Editor's note

Another edition packed with fascinating articles on our local biodiversity. I would like to emphasise that the focus of this magazine is to bring to you, our readers information on our local biodiversity in a non-scientific format and in a style that you can easily read and enjoy. We also try to bring you stunning photographs, after all ‘a picture is worth a thousand words!

Many articles about species are often very generalised but in the case of The Leopard’s Echo the authors are given a brief to explain to you in some detail, different aspects of the species they cover in each edition. This makes their task quite challenging but also exciting because over the various editions we get to learn fascinating details of all the wonderful species we are fortunate to enjoy in the Upper Highway.

The regular authors (Marlies Craig, Peter Spence, Pat McKrill and Steve Woodhall) have once again excelled and have managed to “uncover” and explain facts and features that we would not normally consider and yet make the species ever more interesting. In this edition we also welcome back Kerileigh Lobban who writes about the special plants of Krantzkloof and provides great information with her “how-to-grow“ factsheets.

I am pleased that Tim McClurg has once again offered to write for us following his great article on insect photography in the January edition. In this edition Tim together with his son Nick focus on a field in which they are both imminently qualified to comment on, ichthyology. Many of us that walk in Krantzkloof Nature Reserve often wonder what fish may be swimming about in the streams, but we very seldom see any movement so Tim’s article on the fish of the Molweni River gives us revealing and rare glimpse on these elusive creatures.

Our Eco-Impi interviewee for this edition is Dr Jeanne Tarrant and I was bowled over by her passion for amphibians which I hope is conveyed to you in the article. Jeanne has brought a new dimension and energy to “frog hunting” in our area and we are very proud of the fact that she is a member of the Kloof Conservancy.

Arend Hoogervorst as usual reminds us of the “dark side” of environmentalism in his Opinion Column. I guess someone has to do it so as to ensure we have a balanced perspective of the realities and challenges facing all of us. In this edition he explores a useful and practical concept in the Life Cycle Assessment or Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). If used correctly this tool can make a significant impact for the better on our purchasing patterns.

Dr Shane McPherson is well known to many residents of the Upper Highway from his extensive research on Crowned Eagles. I am particularly pleased that Shane agreed to write an article for us as the Crowned Eagles are the most iconic birds of our area and the work that Shane has done has been ground-breaking and has added significantly to our knowledge and understanding of these magnificent raptors.

Robin Lamplough’s mandate is to look back into our past and to identify those pioneers who influenced the way we look at and understand our environment today. In this edition he features Frederick Courteney Selous, an icon of his times. Selous in common with many of the pioneers of that area exhibited behaviours and attitudes that would not sit comfortably in today’s society but nevertheless we need to acknowledge their contributions, after all they made history!

Enjoy the read and as always, we would love your feedback.

Paolo Candotti