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Kruger National Park
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The Sycamore Fig (Ficus sycomorus) is a tall, distinctive tree with a yellowish bark and fluted stem that we see growing along the rivers in the Kruger National Park. This spectacular tree is home to a host of insects, reptiles, rodents and birds – many of which we will never see. The feast of figs it produces all year round is a source of food for all the savanna inhabitants from monkeys in the branches to impala and warthog eating the fallen fruit on the ground. But how many of us are aware of the intricate web of life surrounding these figs that hang so abundantly from the branches of the tree?
How water moves through the landscape affects both the vegetation and the animals living there. Water in the environment is very diverse and we often just think of flowing rivers and streams, but there is more to this dynamic than meets the eye.
Barcoding is no longer a term only affiliated to consumer goods. Thanks to the research efforts made by Dr Michelle van der Bank of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a group of international scientists, a gene has been identified to distinguish between the majority of plant species on earth.
The services of 3 full-time volunteers are required for detailed vegetation surveys along selected transects in the SavFIRE programme in the Satara area of the Kruger National Park From 1 April to 31 April 2008. The basis of the work will be look at the grass species composition and tree species along transects set out in the SavFIRE programme.
A systematic tree marking process in Kruger National Park (KNP) is the first step by SANParks' Scientific Services staff in Skukuza towards producing more detailed biodiversity surveys in the park. Dimitri Dimopoulos, one of SANParks volunteer Honorary Rangers, recently assisted in this process...
The Mopane tree with its distinctive ‘Butterfly’ shaped leaves is a principle food source for many insects and animals. Over the last few weeks the Speckled Emperor Moth (Gynanisa maia) have hatched in big numbers and have been utilizing these leaves. These voracious feeders will be stiff competition for the more common Mopane worm (Gonimbrasia belina), as they are currently stripping the Mopane trees of their leaves.
This is the time of year when little black moths which look like wasps are seen in swarms flying in front of cars and visiting the flowers of many shrubs such the Velvet Wild-medlar (Vangueria infausta) and Buffalo-thorn (Ziziphus mucronata). These are the Burnet moths.
The 2006 Kruger National Park (KNP) Emerging Tuskers Competition attracted more than 180 individual entries and has identified eight new emerging tuskers, bringing the total to 50. You have until the 31 December 2007 to get your entries in for the 2007 Competition!
After many months the doors to the Elephant Hall in Letaba Rest Camp have been replaced through the combined efforts of the Bushveld Region Honorary Rangers, People and Conservation's Kirsty Redman, and the many members of the public who donated money to this worthy cause.
In light of recent road closures caused by heavy rain in the Kruger National Park (KNP), SANParks online forum members have come up with an innovative way to keep each other up to date with conditions in the park.
In February 2007 a special data logging collar (which records the daily movements of the animal using GPS co-ordinates) was fitted to a sable in a naturally occurring herd in the southern area of the Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. This was part of a study being done by Mr Valerio Macandza from Wits University to obtain comparative data on sable movements in Limpopo Natinal Park and in Kruger National Park (KNP). Valerio has been studying sable for the last 3 years in the Punda Maria area of the KNP. The collared sable was part of a herd of 4 females.
Some welcome rain and the high temperatures mean that summer has arrived at full swing in the Lowveld. During this hot season, an intrepid group of volunteer researchers are busy every day monitoring what insects, snakes, frogs and rodents are moving about in the veld of the Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park (KNP) rangers and operators from South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Investigation Services (CIS) shot and killed a poacher during a skirmish in the early hours of this morning (Friday December 14, 2007).
Kruger National Park's People and Conservation Department in conjunction with Singita Kruger National Park, a Kruger National Park (KNP) concessionaire, will run an Arts and Craft exhibition from 24 to 26 December 2007 at Nwanetsi Picnic Spot. The event is intended to support, market and promote the local crafters’ products to the guests who will visit the park during this time.
In terms of act and Government notice R385 of the regulations in terms of chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act 1998, published in Government Gazette 28753 of 21 April 2006, the interested and affected parties are herewith notified of the intent to carry out the upgrading of the Phabeni Entrance Gate in the Kruger National Park , which will include the following: new reception area, a Wild Card booth lane, park and ride facilities and an entrance gate for My Acre of Africa.
In terms of act and Government notice R385 of the regulations in terms of chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act 1998, published in Government Gazette 28753 of 21 April 2006, the interested and affected parties are herewith notified of the intent to carry out the upgrading of the Low Level crossing of the Crocodile River at the Crocodile Bridge in the Kruger National Park.
"I'm on a quest to detect and map tree density in the Skukuza area, using remote sensing technology " says German geography student, Claudia Jobst. This quest is part of a six-month internship at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the Earth Observation Group “Ecosystems Earth Observation” which Claudia started in October this year.
What do you get when you send a bunch of women on a mission to find a Pel’s Fishing owl, armed with CyberTracker equipment and a mandate to raise funds for SANParks? You get Angels on an Avian Mission of course, the name given to a fund and awareness raising expedition made up of six SANParks staff and forum members who recently returned from Kruger National Park after successfully finding the Pel’s Fishing Owl (of course), as well as achieving a number of other serious and not so serious objectives.
A massive campaign to uphold the rules and regulations has been launched in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in an attempt to bring rule-breakers to book during the festive season. “We have received many complaints about rule breakers from staff members, guests and the feedback facilities on our website over the past few months and have now come up with a strategy for the Festive Season which we hope will make a difference,” said the KNP’s Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize.
KNP guests and staff are hereby informed that the swimming pool at Lower Sabie Camp is temporarily closed. The closure is due to the maintenance work which is currently taking place at the pool and will last for a period of two weeks.
South African National Parks (SANParks) would like to call the public’s attention to a fraudulent fundraising scam currently circulating in shopping centres and other public places in the Johannesburg area.
What follows is a comprehensive update on the N4 route from Pretoria to Maputo, including information on road side assistance, road works, and road accident statistics. If you are using this route in December/January, please take note of this information for your own safety on our roads.
Kruger National Park (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize expressed his sincere condolences to the family and friends of the five Austrian and German tourists who were tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident in the park late yesterday afternoon (November 29, 2007).
Four more collared animals were added to a study currently underway to monitor the declining sable numbers around Punda Maria. Sable numbers have been declining in the Kruger National Park since the late 1980’s and this is a serious concern for park management. A research project, lead by Professor Norman Owen-Smith from Wits University, is investigating sable, where they move to and what they like to eat. The project is being done in both the Punda Maria and Pretoriuskop areas.
So you are driving along in your car in the Kruger National Park and you ponder the fact that elephants eat about 180kg of vegetation per day. Where on earth do all the KNP’s elephants find 180kg of vegetation to eat each every day? Kruger National Park scientists have also been pondering this interesting question too. Perhaps more specificially, what they have been asking relates to the distribution of elephants and other herbivores in conservation areas in relation to the nutrient status of the vegetation and now they hope that TEMBO can give them the answers.
In a gesture of goodwill, the Kruger National Park (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize presented representatives from 17 day care centres and other health organisations from around the park with a consignment of 76 wheel chairs today (Wednesday November 28, 2007).