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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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I think there are a few issues here:

1. The KTP is just coming out of the dry season, and the level of the underground water may have dropped to an extent that to keep the boreholes active is not viable. I know for example Nossob's water comes from Kwang

2. Animals such as wildebeest do damage the waterholes on an ongoing basis. They tend to stand in them rather rather than next to them when dripnking.

3. The park has limited recourses wrt manpower, and this could also cause a delay in maintenace

I am not sure if any of these points "hold water" :lol: or not, they are just my thoughts

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:10 am 
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Morning all,

JenB, thanks for putting up the link to my previous post regarding the Eland at the waterholes.

I honestly do think it is unfair for those who say that park management doesn’t look after the waterholes. Again I bring it under your attention that the 'empty' waterholes are caused by the number of eland herds coming out from the dunes at night and stay at the waterholes until there is no more water. Early mornings when the eland leaves the water dependant wildebeest come and drink-of what is left-. Unfortunately the pumps don’t pump water in at such a rate that the waterholes will be filled within minutes, if it did we would have overflow and just waste the water.

I personally (not my job) go and inspect the waterholes every two days and have seen that the eland damages the inflow in the waterholes which makes the problem worse. All section rangers are running between the waterholes to make sure they are in working condition and to ensure there is water, unfortunately they also do have other duties to attend to as well.

Please note that management do take note of the posts and are doing their best to manage the situation.


KG

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:12 am 
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Thank you Jannie!! :clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:36 am 
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Now the only thing to do is to send some rangers on Dikwiel bicycles in the riverbed to chase the Eland away.Image


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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:57 am 
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Perhaps what would help is to know whether the waterhole is permanently dry or just temporarily as surely if it is the Eland the water would slowly trickle back and replenish the water over a few hours or one or two days. If a waterhole remains dry for more than a few days we would then assume it is either the water table diminishing (as Gavin W mentioned) or the pump is broken?? For all of us concerned regarding the water for our beloved KTP creatures perhaps it is a good idea for confirmation through this forum as to which waterholes are actually broken after inspection and of course when they are up and flowing again!! This would then not leave us guessing as to whats happening as we do all understand that waterholes could dry under natural circumstances every now and again and that KTP staff are doing their best under the circumstances!!


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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:20 am 
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Thanks Jannie. We do not doubt the effort in the South...and thanks for that effort!
Since the Eland were in the South all the while now, could you say if this applies to the Northern waterholes in question? Certainly if people were staying in Polentswa for a few days with not a trickle of water showing up in the waterhole, it could be a different reason than eland and wildebeest? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:22 am 
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Thank you KG & co for your effort and for going that extra mile. The average distance between the waterholes are 8 - 10 km. I think the animals will move on to the next waterhole if they can not find water. It is maybe long distance to travel for us :lol: :mrgreen: , but I do not think for the animals.

SJ


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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:46 am 
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Aristocat wrote:
Perhaps what would help is to know whether the waterhole is permanently dry or just temporarily as surely if it is the Eland the water would slowly trickle back and replenish the water over a few hours or one or two days. If a waterhole remains dry for more than a few days we would then assume it is either the water table diminishing (as Gavin W mentioned) or the pump is broken?? For all of us concerned regarding the water for our beloved KTP creatures perhaps it is a good idea for confirmation through this forum as to which waterholes are actually broken after inspection and of course when they are up and flowing again!! This would then not leave us guessing as to whats happening as we do all understand that waterholes could dry under natural circumstances every now and again and that KTP staff are doing their best under the circumstances!!


Agree with Aristocat! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Waterholes - Working or Dry? Updates!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:58 am 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
As we are all always interested in the waterhole situation in KTP, any updates by forumites and Sanparks on any of the KTP waterholes would be greatly appreciated on this thread.
- Working waterholes?
- Dry waterholes?
- Broken waterholes?
- Broken waterholes that have been fixed?
Hopefully, we will all find this information very useful. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:06 am 
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Now I would like to throw the cat among the pigeons and say that most of those waterholes should not have been there in the first place.

Many of the huge amount of waterholes all along the Auob riverbed were dug during expected border conflicts by the German controlled SWA forces many moons ago. It was to supply soldiers and their horses of drinking water in a war situation.

In actual fact waterholes in such an arid environment causes a lot of problems:
1. Overgrazing. Due to the presence of the waterholes, naturally migrating animals, such as Wildebeest stays at these stable water sources.
2. Due to the ever present pray animals at waterholes, lions also adapt to forming more prides than normal around these waterholes - further putting strain on water supplies.
3. Animals adapted to arid conditions are put under pressure by the presence of otherwise migrating animals. A good example is the roan and sable antelope in the north-western corner of KNP. The dire effect of to much stable water in arid areas has been researched very thoroughly in KNP in the mid 70's and it is very well documented. Following that research many of the waterholes in KNP were shut down - to major outcries of the public.

The effect of waterholes is that the field never gets it's natural chance to recover. If nature had its way, there would have been much less animals - including Eland in the KTP. I suspect nature is playing its hand in KTP, although it is not pretty, it is something that needs to happen some or other time. Don't expect Parks management to now "fix" what needs to take it cause in some or other way.

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:41 am 
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Thanks JenB

The waterholes are not dry they merely cannot keep up at the rate the Eland drinks the water. It has become clear during the Night drives that the Eland come down just after sunset (that is when we see most eland) to drink.

Many of the Eland has slowly made their way back up north and therefore they 'hit' the waterholes further north, the eland which have stayed behind is the females which has very young calves and will not move north very soon as they know the youngsters might not make the trip.
KG

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:43 am 
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:tongue:

But on a serious note, I do think that the waterhole problem is getting solved. When we were there a few weeks ago, the situation did improve in the 12 days we were there. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:51 am 
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Hope the eland will stay till our visit. :thumbs_up: Like to have a :cam:


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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Thanks KG for keeping us up to date with the water situation. I for one understand how full your day is and then still having to put time aside to keep us in the picture.
As for keeping things running smoothly in the field, the rangers/maintanace staff are really up against it. They are doing a magnificent job; especially with limited resources and the wilderness location, remoteness personified!
I count it a privilege to be allowed to see animals in the most natural invironment possible and I accept things as they are - except of course for the other issue.
A BIG thankyou KTP staff

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 Post subject: Re: Dry waterholes in the Kgalagadi - Shocking!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:40 pm 
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:lol: You are right Rudi, we can take water for the animals. :thumbs_up:


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