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Karoo: Lions

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra

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Stoffel
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Stoffel » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:00 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:When I was there 3 years ago, we were told that there was a plan to reintroduce cheetah, but dateless. Their prey animals (mainly springbok) would need grow into sufficient numbers, but the vegetation is not nutrient rich enough to support large herds.

But brown hyena were reintroduced last year. :thumbs_up:


Before lions were released, I stayed in the park for 13 nights during December 2008/January 2009. I was told by honorary rangers doing duty in the park at that time that the release of cheetahs were kept back because of ill-considered hunting (rather harvesting) of springbok. Springbok were shot in great numbers to bring the population down as the park could not carry the high numbers untill the electric fencing was completed. No balance was kept between males/females during the harvesting process. This led to a total imbalance between rams and ewes. More ewes were hunted. The increase in jackal and caracal numbers had a further negative effect on population growth as the young lambs were preferential prey. This led to SANParks "importing" great numbers of ewes at very high cost. Up till now numbers of springbok has still not increased to acceptable levels to introduce cheetah.

I am "selling" this at the same price I got it from more than one honorary ranger. True?? I have no reason not to believe the HR's.
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Kapokbos » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:32 am

Stoffel wrote:
Bush Baptist wrote:When I was there 3 years ago, we were told that there was a plan to reintroduce cheetah, but dateless. Their prey animals (mainly springbok) would need grow into sufficient numbers, but the vegetation is not nutrient rich enough to support large herds.

But brown hyena were reintroduced last year. :thumbs_up:


Before lions were released, I stayed in the park for 13 nights during December 2008/January 2009. I was told by honorary rangers doing duty in the park at that time that the release of cheetahs were kept back because of ill-considered hunting (rather harvesting) of springbok. Springbok were shot in great numbers to bring the population down as the park could not carry the high numbers untill the electric fencing was completed. No balance was kept between males/females during the harvesting process. This led to a total imbalance between rams and ewes. More ewes were hunted. The increase in jackal and caracal numbers had a further negative effect on population growth as the young lambs were preferential prey. This led to SANParks "importing" great numbers of ewes at very high cost. Up till now numbers of springbok has still not increased to acceptable levels to introduce cheetah.

I am "selling" this at the same price I got it from more than one honorary ranger. True?? I have no reason not to believe the HR's.


Stoffel, if I am you, i will rather comment on official Media releases from SANParks regarding the springbok issue, before using my own opinions and "facts" from Honorary Rangers (Voluteers) and state that as facts on this forum.. Your comment on the preferred species of prey for cheetah is also wrong. Cheetah is like any other cat species very opportunistic and will take any prey within a certain sie limit. In Kgalagadi the cheetahs prefered prey species is steenbok, while in Mountain Zebra NP they preferred to prey on mountain reedbuck for a long time before switching over to other species. Your comment that the springbok population in Karoo NP has still not increased to acceptable levels is also your own opinion.Did you count the springbok yourself and made the deduction, because the latest info from Karoo Management is that they are waiting to conduct the annual aerial surveyfirst, to get estimates on herbivore numbers, before making any decision on the introduction of cheetah. Please refrain from "selling" incorrect or half true statements on this forum.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby kite » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:16 am

Is this an official viewpoint?!
Probably not as polite a tone as we like on these forums.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Philip1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:44 am

Can Sanparks perhaps issue some sort of reply to this info?
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:36 am

Hi Kapokbos,

I don't know who you are, but at least you are interested in Karoo! Thanks for that. You seem upset that forum members share info they receive from reception, other visitors etc.
The problem is that NO regular update/info is forthcoming from Sanparks, so we have to listen to second best info!
If you look at this forum, we have been told for the past few years that "a census is coming soon, and then we will know if springbok numbers have increased enough" but we still await the outcome of the censuses as they relate to cheetah introduction.

If I remember correctly, cheetah were promised BEFORE the announcement of lions. By the way, I wrote to this very thread about 2 years before the lions arrived, and asked when Sanparks would consider lions. Official answer: NOT FOR A LONG TIME, even though they existed here in the past. Quite a surprise when the announcement came out just before World Cup that lions would be coming to Karoo after all...
Do us a favour and give REGULAR updates on these topics (I know you are very busy, but try...) so that there will be less speculation from forum members.
Nobody informed us that 2 new male lions from Kgalagadi were to be introduced last year, so a forumite gave us the info. I phoned to check, and yes, it was true. We are very pleased about this!
Do let us know what your cheetah plans are -- I am sure there are plenty of other animals they can prey on in Karoo National Park -- we are just very keen to have them!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
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Stoffel
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Stoffel » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:36 pm

Kapokbos wrote:
Stoffel wrote:
Before lions were released, I stayed in the park for 13 nights during December 2008/January 2009. I was told by honorary rangers doing duty in the park at that time that the release of cheetahs were kept back because of ill-considered hunting (rather harvesting) of springbok. Springbok were shot in great numbers to bring the population down as the park could not carry the high numbers untill the electric fencing was completed. No balance was kept between males/females during the harvesting process. This led to a total imbalance between rams and ewes. More ewes were hunted. The increase in jackal and caracal numbers had a further negative effect on population growth as the young lambs were preferential prey. This led to SANParks "importing" great numbers of ewes at very high cost. Up till now numbers of springbok has still not increased to acceptable levels to introduce cheetah.

I am "selling" this at the same price I got it from more than one honorary ranger. True?? I have no reason not to believe the HR's.


Stoffel, if I am you, i will rather comment on official Media releases from SANParks regarding the springbok issue, before using my own opinions and "facts" from Honorary Rangers (Voluteers) and state that as facts on this forum.. Your comment on the preferred species of prey for cheetah is also wrong. Cheetah is like any other cat species very opportunistic and will take any prey within a certain sie limit. In Kgalagadi the cheetahs prefered prey species is steenbok, while in Mountain Zebra NP they preferred to prey on mountain reedbuck for a long time before switching over to other species. Your comment that the springbok population in Karoo NP has still not increased to acceptable levels is also your own opinion.Did you count the springbok yourself and made the deduction, because the latest info from Karoo Management is that they are waiting to conduct the annual aerial surveyfirst, to get estimates on herbivore numbers, before making any decision on the introduction of cheetah. Please refrain from "selling" incorrect or half true statements on this forum.


Kapokbos

It will be great to hear the true facts about the release of cheetahs and the present springbok situation (if you have them). Did I really state the information as facts. I asked the question: True???

And regarding the springbok population to increase to acceptable levels was again emphasized by a ranger in the park when I stayed there in January this year. It was said in so many words that if the sprinbok population seems to be on a level where management wants it, only then the release of cheetahs will take place.

It is quite true what Friedrich van Horsten says above: The problem is that NO regular update/info is forthcoming from Sanparks, so we have to listen to second best info!

And I can only accentuate what Kite also said above: Probably not as polite a tone as we like on these forums.
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Re: Karoo NP to introduce lions to mark 30th anniversary

Unread postby Stoffel » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:47 pm

Addo Elephant wrote:There have always been plans to bring in both lions and cheetah. The introduction of lions is happening first because their prey sepcies are already at levels which can support a lion population. We first had to stabilise the springbok population (which will be the cheetah's preferred prey) before introducing cheetah. This will happen within the next two-three years.


See Megan Taplin's comment on Page 6 of this thread. She has been SANParks' spokesperson for the Transfrontier Parks.
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Re: Karoo NP to introduce lions to mark 30th anniversary

Unread postby FrontierPR » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:51 pm

Apologies for the absence from the Forums, all. I have taken over from Megan as Communications Manager in the Frontier Region, and have been getting to grips with the job. I will enquire with Park Management on the topic at hand, and revert with feedback as soon as I have it.

Fayroush Ludick

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Re: Karoo NP to introduce lions to mark 30th anniversary

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:02 pm

Hi Fayrous

Good to hear from you. As you can see, we are passionate about wildlife conservation, especially in areas closer to Cape Town! I am getting older, and the annual trips to Zimbabwe and Kruger are getting a bit strenuous, so bring those beautiful cats and other animals closer to the Cape!

I for one, am very keen to know what is going to happen in Mountain Zebra NP in the near future too, that park has so much potential...

Looking forward to any news/updates about Kruger, Addo, Cradock etc.

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
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Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby FrontierPR » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Two male lions from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park were released into the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West recently, bringing the total number of feline predators now in the Park to nine.

Niklaas (named after former Kgalagadi Park Manager, and now Karoo National Park Manager Nico van der Walt) and Witwarm (derived from Nico’s son, Hano’s nickname from when they lived in the Kgalagadi) were released from a lion enclosure in the eastern section of the Park. Park Management predicts that they will most likely develop their own fixed territories within the Park and defend these territories from the other resident males.

In 2010 a small founder population of lion was introduced into Karoo from Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth. The group was originally all from Kgalagadi or offspring from the original group of Kgalagadi lions that were introduced to Addo in 2003 . They have settled very well into the Karoo National Park and two cubs were born in November last year.

The decision was made to introduce the two three-year-old male lions into the Karoo to prevent inbreeding as a result of an island effect (no migration of other lion individuals into or out of the population), and to increase genetic diversity in the Park. The two have been housed in a temporary enclosure since their arrival in November to adapt and acclimatise to their new environment.

Van der Walt says, “The introduction of predators into Karoo National Park forms part of attempts to restore the ecological processes in the Park, specifically to re-establish the process of predation. This will help to control herbivore numbers naturally and decrease the need for capturing and culling, which is in line with SANParks’ ‘minimum interference’ philosophy”.

In protected areas with no large predators, herbivore numbers can soar to unnaturally high densities that could in return be detrimental to sensitive ecosystems like the Karoo. The lion fulfill their ecological role by removing older and weaker animals from the system and by impacting on the herbivore population size in the Karoo National Park.

It is envisaged that the two sub-adult males will hopefully take over the role of dominant males at a later stage, when the two older males reach their “retiring age” and lose their control over the pride.

Kgalagadi lion are known for their impressive dark brown manes and enhance the tourism product offered. “Introducing more lion into the Park has an economic spinoff as it improves the ecotourism value of the area, as large carnivores are charismatic species which people like to see, or even merely to know are present in an area,” says van der Walt.

(Pics to follow)

Fayroush Ludick
Communications Manager - Frontier Region

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Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby bert » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:15 pm

Thank you for the update :thumbs_up:

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Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby Dupacc » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:15 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby Canis Lupus » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:33 pm

Would love to see the pics.
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Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby bert » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:07 pm

pack the camera gear and go south :lol:

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Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park

Unread postby Stark » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:32 pm

Very cool! :)
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