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Addo: Bird and St. Croix Islands

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Pedagyducz
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Addo: Bird and St. Croix Islands

Unread postby Pedagyducz » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:52 am

Bird Island and St.Croix Island: are they open, in any way, to visitors? If so, how can we access these places?
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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:55 am

Hi Antonio,
The islands are not open to visitors. There is a possibility that Bird Island will be open to visitors for day trips in the future, either by boat or helicopter. However a full impact study still needs to be done to determine whether this would be ecologically acceptable. The island is a breeding ground for Cape gannets, African penguins and roseate terns (among other birds). We are not sure how long this process will take.

From the land, you can view St Croix Island from Sundays River mouth area and Bird Island from Woody Cape area (near Alexandria). You also get a good view of Bird Island on the Alexandria Hiking Trail.
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Unread postby Pedagyducz » Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:39 pm

Thank you, Megan. I hope you can open the Islands one day, perhaps on a model like the one of the Galapagos Islands.
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Unread postby lam » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:01 pm

Are there any boating tours that take you close to the islands?
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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:47 am

There is a company called Raggy Charters which runs whale/dolphin watching trips in Algoa Bay.
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Unread postby lam » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:51 am

I was thinking more for birds - or is it only gannets on the islands?
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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:26 am

I'm sure you will see marine birds while on the boat. They will not go all the way to Bird Island, where the Cape gannets are. The waters around Bird Island are a Marine Protected Area, so access is restricted.

The charters will probably go near to the St. Croix island group, home to African penguins and some of the tern species. You will need to contact them for further information.
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Unread postby luislang » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:56 pm

In short this is what I read in a local newspaper yesterday.
" Bait ball near Bird Island"
According to Lloyd Edwards, who apparently is a boat-based whale watching tourism operator to Bird Island, the migration of sardines on there way to KwaZulu Natal took place 8km off Bird Island. According to him he has never seen sardines to this magnitude here before. Predators such as Bryde's whales (about 20), 10 minke whales, several copper sharks & a school of about 3,000 common dolphins, african penguins, cape gannets & cape fur seals were seen. What a sight that must've been!
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Unread postby BunduBoi » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:14 pm

:shock:

I never knew the sardine run happened at such magnitude so far down south the coast!
Another thing I want to see firsthand....

Anyone here ever seen it before?
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Unread postby luislang » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:01 pm

BB Yes I've personally experienced this (not to this magnitude though) at Cannon Rocks a small coastal village near Kenton-On- Sea ± 120km from PE. This was about 3yrs ago while we sitting on our stoep. We saw these black patches in the water as if a cloud moved over the water. Then the sea birds started diving down & we went to have a look. The beach was full of sardines.

Apparently they migrate down to KZN from their "nursery" areas at the Agulhas bank near Cape Town.
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Unread postby BunduBoi » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:26 pm

Wow! :shock:
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Unread postby gwendolen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:04 pm

graemy wrote:Can someone comment about the Bird Island problem and if anything is being done about it..?


I would like to read more about this problem as mentioned by Peter Betts here.

The poachers stream out of PE every night to rape our coastline to supply the East with this DECLINING resource as there is FAR MORE MONEY in perlemoen than the odd Kruger tusk. These Perlemoen Poachers sometimes sleep on Bird Island (Part Of ADDO!!)


There must be newspaper articles online somewhere. Can anyone direct me in the right direction? Perhaps Peter can provide us with his source of information?

FYI:
Bird Island falls under the management of Marine & Coastal Management, a department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism. It is not managed by SanParks. More: Addo Elephant National Park

The Bird Island Group Marine Protected Area. These group of islands in the Algoa Bay off Port Elizabeth lies adjacent to the Greater Addo Elephant National Park and some of the most spectacular dune systems in the world. The Bird Island is home to thousands of gannets and penguins. The principal purpose of this MPA is prohibit diving in the waters around the islands to protect abalone stocks.

Source:Marine Protected Areas

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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:30 pm

gwendolen wrote:I would like to read more about this problem as mentioned by Peter Betts

Perhaps Peter can provide us with his source of information?

The Port Elizabeth newspaper, the Eastern Province Herald, has regular articles on the very well known poaching problem. A quick serach on Google using about bird island and perlemoen (abalone) poaching yielded about 100 or so articles, so the info is there for you to look at.
gwendolen wrote:FYI:
Bird Island falls under the management of Marine & Coastal Management, a department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism. It is not managed by SanParks. More: Addo Elephant National Park

AFAIK, SANParks does have rangers stationed on the islands and the MPA's role is that of patrolling the sea around the islands using the two anti-poaching vessels to help counter-act the abalone poaching problem.

WRT Peter Betts, I think a lot of people are being put off by his rather gruff manner and are missing the important points he is raising. Maybe the rest of us should READ his posts and then think before we ink.

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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:37 pm

As an adjunct to my earlier post, I should add that we live at Schoenmakerskop, a seaside village that has long suffered under the hands of the poachers. Unfortunately, current SA legislation makes it very difficult to catch and convict poachers. The police know who all of the main players are and know who they employ to do their dirty work but the law requires them to catch the poachers red-handed with the the abalone in the possession. The poachers use a long cahin of divers, spotters, transporters and decoys to give the authorities the slip. None the less, poachers are being caught and convicted on a monthly basis. The poachers are quite brazen about their activities and are mostly confident that they have the upper hand over the police and the courts. They are also known to be involved in other forms of organized crime such as drug dealing/distribution, dealing in stolen goods and prostitution.

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Unread postby gwendolen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:40 pm

j-ms wrote:
gwendolen wrote:I would like to read more about this problem as mentioned by Peter Betts. Can anyone direct me in the right direction?


The Port Elizabeth newspaper, the Eastern Province Herald, has regular articles on the very well known poaching problem.


Thanks for the link j-ms. :)

Does anyone know where I can find any more background information, recent reports?
Last edited by gwendolen on Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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