Thank you all for your interest in this subject.
Interestingly, Grantmissy, we have had no contributions from KNP official sources or biologists, which could mean they either don't know or don't care.
I have the feeling that the Forum is better patronized by animal lovers than tree lovers!
Oh where is Piet van Wyk, who wrote my bible on the trees of the KNP?
I don't agree with you Ifubesi in your assertion that you only need one birth for every one death to sustain the population of a species.
It is a sound principle of survival of the fittest that you need many births for only the fittest to survive to go on to be a strong mature specimen.
I have also read the articlehttp://safari-ecology.blogspot.com.au/2 ... aobab.html
from which you quoted this incorrect assertion.
We should be seeing many baobab saplings growing around the vicinity of their parent plants where the soil and climatic conditions are most suitable, only to be thinned out over the years by animals, drought and other natural disasters.
But we don't.
And yet we know that the baobab seed germinates quite easily.
I am flying up to northern Australia next week and will post a photo of a typical baobab surrounded by its offspring.
Penny, much as I like your idea of protecting these trees, I very much doubt that this is in line with the current ideological stance of KNP officials, who are blowing up waterholes in the belief that these places, no matter how long they have been established, are causing an unnatural imbalance.
Some years back we noticed some trees (not baobabs) alongside the Timbavati road had been protected from damage by animals by packing sharp rocks, with their points sticking upwards, all around their bases. They must have been rare enough to need protection.
This was a far less visually intrusive method of protection than railings.
I would like to issue a challenge to members of the forum to post a photo of a baobab sapling from the KNP. Here's to hoping we will get a flood of responses!