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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I fully agree with ecojunkie and to set the record straight I was only allowed to use my spotlight after I offered it when it was discovered that the bulbs on 2 of the 3 spotlights had blown and no spares were available.
Well taking fotos on that drive was out of the question for me and I just enjoyed the experience of finding animals for foreigners to see and in so doing had given them value for their money.
I have in the past also gone on drives where the people who were asked to handle the lights had no idea what they were doing and kept on shining in the road next to the truck or in the sky.
We did not see much and I felt that I have wasted my money going on that trip as we had to rely on the driver to also spot animals while keeping his eyes on the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Here is an opinion on the effects of bright spotlights on animals , though I cannot vouch for the authenticity .

"As darkness falls, the retina in most animals' eyes begins to convert vitamin A to a chemical called Rhodopsin, which aids in night vision. Similar to our own eyes, the animals eyes adjust to the dark, although to a much greater extent than our own eyes (we don't have rhodopsin conversion). their pupils grow in order to allow more light in as well. a few seconds of unfiltered bright light literally causes that rhodopsin to break down to its original Vitamin A state, causing almost complete blindness in the animal. It will take approximately another 30 minutes before that rhodopsin can be built up again, meaning that, whether its a predator or prey, its at a complete, unfair disadvantage."

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:47 am
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Location: johanneburg
noel wrote:
Just a note here!
Why does Sanparks allow the sale of these spotlights in their shops inside the Park when they can potentially do so much damage?
I ask because I now have 3 spotlights, 2 of which are pistol grip ones.
When I stayed in Balule, I bought a third in the Park as I had forgotten to bring one of the other two with me, and there was no way I would be in Balule without a torch/spotlight.
And I have been on a night drive with my own spotlight and there was no talk of it not being allowed and I was able to use it unhindered.
Perhaps it had something to do with the truck being pretty full.
There did not seem to be much difference between mine spotlight and that of the trucks.
In any event, here as with so much else, being RESPONSIBLE with it is what is required.
It is always great to to find some night wildlife with it, such as bats, birds and on one occasion in Skuks, could watch a herd of elephants graze just below the walkway.
Great to see some very young ones too on that occasion.
Shining it incessantly on something is not acceptable.
And shining over other peoples space is simply rude.
I usually will go away from campers/residents in camps when out looking for night wildlife.
Batteries in some of these torches are rechargeable 6V and I have replaced mine once (in one torch) in four years.
Pretty good going I thought.
Chirinda is correct, usually all that is needed is replacement rechargeable batteries.
Even the bulbs can be replaced.
The one I bought inside the Park even came with a spare bulb, which I still have after 3 years of usage.


I will have to agree with your first part Noel, you not allowed to shine lights into the animals eyes at night. but they sell big spot lights, not the normal dinkie flashlight needed to work and do things around your camp...its like selling a gun at the parks shops..but no you cant shoot the animals!! (hyperthetically speaking)


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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Agree with you Ndloti and Brogan, but it does beg the point, seeing that Sanparks is all about conservation and protection. Goes back to simply being responsible with something that is quite useful. That's me speaking from KNP as I type. Just using my spotlight to get to the ablution facility without stepping on a puffie. Maybe tomorrow when I am in Skuks I will give it a go at the walkway :D .


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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Johannesburg
I am a night tour guide at the Pretoria Zoo and use a Coleman Led spotlight(about R800 at makro) with a Lumeno potable 12v lead crystal battery(gate motor battery)
The led is very bright 555 Lumens and shines a good distance, being led uses very little power.


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 Post subject: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:36 am 
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I was watching the 4x4 show on tv here and Andrew St.Pierre White the presenter was discussing spot / floodlights. He showed the LED Lensar X series torch which makes even car headlights look dim and has a range of over 500mtrs.

My comment is that surely if you were to use a torch this powerful for night spotting in the park then you could do some serious damage to an animals eyes, especially the owls.

Are there any regulations governing the use of torches in the park beyond using common sense? :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:55 am 
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Good morning DSouter.

I feel the same way and I am sure that they do some sort of damage.

At most outdoor stores, they sell the LED lamps/spots with the red game spotting filter. In some stores you can even get a red filter on its own to attach to your lamp. I hope people with these LED lamps are aware enough to take measures to protect the animals’ eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:48 am 
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Apparently using a red filter over a normal torch still allows you to see the animals, but doesn't harm their eyes as much. However, one hopes that common sense prevails... :?


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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:15 am 
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Whenever and where-ever spotlights are used in parks, such as on night-drives, etc, red filters should be compulsory.


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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:50 am 
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I entirely agree that there is too much flashing & spotlighting going on. Some reserves are very strict about its use. Permanent eye damage is unlikely but behavior disturbance is a problem. Someone reported an owl flying away from lights straight into a tree.

I have recently posted the views of experts on the effects of spot lights & flashlights on animal vision
http://www.africaraw.com/Triptips/Trip-tips/21666409_Dp9Xv3/

To try & provide more insight into the subject of night vision I also discuss its physiology on our blog in a simple (??) washbasin analogy to explain factors influencing the input & output of visual pigment.

http://blog.africaraw.com/?p=131 for part 1

http://blog.africaraw.com/?p=143 for part 2

In practice we have become much much more careful about using our spotlight (Lightforce with red filter permanently on) & flash photography


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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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One wonders why the shops in the rest camps sell 10m candle power spotlights. Yeah, that's ten million candle power!

As for red filters, that's a commercial non-starter. A lot of people, especially the elderly, have great trouble seeing anything in red light, and it makes (video)photography nigh on impossible. Private game lodges that have tried red filters abandoned them real quick for these reasons.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Location: Worcester , Cape
DSouter wrote:
My comment is that surely if you were to use a torch this powerful for night spotting in the park then you could do some serious damage to an animals eyes, especially the owls.




Certainly . And remember , owls fly amongst trees , dodging branches , etc . It can impair his vison to the extent that he cannot see such branches , and colliding with it , could cause a broken wing , and a certain dead owl .

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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:24 am 
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Hi everyone

I was just thinking of something similar but my question is completly different come to think of it.

Sometimes when we enter gates as soon as they open and this especially happens during Winter. It happens to be Dark on the roads and therefore would using vehicle headlamps be permissible. What about animals on the road which is often the case at the time. Does it affect them. Just curious

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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:26 am 
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Kallis , quite often , that is how a live animal becomes road-kill :evil:

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11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
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 Post subject: Re: USE OF FLOOD / SPOTLIGHTS
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:50 am 
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We have touched the subject of using spot lights in camps, but I can't find it.
I have some serious problems with the use of spot lights in camp especially at the fences.
Parents think it is OK to give spots to the children who shine the lights up and down the fence and even at people sitting silently at the fence and thereby spoiling the atmosphere.
It sometimes resembles a scene from the second world war during the Blitzkrieg over London.
Where I normally go, the use of spot lights inside the camp area is strictly forbidden and such an offense carries a heavy penalty.
People should be considerate when using the lights.

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Last edited by Rooies on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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