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KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures

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KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:52 am

Please be aware KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures
The Kruger National Park (KNP) in conjunction with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will demolish five redundant artificial water structures found in the northern and central areas of KNP as part of a long term rehabilitation program from 27 November – 9 December 2016. Explosives will be used to demolish these structures; after which the rubble will be removed and re-used as part of the rehabilitation process.

Structures scheduled for the operation include:

Sirheni Dam – it was breached by the 2012 floods and partially demolished in October 2015 but work was not completed
Langtoon Dam – in the Vlakteplaas Ranger Section, this was breached in 2008
Ngotso and Bangu Weirs – along the S89 and the old main road S90 in the Houtboschrand Ranger section
Gudzani north windmill located along the S90 and S41 roads also in the Houtboschrand Ranger Section

The following safety measures will be put in place during the operation

The area around the targeted structures will be cleared to ensure animals and human are safe.
All roads in the areas will also be temporarily closed.
Working on Fire, SANDF and Ranger teams will be on standby to extinguish any wild fire that might arise.
An aerial flight will be dispatched to the area immediately prior to detonation to ensure that no tourists may be in the vicinity of the targeted structure.

KNP has been closing artificial water points for the past eight years, with the last being that of Sirheni in October 2015,” said the General Manager: Communications and Marketing, Mr William Mabasa.

Artificial water holes where water did not naturally occur have led to numerous ecological problems such as erosion and other environmental degradation. This also resulted in a negative consequence for the rare herbivore species such as roan and sable antelope, increasing grazing competition by the more abundant herbivores. Conservation management has taken steps to rectify these negative consequences by closing and demolishing certain artificial water holes. To enhance tourist experience, alternative game viewing opportunities will be provided at areas of naturally occurring surface water.

“With the continuous research data at our disposal, we have gradually changed our outlook on biodiversity management over the years. With this data available, policies and procedures can be revisited and revised; and this is evident in the change in policy regarding water distribution in the Park” concluded Mabasa.

Issued by:
South African National Parks - Kruger National Park: Communications & Marketing Department.

William Mabasa
Acting Head of Communications – SANParks
Tel: 013 735 4363/012 426 5170, cell: 082 807 3919

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Re: KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures

Unread post by K-4S » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:42 am

This is a tough one. It is sad to hear about Sirheni. It is all about finding that balance I guess in the 'closed system' that is KNP. If the provision of artificial watering points has effected the likes of Roan and Sable what will the lack of these points do for other species? It is the swinging of the pendulum that the management team of environmentalists in the park need to manage. It is a job I would not want. Finding that fine line between providing water that animals could have once left the area of the park to find in the case of a lack of availability versus over provision where it affects the survivalability of a species is most probably going to be the toughest challenge Kruger will always face i think. I don't want to raise an entire debate over the topic, but I think it is important to thank the people that are making the decisions to demolish these water points as I am sure they have weighed up all of the Pro's and cons from the research that they have and are making the best decision that they can at this time to protect our heritage.

Please keep us updated on the outcomes
January 2017
Orpen | Olifants

May 2017
Bateleur | Shingwedzi

July 2017
Punda Maria | Sirheni

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Re: KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures

Unread post by Philip1 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:53 am

Hear, hear K-4S :thumbs_up:
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!

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Re: KNP to remove redundant man made water point structures

Unread post by johanrebel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:24 am

OK, so redundant artificial water structures are on their way out. Great! But what about all those gravel pits? There are lots of them, often close to roads but just out of sight, and many of them are big and deep enough to collect plenty of water, and hold it well into the dry season.

With the closure of pumped waterholes etc, these gravel pits may provide and unnatural and undesireable alternative to thirsty animals.

What, if anything, is SANParks planning to do about them?


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