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The current drought - a discussion

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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DinkyBird
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The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:13 am

Dear all

Please see the following Q&A with SANParks, specifically Conservation Management in Kruger, received from Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
Acting Head of Communications, South African National Parks (SANParks):

Since the entire country is being affected by the drought… What is the situation in Kruger?

1. Are dam and/or river levels where they should be during this time of the year?

Some dams have dried up as expected and rivers are also quite low, as expected. The Crocodile and Letaba Rivers have stopped flowing in lower sections – a serious ecological concern.


2. When do the first rains usually fall in Kruger?

As early as September but really significant rain usually in October/November.


3. Are there any concerns at this stage amongst the experts in Kruger?

No, we are expecting a drought and the Kruger National Park ecosystem can handle such conditions.


4. What would the effect of a drought be on the ecosystem within Kruger?

It will be good for the ecosystem in getting rid of excess animals and keeping the system healthy. Usually only the strongest animals survive such droughts, ensuring that the gene pool stays healthy.


6. I believe that some antelope actually delay the birthing process for some time until the first rains fall. Is this currently the case?
How long can they go past their “due date” before they HAVE to deliver?


This is an unfounded rumor.


7. Also, a resident of White River has actually alerted me to the fact that droughts in the Lowveld occur every 21 years. Another one for the experts: is this true? Do you actually see a “pattern” of droughts occurring?

Yes there is a pattern of more or less 9-11 years above normal rainfall (on average) and 9-11 years below normal rainfall. Seriously dry years such as 1982/3 and 1991/2 are usually associated with 2 consecutive dry years.
Sawubona
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Philip1 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:43 am

Just a question. Did it happened in the past that Hippos had to use for instance Orpen "Cam" waterhole?
Please I am not being cheeky or "funny" just like to know.
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by saraf » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:47 am

I have seen hippo at Orpen before, in the early years of the web cam. I remember being surprised. However I haven't seen such prolonged usage.
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:49 am

I have never seen hippo in the waterhole, I have seen them drink there Philip. And also now, the only way to get them to leave the waterhole will be for it to dry up ... they are flavouring the water with their dung ...
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:17 pm

I am sure Hippo will utilize any water source if need be in times of drought and shortage of water.

Interesting FAQ's D! :thumbs_up:

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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Philip1 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:43 pm

Thank you. :gflower:

I find it strange that they will move from a "River" to a small watering hole.
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Grantmissy » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Thank you DB for the information on the drought :thumbs_up:
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:07 pm

Credit must go to Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli, Acting Head of Communications, South African National Parks (SANParks) for forwarding that info :D
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Crested Val » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:12 pm

Philip1 wrote:Thank you. :gflower:

I find it strange that they will move from a "River" to a small watering hole.


We witnessed this in 2013 Philip, but for the opposite reason - during the floods, we found a hippo had taken up residence in Rhidonda Pan on the H9!!!! :shock:

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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Hippotragus » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:57 pm

I reckon the hippos moved to Orpen camp waterhole because the Timbavati "river" is dry!!

I worry about the hippo dung in the waterhole - blue-green algae. Are there any plans to "rinse" the waterhole and stop any blue-green algae poisoning?

Thanks for posting the Q&As.
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:25 pm

Further info of interest on the forums pertaining to this specific subject:

link
Lesley Nyawo wrote:Dear Valued Stakeholders

I have consulted with The Conservation Management Department,
It is true, the boreholes that will be reopened are spread throughout Kruger National Park and not only in the north of the Park.


Regards
Sawubona
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:26 pm

link

Lesley Nyawo wrote:Dear Valued Stakeholders

Up until the end of October we have only received 48.7% of our expected rainfall for the park for this time of year. There are however local variations, with places like Punda Maria actually exceeding their expected rainfall. I have included the rainfall maps for August and September (October is not yet available) to help give an idea of the spread in rainfall. Whilst these dry conditions is distressing for visitors they have to remember that it is an essential part of the natural checks and balances needed for a healthy ecosystem.

Regards


rainfall1.jpg


rainfall2.jpg
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:26 am

Thank you. That is very interesting. It certainly shows shifting rainfall patterns.
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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by Grantmissy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:24 am

Thank you Lesley and DB for sharing this information :thumbs_up:
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

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Re: The current drought - a discussion

Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:40 am

DinkyBird wrote:Further info of interest on the forums pertaining to this specific subject:

link
Lesley Nyawo wrote:Dear Valued Stakeholders

I have consulted with The Conservation Management Department,
It is true, the boreholes that will be reopened are spread throughout Kruger National Park and not only in the north of the Park.


Regards

Please note this was in reply to a question elsewhere on the forums and refers to about 30 odd boreholes.
Sawubona
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