The "Dungbeetle's story...
Have you ever observed a dung beetle doing its laborious, yet somehow artful work: using
its body as lever, it breaks apart a pile of dung, finds a suitable piece and works it into
an often perfectly round sphere while rolling it to a safe destination to lay its eggs. It
crawls backwards, often for hours on end, rolling its dung sphere over hundreds of meters
of uneven ground, before it starts digging a hole and burying the dung ball so that after
a while the larvae can hatch and get a good start on life.
When we started the Sandveld Conservancy, we held the principle of the dung beetle in mind:
We wanted to utilize nature, without taking away from it. Often we have to walk backwards,
without knowing what's ahead or behind for that matter. And mostly our paths are everything
but even. But the love and passion for this our beautiful home and the knowledge of the
necessity for conservation let us achieve, what we have in mind: to sustain this beautiful
piece of nature for its own benefit and ours, the benefit of future generations, those who
have never seen it, and those who will always return to it, once they have.
The natural plants, grass, bush and trees are the basis of our farming enterprises. Any actions
have to be in harmony with the ecosystem to ensure the long term survival of man, beast and plant.
Beef derived from cattle grazed on the natural veld has been the nearly exclusive commodity
produced in this area for the past 60 years.
Stock proof fences are used to contain livestock in specific pastures or camps to enable the
majority of the grazing to rest or grow, depending on the climatic season.
Few medicines are necessary to ensure healthy stock because of the relatively dry climate, low
stocking density and nomadic grazing pattern.
Overstocking in the past resulted in the weakening of the grass component and encroachment
of some thorny bush species.
- Bush thickets are cleaned by producing charcoal and, where necessary,
grass is planted. Thereby, several jobs are created.
- The dead bush deriving from some bushes and trees is used for fencing
material, poles and droppers without total eradication.
- Devils claw occurs in most parts of the conservancy and is
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