Julian Alps

June 13, 2018
Beautiful landscapes with surviving wildlife. At this time of year the Alpine Ibex and Chamois are on the high meadows above the tree-line, so difficult to locate. A few Brown Bears survive here in the Triglav National Park close to the Italian Alps but their true stronghold is in the south of Slovenia in the forests, with an estimated 400 individuals. For another visit! 

From our viewpoint one of the disturbing and annoying aspects of this park and many others around the world is the need for 'adventure' and 'extreme sports'. Why do so few people enjoy nature for nature's sake? White water rafting and canoeing, mountain biking, zip lines... and so on! For those few that enjoy nature for its own sake the shrieking that accompanies these pursuits is annoying and disturbing. Quietly watching Alpine choughs to the accompaniment of motorbikes, mobs of unseeing tourists...

In the many tourist brochures and official park guides the wildlife (and it is there) is either not mentioned, or only in passing as if it is of no consequence. Lodgings and activities seem to be paramount.

As always the real issue is just too many people. 
 

The Electric Fence

April 23, 2018
There are literally thousands of kilometres of electric fencing ringing our South African national parks, reserves, game farms and Karoo sheep farms. A recent incident involving an Aardvark on a farm close to our Karoo home started us thinking. 

We know of numerous records of Leopard Tortoises being electrocuted and killed on these electrified strands. But tortoises do not pull back and receive multiple shocks. Although the Aardvark in question was only stunned, recovered and ran away, we wond...
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A few short thoughts....

April 17, 2018
The time has just been running away and our web page updates have suffered as a result. A few short thoughts from the last three months:

PHASA/CPHCSA:

The whole hunting ethics saga in South Africa continues. With the unethical hunters cornering PHASA - pro "canned lion hunting", amongst other issues. Those more ethical hunters breaking away from PHASA to found CPHCSA. South African hunting is already viewed from overseas with a hint of disgust. Safari Club International and Boone&Crocket no lon...
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The Mesquite Menace

December 10, 2017


Mesquite (Prosopis spp.), a group of about 40 small leguminous trees are native to the south-western USA and Mexico. Several species, especially Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), were introduced into South Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as both a shade tree and as a source of fodder for domestic livestock. It was cultivated and planted out in many arid areas of central, northern and western parts of South Africa. It forms dense thickets that even goats cannot penetrate a...
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Another sad note on the hunting front!

November 14, 2017

It seems as if many in the South African hunting fraternity are hell bent on driving another nail into the coffin of ethical hunting.

Firstly we had the using of dogs in leopard hunting, then came the infamous 'canned' lion saga, an issue still ongoing. Next the breeding of numerous colour mutant antelope species, which has angered many hunting organisations in Europe especially but also in the USA. In fact in our view it has reached ridiculous levels but the 'bubble' at least on this has b...


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Hunting Ethics

August 19, 2017

Guest blog: A letter from Gerhard von Hasseln to a disillusioned fellow hunter!

For introduction I mention that I have read your articles in the Man Magazine for which over the years I have also written some articles which were published. I arrived in South Africa in 1957 starting as a learner wool buyer. As a farewell present my father gave me a 9.3 x 62 rifle with which I shot my first bushbuck ram on a farm near Kei Road. I have hunted in six African countries though nowhere near as exten...


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The Anthropocene-age of Man or: Out of Africa - the Obsession

August 4, 2017
Current thinking is that the human lineage split from the apes around 7 million years before present in Central Africa, remaining on the continent for at least the next 5 million years.

However, the recent discovery of remains of what has been called 'El Graeco', or Graecopithecus freybergi, indicates that the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis should be re-examined. 'El Graeco' shows that human ancestors were starting to evolve at least 200,000 years before the earliest known African hominid. Is this...
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Short post script to previous blog

June 5, 2017
A few figures from North America:
  • Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds each year. 
  • Up to 6.8 million bird deaths are attributed to collisions with cell and radio towers.
  • Feral and domestic cats are estimated to kill 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds each year. (By far the worst!)
This makes the wind turbines positively 'bird friendly'. 

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Are Wind Farms so Environmentally Friendly?

June 5, 2017
For the past few months numerous 'Abnormal Load' lorries have trundled past our home village of Loxton. They have been, and still are, carrying the various sections of wind turbines to the new 'wind farm' near Loeriesfontein. 

Many say, that 'wind farms' are amongst the most environmentally friendly of sources of energy. Once they are erected and producing power that is probably the case but....

Firstly, one has to ask how much energy and pollution was used and created in the manufacture of the...
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Lions in the smaller parks

May 7, 2017
On our recent stay in Karoo National Park we encountered small Lion prides, one with two cubs, another with four of almost nine months. We have to ask the questions, how many Lion can a park such as Karoo National Park carry, and when carrying capacity is reached what will be done with the surplus? 
One certainly needs to introduce new genetic stock from time to time in these 'closed' parks but demand for Lions for introduction or reintroduction is limited. Perhaps it is time that SANParks was...
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