Editor's note

We have a bumper edition this month with a couple of guest writers supplementing our regular authors. A number of our authors have referenced the current Covid-19 pandemic and it is interesting to note the different perspectives they offer but there does seem to be an underlying message – reduce consumption and respect nature!

Our regular authors have once again been able dig deep and produce interesting articles of local relevance.

Dr Marlies Craig has “pushed the envelope” in trying to make us appreciate cockroaches and that is precisely what the magazine is all about – providing information and enlightening us on all our species as they each have a role to play.

Robin Lamplough’s look back at history brought out some interesting comparisons to past occurrences on the subject of climate change.

Pat McKrill continues to find new and interesting ways to look at his favourite species this time educating us on “back-fanged” reptiles. Pat’s input is well supplemented by Nick Evans’ focus on a very special reptile, the Southern African Python.

Steve Woodhall has taken a very different approach and used some citizen science statistics to analyse how some spend their “lockdown” time and supplemented that some great information also touching on the subject of what we can do in our gardens to help promote our biodiversity.

Arend Hoogervorst as usual asks difficult questions in his article “Lockdown, COVID-19 and change”. It may make us shift uncomfortably on our chair but do read the article through!

Errol Douwes manages the Restoration Ecology branch of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department at eThekwini Municipality and I am thrilled that he agreed to write an article for us on the ever-growing field of Restoration Ecology. Errol puts into perspective some of the significant work being done by the municipality, something we are not always aware of, or give the municipality sufficient credit for.

I am pleased that we have a contribution this month from a young guest writer in Aaliyah Motala who takes a look at Citizen Science. All our readers have the potential of being excellent citizen scientists and this is now made so much easier with the advent of on-line apps like iNaturalist.

I would like to welcome Nicolette Forbes as a regular contributor on the specialised subject of birds. Nicolette has a deep passion for our biodiversity, a warm spot for birds and is also an excellent photographer so we are guaranteed some interesting reads. In this issue she starts off with some practical advice on how to attract birds to our garden. We would all like to do that, and Nicolette provides some invaluable insights based on her experience.

Our Eco-Impi interview for this edition is with renowned weed scientist Lesley Henderson. Lesley has been a stalwart in the fight against invasive alien plants in South Africa for her entire career spanning almost 40 years. A scientist to the core, she has always adopted a rigorous research methodology to all her work and stood by her findings even when it may not have been comfortable to do so in view of the many vested interests in horticulture and commercial forestry. In the article we explore Lesley’s passion for the work she has been so committed to and some personal insights into how she went about her remarkable career.

I trust you will enjoy this edition and as always, your feedback will be much appreciated.