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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Thanks but is it possible to get something a bit bigger please?

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Thank you Lesego.

If this map isn't big enough, just have a look on any Kruger map. Its boundaries are:
H3 to the west
S118 to the south
S113 S114 and S26 to the east.

It is bisected by the H2-2

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Thanks for the map Lesego. Why was it decided to burn? I know that it is considered that there is too much woody vegetation but who has made that decision? Does previous records show that the area was once more open (less trees and shrubs)? If so which model or ratio is deemed to be the suitable one in terms of eg one tree per 100 sq/m? More open areas favour the grass eaters and that is probably the overall plan but can one then make the deduction that the ratio between grass and shrub/tree eaters is not correct or ideal?

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Hi Lesego,

I was also wondering why it is so important to remove the woody vegatation if it only returns at a faster growth than before within a year or two. During my last visit to this area in Sept 2012 I could not see any improvement in less scrubs compared to when I have visited the same area in Sept 2010 a week before the experimental fire.

Even in March 2011 the growth already returned.

Are there perhaps photos available showing the before fire and now pics 2,5 years after the fire. Why does the park not follow a natural plan to get rid of trees and schrubs by relocation of elephants. Up north near Satara where savanna areas are very common you will find large herds of elephants that may impact negatively on the vegatation in that area, while in the south the elephant populations are smaller.

Have any one done studies on the behaviour of elephants after such severe fires. Does the elephants return or rather move into other areas. I am a fairly frequent visitor to the park, although not every weekend but at least a few times a year. What I have notice was that during my visit in Sept 2010 and before I have always found elephants herds at the water hole on the south eastern corner were the fire burned to in Oct 2010 ( crossing of S118 and S114), but there after had no luck again along the S114. The only herds I saw was on the eastern side toward Biyamiti camp.

Maybe my observations are no match to scientific research, but it will be interesting to know if any one have thought about it and also see elephant as a natural method to get rid of thick vegetations.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:06 am 
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Son godin wrote:
Maybe my observations are no match to scientific research, but it will be interesting to know if any one have thought about it and also see elephant as a natural method to get rid of thick vegetations.


Very interesting and valid thought/question Son Godin! Looking forward to the response hereto! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:11 am 
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Son Godin wrote:
Quote:
Why does the park not follow a natural plan to get rid of trees and schrubs by relocation of elephants. Up north near Satara where savanna areas are very common you will find large herds of elephants that may impact negatively on the vegatation in that area, while in the south the elephant populations are smaller.


Let's see what the scientists say. However, I can make a few comments in my humble opinion. From what I have seen, increasing the number of elephants is not an effective measure to combat bush encroachment. Elephants do have a significant impact on the number of large trees in an area but their impact on low schrubs are small.

Just take the north-eastern mopani plains between Letaba and Shingwedzi as an example. The area has a high elephant population but still the mopani schrubs seem to be getting thicker over the long term.

In my opinion, fires of this nature is the only way to combat bush encroachment. However, in the long term it is going to become very difficult to halt the dominance of woody vegetation due to ever increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere...

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:20 am 
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It appears that veld fires were a very common thing as far as back as 500 years ago. The first Portuguese explorers that traveled into the interior called Southern Africa terra dos fumos because of all the smoke from the fires. Lightning played a role but the majority of the fires were started bu humans, for various reasons.

I guess we will never fully understand how nature works. After all, it has sorted itself out over millions of years. The question remains, do we have to interfere by controlled burns? Perhaps we will have an answer a thousand years from now.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:02 am 
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Too much fire (too frequently, i.e. every year instead of every 5 or more years) can lead to bush encroachment in the Grassland Biome (as fire tolerant savanna trees replaces the mature grassland species that are not that fire tolerant), but in the Savanna Biome, high intensity fire (but also every 3 to 5 years, rather than every year) is a good thing because it selectively kills young trees and shrubs but leave the older/larger ones to survive. Most animals (probably excepting elephants) also do not like a too dense bush, and will avoid an overgrown area if there are better, more open, habitat nearby.

One always worry about the animals, but one can only hope that the burn patterns allow time for escape, and that there are not too many babies around that cannot escape.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:31 am 
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Remember too that other factors play a part in how much bush encroachment is likely etc. I am talking about the underlying geology and soil types, rainfall, temperature, topography....... All these are being taken into account in the new fire policy, and will be part of the reason for this particular research project.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:36 am 
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Fine, please just do not again live roast our animals!

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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:05 am 
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gmlsmit wrote:
Fine, please just do not again live roast our animals!


I second that. And may I please be allowed to pick up some 'hardekool' (leadwood) for my braai before the wood goes up in smoke without having served a good purpose on earth. There are enough other woody vegetation to replenish the nutrients in the soil.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:23 am 
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Preparations are underway for the upcoming High Intensity Fire experiment in the park to be conducted in early September. More details to follow soon

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:18 am 
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Any idea of the dates? We are going to be in Berg en Dal on the 8th Sept and dont feel like being there if the fires are started. When will the date be announced?

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:08 pm 
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I am sure this is most probably in the best interest of the park.

I just hope the veld will recover quickly because I was there in 2010 less than a week after the fires and it was an ugly scene.

Sanparks should give clients with reservations in the area the option to cancel reservations free of charge. A smouldering black landscape with burnt rhinos lying in the veld is not my idea of a good trip...

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Safari Gal wrote:
Any idea of the dates? We are going to be in Berg en Dal on the 8th Sept and dont feel like being there if the fires are started. When will the date be announced?


Safari Gal

The dates will be announced next week Monday the latest.

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