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 Post subject: Why are there so few predators to be seen at the WH?
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:30 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
There are plenty of prey around for lions, have a look at the amount of impala's, kudu, zebra, pigs, etc.
There is a pride in the neighbourhood as far as I know, and I know for sure that there are cheetah around too.
According to the "Big five sightings" leopard are around as well.

But we do not see them even with the drought?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:05 pm 
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This has puzzled me too the past few days especially.
We quickly learnt your chances of finding a predator like a lion increases proportionate to the number of Impi's and small game you find in an area.
Logically, since we've seen so many Impi's, giraffe etc on cam, the chances should've been bigger for seeing predators. They haven't been on cam for quite some time.
Any ideas?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:13 pm 
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Guinea Pig wrote:
This has puzzled me too the past few days especially.
We quickly learnt your chances of finding a predator like a lion increases proportionate to the number of Impi's and small game you find in an area.
Logically, since we've seen so many Impi's, giraffe etc on cam, the chances should've been bigger for seeing predators. They haven't been on cam for quite some time.
Any ideas?


Camera shy or perhaps they pop in when no one is watching :?
You would think that the predators would also be using the WH, as the park is so dry, but recently the only seems to have been a lone hyaena, the jackel appear to have deserted us aswell. Even if there is another water source close by, with the prey animal using this one, why arn't the predators have too.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:28 pm 
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Remember that the cam only covers about 100 square meters. Very small if you consider the size of Kruger. Predators also don't drink as often as other animals, they get a lot of moisture from the flesh that they eat.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:20 am 
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Location: Chasing down the rarities
Remember that this waterhole is extremely close to Orpen camp. Most predators don't like too much attention and noise. There are many cars entering and exiting that gate and there are some major construction going on there right now.

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 Post subject: Impact of drought on waterhole
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Location: Polokwane, Limpopo Province
I was wondering how the waterhole looked six (6) months ago and what impact the drought had on the vegetation.
See comparison photo's below
April 2005

Image

Sept 2005
Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:34 pm 
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Pictures Captured by Elaine/USA

18 December 2004

Image

21 December 2004

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29 December 2004

Image

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 Post subject: Orpen webcam to be relocated 28 Sept 2005
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:15 am 
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Location: South African National Parks (SANParks)
Orpen webcam to be relocated

The webcam at Orpen will be moved (on Wed 28 Sept 2005) from the current position to a new waterhole a few meters away. The waterhole at which the camera will be aimed at, is the cement crib a few meters north-west of the old waterhole you got used to as Orpen cam’s view. So it will still be at Orpen - only about metres away.

Unfortunately we have to close the overflow of water from the cement crib outside view into the natural waterhole you are used to. Large numbers of animals are visiting the natural waterhole at the moment (because of this overflow and presence of water) and this action is causing a lot of erosion which is not acceptable. The closure of the waterflow (which is pumped) to the natural waterhole, will cause the natural waterhole in view to dry up – except when it is filled by rain in future.

The move will take place today 28 Sept 2005 and the camera will be down during this period. When the camera is back online again, it will have the cement crib in view instead of the natural waterhole.

From a conservation point of view we were advised by the ranger at Orpen, to relocate the camera as the water overflow to the natural waterhole will no longer take place as it the presence of this overflow of water in the waterhole that is causing a lot of animal traffic which is causing a lot of erosion.

We apologise for the downtime but hope that you will understand that this is being done to protect the environment. When we activated the webcam initially last year at the natural waterhole, my discussions with the ranger at Orpen already pointed out the danger of erosion. This has now become a reality.

The ‘new’ view of the Orpen webcam will have the cement crib in view which is merely a few meters away from the waterhole you became familiar with during the past few months!

If the new images are not perfect from day one, please bear with us as it will be fine-tuned as time goes by.

Happy camming!

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Danie Pretorius
Manager: Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
South African National Parks (SANParks)


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 Post subject: New location and view for Orpen webcam
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:33 pm 
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The webcam has been relocated successfully! Enjoy the new view!

Thanks to the whole team who assisted in completing this mission..Thanks Richard (Ranger: Kingfisherspruit/Orpen) and Benette (Technical services, KNP) and all the members of your whole team!

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Danie Pretorius
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South African National Parks (SANParks)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:22 pm 
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
Hallo Danie

I dont like the new position! :sniper: It is an unnatural situation. The animals do not act as they would at a regular waterhole. (Think about our elephants and rhino having a nice mud wallow!) We have lost much of what makes watching interesting. :(

I do absolutely understand the errosion argument, and agree with the decision in favour of the environment, above the pleasure of us humans!

Is there however no natural waterhole available in the KNP which do keep an amount of water, even in the drier months? :?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:41 am 
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Imberbe wrote:
Is there however no natural waterhole available in the KNP which do keep an amount of water, even in the drier months?


Hi Imberbe,

Your argument is very valid, and yes, there are many other waterholes that do keep water. The problem would be the infrastructure.

You can for example, place a webcam at Sunset Dam, but you would need to look at the impact it will have on the animals (Lights on in the night etc.).

The other problem is the cost to relocate all the equipment and cables. Moving it to another waterhole will probably require more cable etc.

And I'm sure you will agree with me that those costs can rather go to the savings account for another webcam.

It would have been ideal to have it at a normal wh, but the costs to do so would not justify it.

Personally, I'm just glad that they have a webcam. It's a little bit of a fix for me to see some of the animals and you always have the element of surprise involved, where you don't know what might appear next.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:05 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Do you know if this water hole is visible from the Orpen camp?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:15 pm 
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A & C wrote:
Do you know if this water hole is visible from the Orpen camp?


Viewed from the camp 24/9/05

Image


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 Post subject: Waterhole Level
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:21 pm 
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I have been watching the Orpen waterhole level drop significantly the last few days, and the animals seem to be struggling to reach the water. I've had an ongoing debate with myself this morning, and neither of me is coming up with a definitive answer, so I wanted some other thoughts on the issue:

The waterhole is manmade - would it be easier for animals to access the water if there was no concrete there? If so, do we (man) have a responsibility to keep the level up to avoid injury to the animals trying to access the water, or to prevent frustration on the animals part in not getting to the water?

Or, do we take the stance that it wouldn't have any water at all in it without our intervention, so the animals have to 'make a plan' to access it, or go elsewhere, as they would in a natural situation.

But then, how far back do we take the human intereference issue? Right back to the fact that we've enclosed these animals in unnatural borders limiting their migration to alternate water sources in times of drought?

And if there is just no water to be had - manmade or otherwise, there isn't really any other option, is there, other than to hope for the rains to come soon . . .

And do we say, as much as we hate to see it, that nature needs to run it's course, and drought is a natural way of keeping numbers.

In no way am I questioning KNP's policies - I think that they do a fantastic job and are a first-class role model for wildlife management that can be used by the rest of the world - and I know that we can never have a utopia where animals and man interact naturally without one impacting the other. I also know there is no clear cut answer, and that the wildlife managers probably face the same debate every day.

I'm interested to know what other thoughts there are on the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Waterhole Level
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:39 pm 
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Cath wrote:
I've had an ongoing debate with myself this morning, and neither of me is coming up with a definitive answer

:lol: :lol:

Cath, you pretty much summed up all the points that crossed my mind too. I haven't really formed an opinion about this yet. I would also like to hear what others think.


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