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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:27 pm 
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All I can say is wow, what a tragedy! But we knew it would happen, didn't we?

What have we said about the likes of the Massingir dam a year or two ago?

Well, it has started...

Now what? I guess we will have to sit patiently and wait for the results from Sweden. All I can say is thank goodness, Kruger has the scientists it has.

I am holding thumbs that the other rivers aren't to be exhumed as the hippo of the ears that is now the Olifants river.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:49 pm 
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here.

And in particular I also recall this from here (Gorge):

W™ wrote:
but the Olifants gorge is one of the most scenic places in the Park. It is an unique eco-system in Africa if not the world. About a 1000 croc's inhabit this area.

The scenic part of this gorge will then be lost forever.

There is enough water in the current dam there to support what ever they need water for. Do they realy need to raise this dam wall by 40m? They are now part of the transfrontier park, do they realy need to destroy one of these nature wonders which they form part of?

I really feel heart-sore about this.

We too on SA soil are causing major problems in rivers.
The amount of "silt" we are sending down as a result of mining activities that ends up in the Olifants river is also a huge concern.

Maybe I must wait till next Sunday's 50-50. They will be broadcasting the Moz side effect of this dam.


Also:

Quote:
In a nutshell: As the water come from Mac mac pools it is so clear and clean that it can be consumed by humans.
The it passes through plantations of big named companies, which take up much of the water.
It then passes past mining activities which stuffs up even more of the quality of water.
By the time it reaches the Park it looks like melted chocolate flowing in the river.

As you correctly pointed out, the silt suffocates fish.
It also ends up on sandbanks creating a very sticky clay.
With this silt other alien vegetation ends up alongside our rivers.
this is a huge concern on its own.
I think of it as SANP being a country on it own and SA and Moz doing everything possible to kill it.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:26 am 
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MM, it was one of the most disturbing insets I have ever seen. To hear knowledgeable scientists say that they don't know what is killing these crocs off by the dozens and that by spring time there might be no more crocs left in an area where their numbers tallied 900 not too long ago is very upsetting to say the least.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:44 am 
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Wtm, I agree. That was very depressing to watch... I don't even want to comment... :(

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:58 am 
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I also noted that remark from Johan Botha. But the problem is found further west (against the river flow from Moz) from the Gorge as well as the Letaba river.

I am gonna read about the Loskop dam issue now.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:11 pm 
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This truly is a grave cause for concern.
Its not just the crocs & fish that are on the line.
An entire ecosystem is being threatened if a solution is not found soon.

I was always hopeful that Kruger would be isolated from the industrial ravages of the 21st century but this report suggests otherwise.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:23 am 
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50/50 reported last night that sediment monsters would now be sent away to Norway to try and locate anything from that, possibly killing the crocs.

The preliminary results from Sweden showed no excessive pollutants in the Olifants river system.

Gillnetting inside Kruger is a huge concern and somebody like dr. Marcus Hoffmeyer believes that a few dead fish discarded by Mozambican fishmen might be the cause of croc deaths. No dead fish were found but like he mentioned, only a few dead fish could make these crocs ill.

During our trip to Kruger over the weekend, we've noticed Kruger rangers driving past us with a rubber duck on the back of a bakkie along the Olifants river. Sources revealed to us that they would inspect this and other nets in the Olifants river.

It would also seem that a bigger boat was going to be obtained to conduct this operation.

On the other hand, the Olifants river really looks good for this time of the year. The water was flowing strongly.

Image
Image

From Olifants camp.
Image

Glad that Kruger kicked some butt upstream to allow more water to flow into the Olifants. Awesome job, Kruger management! :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:47 pm 
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Media release - 8/8/08

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:41 pm 
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We must be very careful not to always blame the mining industry for things that goes wrong in the Olifants River. Here are a few facts.

 Foskor pump no more water into the Olifants River via the Selati since about 6 years ago. They re-circulate their process water and evaporate what is too contaminated.

 Palabora Mining Company Stopped pumping water into the Olifants a couple of years ago. Not even the ground water from the Vermiculite Mine Section, that is very clean. It gets collected in there own return water dams. They make use of the water for process and gland service.

 The slimes Dames seepage is caught in trenches and pumped back onto the slimes dams.

 No trace of Copper Poisoning or any other metal could be found.

 Sasol block all the Phosphoric Acid on their tailings dams and nothing flows into the Selati River.

 The Olifants River does not flow trough the Platinum mines. It starts near Ermelo, goes past Witbank to Loskop dam, Groblersdal, Marble Hall and then just to the west of the Drakensberg until it cuts through near the Strydom tunnel to enter the lowveld. Only caol mine in its path.

 Crocodiles are living on the slimes dams of the mines, where the salts are very high and the contamination is very high with Sulfuric Acid and Magnetite.

When last I spoke to Dr. Amos they could not proof anything to blame the mining industry.

Swannie (The crocodile Man) said, before his death, that with the lifting of the Massingir dam wall the water level will raise in the gorge, where there is the highest concentration of Nile Crocodiles in the world. He said that this will be a disaster for the crocodiles and forecasted that a lot of them will die. Maybe because they are territorial and there is nowhere for them to go. The cliffs are steep and no rock or sandbanks remain in the gorge where the can rest. ………..Did they find dead crocs in any other area than the gorge?

Remember many rivers join the Olifants before it gets to the Lebombo Mountains.

In time to come less water will flow down the Olifants due to
 The new De Hoop Dam, that they are building in the Steelpoort River between Burgersfort and Roossenekal.

 The Sugar Cane fields that are planed for Hoedspruit will be irrigated from the Blydepoort dam.

 Overgrazing of land by the new land owners that know nothing about soil erosion along the riverbank. (result of land claims)

When you fly along the Olifants river, you see the settlements starts at The Oaks, just west of Mica and gets more concentrated as you get closer to Gauteng. I don’t know how all these thousands of people can live, where do they get work and food. How does their sewer systems work? Where does all their waist go? The land is bare, exposed like the desert. The slightest bit of rain washes all the topsoil into the river.

I have sailed the Olifants river barrage for the last 14 years. I can see how the river has changed. At times the dam is silted up 90%. During the February floods all the megga tons of sand is washed down stream to the Limpopo.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Bennievis wrote:
Jumbo Boat, thank you for that feedback on the mines. It sure answered my questions.
Regards to Pallagat!


Thanks Bennie…….I know the mines are not wanted in a wilderness area but most of the mining claims were there before the Krugerpark.

The mines, especially Palabora mining Company, are very Environmental conscious. 8) They spend millions on pollution and dust control, prevention and policing. Once a year the acid plant is shut down for maintenance and when the scrubbers are not working they work overtime and spend up to R15mil :shock: to get the plant up and running within a week or two. H2SO4 acid rain is kept to minimum, if any.

Foskor produce Phosphate mainly with a little bit of Copper, Sirconia and Magnetite. So the Mining process as such does not make anything that is harmful to the environment. 8)

There are a lot of wild animals on the mines, including the big 5. These animals have right of way. If any of the workers are caught disturbing or injuring any animals they will dismissed. :naughty:


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:43 pm 
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Very happy to read about the environmental awareness and actions taken by the mines :clap:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Yip! Though I am not quite as optimistic about the mines as Jumbo Boat, it is just too easy to blame them for everything! It is quite possible that they have no or little guilt in the crocs dying! The fact is that nobody is sure of a cause at this stage.

I must mention that Phalaborwa mine makes one helluva noise! It sure does affect the surrounding areas.

But, suppose that is a part of the price we (and nature) pay for the lifestyle we are living! It is easy to point fingers at others, but all of us do contribute to the problems of earth.

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Last edited by Imberbe on Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:32 am 
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The mining industry are becoming a growing adherent to nature preservation and also acknowledges what role big they play in conserving it.

If it weren't for Ekapa mining, we wouldn't have had one of only 4 breeding sites in Africa for Lesser Flamingo. :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Crocs dying in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:47 pm 
This from today's "Lowvelder" newspaper:

Fewer crocodiles are now infected
by: Nicolene Smalman

SKUKUZA - Crocodile deaths in the Kruger National Park (KNP) are declining.

Although the reptiles still die from pansteatitis, the figures are slightly on the decrease and fewer infected crocodiles are being detected.

Hundreds have died since the beginning of June and although scientists have not conclusively found the cause of the pansteatitis, Dr Markus Hofmeyr, head of veterinary wildlife services for SANParks, said yesterday that fewer carcasses were being found on a weekly basis and that the infection rate was also declining.

"Fewer dead crocodiles are spotted and it is becoming more difficult to catch the reptiles for the purpose of conducting tests, which indicates that they are healthy and strong and thus probably not infected," he explained.

He added that there had been a definite change in the ecology in the river system, but that it was difficult to quantify. Although results of tests conducted on water samples of the Olifants and Letaba rivers indicated the presence of pesticides and metals, it was not dangerously high and could not be regarded as a cause of the disease.

"Although the fish are not dying, results obtained from post-mortems on barbel mainly in the gorge, have indicated a change in their level of nutrition, which may be playing a part in the crocodile deaths."

Hofmeyr will attend a workshop in Pretoria this week at which all findings of tests conducted thus far will be discussed with other experts.

"We will assess small changes which may have a long-term effect on the system. This is a good test run and we hope to find an answer which may serve as a warning of possible changes in other ecology systems in the future," he concluded.


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 Post subject: Re: Crocs dying in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:46 pm 
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It seems, according tonight's report on 50/50, that the worst is over and everyone hopes will not re-occur.

It was wonderful to see so many dedicated SANParks scientists working to solve the riddle of what caused the crocs to die. :clap: :clap:

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