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Karoo: Erosion

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
Len Loader
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Karoo: Erosion

Unread post by Len Loader » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:57 pm

We have just returned from a once again splended stay at Karoo. On the Kookfontein and Afsaal 4x4 loop, we noticed various areas cleared of vegetation and replaced with a number of small beds made and covered with dry sticks. What can this be - is it the removal of foreign vegetation and replaced with indigenous vegetation ? If so, I suppose the purpose of the dry sticks is to prevent the new planted vegetation to be eaten by game.

We were told that the lions were in the Kookfontein Loop area, but unfortunately we missed out on them. Maybe next time end of May !

Len

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Addo Elephant
Guru
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Re: Karoo National Park : strange observation

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:51 am

Hi Len,
The areas which you noticed are areas that were denuded of vegetation through eropsion. The erosion started long ago, when these areas were still farmland beofre being included into the park.
To prevent the erosion from getting worse and to aid in revegetating these sites, we have used a method called "ponding" where you create depressions in the ground. These ponds or depressions have then been covered with thorn tree branchlets which helps to create a microclimate inside the pond that is favourable for seedlings to establish. It also prevents herbivores from eating the new seedlings until they have established themselves properly and are better able to withstand browsing. The ponds aid water penetration into the soil, again helping to re-establish the vegetation.
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region


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