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Presentation to Forest & Bird on 5 Dec. 2005 in Auckland naturally!

Presentation to Forest & Bird on 5 Dec. 2005 in Auckland naturally!



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  • CONSERVATION IN SOUTH AFRICA South Africa (SA) in Brief KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Kruger National Park (KNP)
  • Production & Infrastructure • • • • • • • SA is the world's biggest producer and exporter of mohair. Mines deeper than any other country, up to depths of 2.5 miles. Largest hydro-electric tunnel system (Orange-Fish Rivers Tunnel). Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is 10th largest in the world. Second oldest air force (SAAF) in the world, established 1920. Durban is the largest port in Africa and 9th largest in the world. SALT in the Karoo is the largest telescope in southern hemisphere (3rd largest in the world).
  • Travel & Nature • KNP supports the greatest variety of wildlife on the African cont. At ca. 2 mil. ha it is roughly the size of Wales or Massachusetts, making it the 8th largest nature reserve in the world. • SA has one tenth (23,200 spp.) of the world's flowering plants, 80% of which are endemic, making it the richest region in the world in terms of species to area – 1.7 times richer than Brazil. • Cape (Fynbos) – one of the world's 6 floral kingdoms.
  • Floral Kingdoms
  • Travel & Nature • Table Mountain in Cape Town is one of the seven wonders of the geological world, over 1,000m in elevation. • Kimberley's ‘Big Hole’ is the largest hand-dug hole in the world. • Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn – largest complete limestone formation... • Blyde River Canyon is the 3rd largest canyon in the world. • Tugela Falls in KZN is the 2nd tallest (948m) in the world. • St. Lucia-Kosi Bay Lake System – largest estuary system in Africa.
  • NATAL PARKS BOARD EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE Cadet Ranger – 1991 • Over 100 years of Wildlife Conservation in KwaZulu-Natal (Zululand). • Best known for bringing the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum) back from the brink of extinction (cur. pop. est. 1,800). • World Heritage Sites: – Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park – Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park • • • • More than 1,000,000 visitors annually. Hosts the largest and most prestigious wildlife auction in Africa! A third of KZN resorts under private conservation. Traditional communities benefit by sustainable utilisation...
  • • Since the launch of ‘Operation Rhino’ in 1962, more than 4000 surplus white rhino have been taken from the park to game reserves and other sanctuaries worldwide, removing the risk of containing the species in a single area. This achievement received international recognition in November 1994, when the white rhino became the first species to be taken off the endangered list of the World Conservation Union.
  • KZN WILDLIFE STATIONS Umfolozi (39) Mpenjati (8) Oribi Gorge (17) Rhino Bomas (39) Monks Cowl (25) Sodwana Bay (1)
  • UMFOLOZI-HLUHLUWE (404 bird species; 86 reptile and amphibian species) • Main duties: – Anti-poaching patrols – Black rhino monitoring • Black rhino (Diceros bicornis minor) is threatened (cur. pop. est. 920; 350 in Umfolozi-Hluhluwe). • Measuring 96,453 ha, it covers only about 6% of the area of Kruger National Park, yet it sustains more than 1,250 plant species, 68% of those found in the KNP, due to latitudal cover, dramatic topography, and varied geology and climate. • Reintroduction of elephants from Kruger during the early 1980s (cur. pop. est. 170 in Umfolozi-Hluhluwe). • Other reintroductions: wild dog, giraffe, impala, nyala, cheetah. • Shaka Zulu’s royal hunting grounds.
  • MPENJATI-TRAFALGAR • Main duties: – Estuary monitoring – Beach patrols – Boat operations • • • • Coastal reserve 20 km south of Margate (south coast). 60 ha of wetlands, grasslands and dune forests. Ipithi trail: blue, red and grey duiker; bushbuck. Yengele trail: forest antelope and a host of bird species, e.g. fish eagle.
  • ORIBI GORGE (250 bird species) • Main duties: – Trail construction – Public relations • Reserve 21 km inland from Port Shepstone. • Landscape feature: Umzimkulwana River. • Mammalian species: bushbuck, common reedbuck, oribi; blue and grey duiker (sometimes leopard)...
  • UMFOLOZI – RHINO BOMAS • Main duty: – Rhino capture procedures • Early rhino capture techniques pioneered by Dr Ian Player and Dr Tony Hawthorn involved large doses of darting immobilisation drugs. The animal was then followed with vehicles and horses before roping and manhandling it to the ground. A breakthrough occurred in 1963 with M99 (morphine). An antidote enabled the team to walk the dazed animal to a waiting capture crate...
  • • A breakthrough occurred in the early 70's with the introduction of helicopters. In 1992 another step was taken when helicopters were used to airlift rhino from the Umfolozi wilderness area for the first time.
  • MONKS COWL – DRAKENSBERG • Main duties: – – – – – – Alien plant control Map compilation Botanical identifications Fence assessments Burning procedures Game censuses • Monks Cowl, taking its name from the peak between the towering mountains of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak, is situated in the 260,000 ha Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. • The Sphinx and Blindman's Corner are further geological features of this landscape.
  • SODWANA BAY • Main duties: – – – – Law enforcement Public relations Beach patrols Boat operations • Named after an isolated stream known to the local tribes as Sodwana (little one on its own). • Coastal dune forest park proclamated in 1950. • Situated within Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park (Maputoland) – South Africa’s first World Heritage Site. • Remote area (4x4 terrain). • Occasional antelopes; wealth of birdlife. • Coral reefs (whale sharks, manta rays).
  • Turtle Tours • During the summer months loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea at night to nest on the beaches. • The Leatherback is the largest sea turtle – 130-170 cm in length, cannot withdraw its head, is a specialist feeder on jellyfish, and may dive up to 300 m. • Survival rate is less than one in 500.
  • SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS SANParks Project Leader/Research Officer – 1994-2002 • Best known for conserving savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) (cur. pop. est. 10,000 in KNP).
  • KRUGER NATIONAL PARK Proclamated 1898/1926 • Main duty: – Termite ecology • Main management issues: – Fire frequency / Elephant density / Water distribution • Evidence of Bushmen (Koi-San) and Iron Age people from about 1,500 years ago. • Many historical tales of the presence of Nguni people and European explorers. • The first motorists entered the extended park in 1927 for a fee of one pound. • Flora & Fauna: 336 trees, 507 birds, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 fish species. • Malaria (quinine resistant strains).
  • Hornbill
  • Glossy Starling
  • Secretary Bird
  • OWN RESEARCH Termites in northern KNP • Distribution of mound populations. • Ecological density of mounds. • Intracolonial demography of Macrotermes natalensis. • Live and dry biomass. • Food consumption (nutrient cycling).
  • Number of termites inside mounds • Small mound – 5,000 • Medium mound – 45,000 • Large mound – 200,000
  • • A highly significant relationship between total number of individuals and mound height was found.
  • • I found that soldiers decrease proportionally between the intermediate and advanced colony stages.
  • • Geology, geomorphology, elevation, local relief, soil patterns and annual rainfall were the abiotic factors shown to be most influential in determining termite biomass, either directly or indirectly. Termite biomass is high in undulating areas where the elevation is 250 – 400 m, where granitic and rhyolitic soils occur, and where annual rainfall is high (650 – 700 mm) in the context of the region.
  • • I also developed a formula to determine termite food consumption.
  • Fungus Comb
  • Royal Pair
  • Primary King
  • Primary Queen
  • Egg Factory!
  • Egg Deposition
  • Mound Repairs
  • Mound Excavations – Woodlands 1995
  • Phalaborwa 1998
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS WEBSITES: www.go2africa.com www.kznwildlife.co.za www.krugerpark.co.za www.sanparks.org FIELD ASSISTANTS: – Alfred Nkuna; Richard Mashabane – Zama Mhlongo & Brown Monyela – Samuel Nkuna SPONSORS: – Wap SA; Whid Power Distributors (B&S) – Hella SA & Kodak SA OTHERS: Tele Images Nature Compiled by VW Meyer, PhD