SA National Parks has declared war on poachers and warns it is going to win the fight.
?Poachers must beware because we will seek them out, we will find them and they will be dealt with. This is a war that we plan on winning,? SANParks head David Mabunda told a media briefing at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Thursday, according to a statement sent to Sapa. Mabunda said the KNP had lost 26 white rhino and one black rhino to poachers since the beginning of this year.
The KNP would be using R2m - received from the Parks Development Fund - to increase the number of rangers in SANParks? flagship reserve.
?The funds will be used to employ 57 more rangers, increasing the number of motorbikes, and... [for] purchasing a state of the art crime information management system, all of which will increase visibility on the ground and improve our anti-poaching efforts.? Mabunda welcomed government?s decision to return the army to patrolling the KNP?s eastern boundary, which coincides with South Africa?s national border with Mozambique.
?The exit of the military three years ago had created even more pressure on the work of the rangers,? he said. - SAPA
Moving Kruger?s Border so Hunters Can Kill
Mike Cadman, reports in the Sunday Independent of July 12, that South African National Parks (SANParks) is planning to move a 48km section of the worldrenowned Kruger National Park?s (KNP) western boundary fence to create a new 150km2 contract park specifically to allow trophy hunting.
The southern African director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) Jason Bell-Leask said the plan to create a new hunting area is an issue of ?grave concern?.?This cannot be disguised as anything but a green light for hunting in the KNP, which makes no ecological, biological, ethical or economic sense,? Bell-Leask said. ?Kruger animals will be hunted if this deal, in its current form, proceeds?.
Legalised trophy hunting in provincial and private reserves that share unfenced boundaries with Kruger has intensified in the past year, with two new concessions being opened in the Makuya and Mthimkulu provincial parks in Limpopo.The exclusive Associated Private Nature Reserves (Timbavati, Klaserie, Umbabat and Balule), which are part of the Greater Kruger National Park, were also in 2008/2009 granted their highest ever elephant and buffalo trophy quotas.
To create the new hunting area, which lies north of Phalaborwa between the Klein Letaba and Shingwidzi Rivers, SANParks will have to move the existing boundary fence, much of which has recently been upgraded at a cost of R270 000 a kilometre, about 3km to the west.A new fence, which must be able to contain elephant, is likely to cost considerably more to build than the existing fence.
Sanparks Corrects Double Booking 2010
Following a system error in the booking of accommodation for the June / July 2010 period in the Kruger National Park, South African National Parks has managed to make alternative arrangements for accommodating virtually all of the 17 affected customers. The affected customers? bookings were accepted into the reservation system despite the allocated units having been already committed to a blocked booking arrangement made with MATCH for the accommodation of international customers that will be visiting South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.
According to Sydney Soundy, SANParks Chief Operating Officer, the system error was picked up early in the process, which allowed the organization to rectify the situation before it affected more than the 17 customers. ?Virtually all 17 affected customers were contacted and offered alternative camping sites within the Kruger National Park, with the exception of the two Gauteng families customers who refused alternative accommodation offered to them, and have instead taken their unhappiness to the media. We still want to find mutually acceptable solutions to these customers as far as are practically possible.?
Kruger Park Land Claims
The government is likely to pay as much as R20 billion to settle just 30 land claims for 400 000 hectares of Kruger National Park land situated in Mpumalanga and Limpopo reports Slindile Khanyile in Business Report.
Blessing Mphela, the chief land claims commissioner, described this amount as a conservative estimate, though it is the equivalent that the commission spent on settling 75 400 claims over 10 years. Briefing journalists on July 22, about the progress made so far on the land restitution process, Mphela said the final figure spent on this claim would depend on currency fluctuations and land value at the time of finalisation.
The land claims commission was conducting research and a decision was yet to be taken on whether the claim would be settled through financial compensation or returning the land to the claimants, or whether both mechanisms would be applied.
?There seems to be a trend that the land value is low when the sale is person to person but much higher when it is person to state. This is speculation at the moment and we are investigating,? said Mphela. No one is opposing the claims involving the Kruger National Park. source: http://www.busrep.co.za/
Archaeological Research at Sabi Bridge Post in KNP
An archaeological excursion will again be conducted at one of the outposts of the Steinaecker?s Horse unit in the Kruger National Park (KNP) from 2 - 15 August 2009. This time it will be the site at Sabi Bridge, close to Skukuza.
The project is lead by historical archaeologist; Dr. Anton van Vollenhoven and is undertaken by the research department of Archaetnos Archaeologists, of which he is one of the directors. Various students from different universities partake in the excavations every year.
The aim of the Archaetnos Research Department is to do archaeological and historical research. The Steinaecker?s Horse project is now running for its twelfth year. The project is not funded by the South African National Parks (SANParks), but they assist in some of the logistical matters relating to the research.
The Steinaecker?s Horse project was launched in 1997. The current phase will last until 2010.