Yellowwood Forest in the news!

Kentani Dwarf Chameleon discovered here!

Hello, Morgan Bay - Tyrone James Ping, April 28, 2017

SWe're very excited about the recent discovery of a dwarf chameleon species in Morgan Bay that was not known to occur here!

Kentani Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion kentanicum) is a Vulnerable species and previously known to occur only in the vicinity of Kentani and along the Wild Coast, North of Dwesa to Coffee Bay.

Our son Heath discovered this beauty last month, at the Morgan Bay dam. We sent a photo to Herpetologist Tyrone Ping for an ID who came all the way from Durban to check it out!

Tyrone found it to be restricted to the tall stemmed grasses, particularly Narrow-Leaved Turpentine Grass (Cymbopogon caesius), on the hillsides around Yellowwood Forest here in Morgan Bay. Previous habitat descriptions in the vicinity of Coffee Bay and Dwesa Nature Reserve mentioned thick coastal bush and scarp forests, but in Morgan Bay, he found this to be untrue.

Major threats to this species include Habitat degradation, development, alien plant infestations and slash and burn type agricultural practices. All of which happen here! This chameleon is known to occur in only one small protected area (Dwesa Wildlife Reserve, 37 km2). There is a continuing decline in its range so finding it in Morgan bay is HUGE and very exciting.

At the moment there are no notable conservation measures in place for this species (barring a single general protected reserve where it has been found in Dwesa Nature Reserve)

I(s)land - Life on Bird Island

Island gave young wife bird’s eye view of life - Weekend Post, May 15, 2012

SPENDING three years on a deserted island the size of four rugby fields amid heaps of bird guano and “skinnering” about penguins is not a lifestyle choice for many – but for Eastern Cape nature conservationist Robyn Rohm the experience was an adventure that helped define the rest of her life.

As newly married nature conservationists working in Namibia in the early 1990s, Rohm and her husband Sean were on the lookout for an island to work on, but when he landed a job on Bird Island, 60km north of Port Elizabeth, neither of them had ever heard of it.

During her three-year island stint her interactions with African penguins and gannets came to represent her social life and Rohm kept a candid daily journal which has now been published as a beautiful book called I(s)land: Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea, complete with photographs and whimsical illustrations by Sean, who is also an artist and poet.

“I started my diary the day before we arrived at Bird Island in 1993 until the day I left, three years later, but it was never actually meant to be published,” said Rohm, who now lives with Sean and her two children, Heath, 9, and baby Tanna, in Morgan Bay, where the couple own the idyllic Yellowwood Forest Campsite on the Inchara River. While she initially looked forward to her short stints off the island every six weeks and flew to Port Elizabeth armed with copious lists of things she needed, Rohm eventually chose to forego her visits to civilisation.

It took a year, but the Rohms eventually caved in and started feeding abandoned penguin babies rather than watch them die. “Sometimes when life is chaotic I can tap into it,” she said. “Bird Island was our first home as a married couple and I would love to visit it again. I lost my heart to a small wind-swept island and I will always be connected to it.”

I(s)land: Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea will be available in bookstores in the next few weeks.