See below.

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Further to the above, a young man was seen with a dead blue duiker. This is Africa’s smallest antelope and in this instance it was propably poached from the nearby forests. Ironically, this record reports that the blue duiker are still in the area (thought to have been poached out a good while back).

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The majestic red milkwood trees are being heavily impacted, year after year as the photograph below illustrates. These protected trees carry a heavy fine and indiscriminate use of boughs cut for fire-wood are a major cause for concern.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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