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June 2010 
Inside this issue ...
Holiday courses!
Culture comes to the vultures
Urban biodiversity?
Dr Emily Lane wins award
Director's comment
New arrival at Emerald Animal World
Stringent measures protect King penguins
NZG staff master penguin conservation skills
Maintaining an inland marine aquarium can be challenging!
First genetic assessment of pangolins in SA
Outbreak of deadly primate disease controlled
NZG hosts wildlife medicine courses for vets
ZooClub members investigate SA's biomes
Conservation Grapevine
World governments fail to halt biodiversity loss
Lions targeted for Chinese 'medicines'

Learners attending the Junior Nature Conservators course will have an opportunity to work with conservators as well as with the NZG's farm animals.
When learning is fun (Picture Ulrich Oberprieler)
Cheetah Outreach is a new educational programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival.

The best solution ever!

We'll keep your kids occupied during the long winter break

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) will be offering the following youth courses in the June/ July school holidays.

Junior Nature Conservator
This five-day course is presented to learners in grades 7 - 11. The course provides an opportunity for learners to be acquainted with the animals in the Zoo. Learners will have an opportunity to work with conservators as well as with the NZG's farm animals. After completion of the course learners may join the ZooClub and work as volunteers at the Zoo. All learners will receive a T-shirt and a certificate.
Fee: R150-00 per child
English: 14 - 18 June (4 days); 21 - 25 June; 28 June - 02 July; 05 - 09 July 2010

Bringing Knowledge to Life
This course in Life Sciences is offered to learners in grades 10-12. Learners will participate in exciting, hands-on science activities in order to improve their performance and skills in Life Sciences. Presentations will be given by scientists in a variety of Life Science disciplines such as conservation, veterinarian sciences, biotechnology and agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on career guidance.
Fee: R150.00
English: 21 - 25 June 2010

Cheetah Outreach Programme
Cheetah Outreach is an educational community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival. The cheetah, which once ranged four continents, is now essentially an African species and it is the most endangered of the great cats. Perversely, it is often the people of Africa who have the least knowledge and experience of these remarkable cats.
Fee: R50.00
English: Grade R - 3: 21 June 2010
English: Grade 4 - 7: 22 June 2010

Scavenger Hunt
This course is offered to learners in grades 4 - 7. The learners will explore, investigate and collect data of different species of animals such as their location, feeding habits and general behaviour. Learners will participate in a comprehensive treasure hunt based on the animals housed in the zoo.
Fee: R50.00
English: 28 June 2010
Afrikaans: 29 June 2010

Meet the birds
This course is offered to learners in grades 1 - 3. They will learn about the characteristics of birds. While studying the bills, feet and feathers they will be engaged in fun activities. They will learn about the birds' nests and paint camouflage eggs. At the end of the day they should be able to identify 20 birds. They will also build a bird feeder to attract birds to their gardens at home.
Fee: R50-00
English: 10 June 2010; 30 June 2010
Afrikaans: 11 June 2010

The world of reptiles
This one-day practical course for learners in grades 4 - 7 deals with the fascinating adaptations and behaviour of reptiles. The course includes a demonstration of different snake species. Learners will get to know some important aspects of reptile behaviour and adaptations.
Fee: R50-00
English: 17 June 2010; 25 June 2010; 02 July 2010
Afrikaans: 18 June 2010; 01 July 2010

Meet the mammals
This one-day course is offered to learners in grades 1 - 3. They will learn about the various types of mammals in the zoo, and explore the feeding habits of mammals and the features that make mammals unique. This practical course is designed to help learners understand the variety and adaptations of mammals.
Fee: R50-00
English: 14 June 2010
Afrikaans: 15 June 2010

An introduction to bird identification
This course, which is offered to learners in grades 4 - 7, is aimed at inspiring learners to become bird watchers. They will learn the basics about bird watching through practical activities and multi-media programmes. Bring your own binoculars with if you have.
Fee: R50-00
Afrikaans: 23 June 2010
English: 24 June 2010

Amazing reptiles
This course is offered to learners in grades 1 - 3, who will be introduced to various reptile species housed in the Zoo. The characteristics and adaptation of reptiles will be explored and learners will be taught skills to analyse the external features of reptiles.
Fee: R50-00
Afrikaans: 6 July 2010
English: 5 July 2010

All courses start at 08h00 and end at 16h00. Children should please bring their own lunch or make use of the NZG's restaurant facilities.

Bookings are essential. Please contact the National Zoological Gardens at:
Tel: 012 328 3265 x 173, 127, 128 and 244
Email sol@nzg.ac.za or pseloana@nzg.ac.za

Download and complete the registration form in Adobe PDF or MSWord format.

During the March/April 2010 school holidays, Wayde Thomas attended the Junior Nature Conservator course. This is what his mom, Sonia Thomas had to say about her son's experience in a letter to Parks Leshaba, the National Zoo's Education Officer:

"My son, Wayde Thomas has just completed the Junior Nature Conservator course and had an absolute ball. As it is his mission in life to become a vet, I decided that a little experience will not be a bad thing. I therefore want to extend my gratitude for everything you taught him, making him feel at home, and just in general for a great course."