The Elephant debate.

Old Nov 5th 2004, 1:32 am
  #16  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: The Elephant debate.

On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 22:09:02 +0100, [email protected]lid (Johan
W. Elzenga) wrote:

    >Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> >I'm afraid I agree with many rangers in the Kruger who
    >> >have devoted many lifetimes living with nature, and they
    >> >all recommend culling. Elephants do destroy the bush
    >> >and when the rain doesn't come the flora just cannot
    >> >cope. Starvation does occur within certain areas that
    >> >are over populated. As the Kruger is fast becoming since
    >> >green people have made it politically incorrect to cull.

    >> Something is missing here. You still have to explain why
    >> elephants didn't "need culling" for many millions of years, and
    >> suddenly now they do.

    >Because they could roam free for millions of years, and now that is no
    >longer possible.

Johan,

but it is still possible, particularly if we want to keep it
possible.

Of course, if you force elephants into a very small, fenced
area, then all bets are off. I'm opposed to doing that.

Hans-Georg

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Old Nov 5th 2004, 3:11 am
  #17  
Johan W. Elzenga
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Default Re: The Elephant debate.

Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]> wrote:

    > >> Something is missing here. You still have to explain why
    > >> elephants didn't "need culling" for many millions of years, and
    > >> suddenly now they do.
    >
    > >Because they could roam free for millions of years, and now that is no
    > >longer possible.
    >
    > Johan,
    >
    > but it is still possible, particularly if we want to keep it
    > possible.

And with "we" I suppose you mean people like you and me, who live a life
in luxury somewhere in Europe and make one or two safaris per year while
on holiday? Or do you mean the African farmers who live right next to
the national parks, and loose their crops for this year as a result of a
family of elephants who made a friendly visit during the night?

    >
    > Of course, if you force elephants into a very small, fenced
    > area, then all bets are off. I'm opposed to doing that.

So am I. But I'm not an African farmer, that helps.

And 'very small' has little to do with it. Given enough elephants, even
a park the size of Kruger can get problems with overpopulation. Some
parks are fenced, that's the reality of life. Such parks can get
problems with overpopulation, that's also a fact of life.


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Johan W. Elzenga johan<<at>>johanfoto.nl
Editor / Photographer http://www.johanfoto.nl/
 
Old Nov 6th 2004, 12:54 am
  #18  
Sportsfan
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Default Re: The Elephant debate.

"Johan W. Elzenga" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:1gmsd4h.1j1vi4r1spqvs6N%[email protected] ...
    > Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]> wrote:

snip
    > And 'very small' has little to do with it. Given enough elephants, even
    > a park the size of Kruger can get problems with overpopulation. Some
    > parks are fenced, that's the reality of life. Such parks can get
    > problems with overpopulation, that's also a fact of life.

Absolutely the Kruger is not small and now with the inclusion of
extra land in Mozambique there is more territory for the elephants
to roam. However the park was over populated and the elephants
were destroying land, the inclusion of extra land is only temporary
relief from the problem. With artificial watering holes all over the
park drought is no longer the life threatening factor it used to be
and the elephants will multiply whilst there is food. At some stage
a decision will have to be made, on elephant population control.
It won't be easy.
Richard.

    > --
    > Johan W. Elzenga johan<<at>>johanfoto.nl
    > Editor / Photographer http://www.johanfoto.nl/
 
Old Nov 6th 2004, 3:08 am
  #19  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: The Elephant debate.

On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 17:11:28 +0100, [email protected]lid (Johan
W. Elzenga) wrote:

    >Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> >> Something is missing here. You still have to explain why
    >> >> elephants didn't "need culling" for many millions of years, and
    >> >> suddenly now they do.

    >> >Because they could roam free for millions of years, and now that is no
    >> >longer possible.

    >> but it is still possible, particularly if we want to keep it
    >> possible.

    >And with "we" I suppose you mean people like you and me, who live a life
    >in luxury somewhere in Europe and make one or two safaris per year while
    >on holiday? Or do you mean the African farmers who live right next to
    >the national parks, and loose their crops for this year as a result of a
    >family of elephants who made a friendly visit during the night?

Johan,

I meant the whole of mankind. A decision will certainly be made
one way or the other. The tourists contribute to it by paying,
so it depends on what exactly the want to pay for. If they
prefer a zoo-like experience, they will get it. I hope, of
course, that tourists will prefer to be able to see some
primordial nature, which is an irreplaceable wealth of Africa.
Perhaps if Africans also see it this way, they will also work in
this direction. Prices for tourism in Africa will probably climb
as the world grows more wealthy (currently at an unprecedented
5% per year for the entire world), so the economic value of
nature reserves is higher than it used to be and still rising.

    >> Of course, if you force elephants into a very small, fenced
    >> area, then all bets are off. I'm opposed to doing that.

    >So am I. But I'm not an African farmer, that helps.
    >And 'very small' has little to do with it. Given enough elephants, even
    >a park the size of Kruger can get problems with overpopulation. Some
    >parks are fenced, that's the reality of life. Such parks can get
    >problems with overpopulation, that's also a fact of life.

If a fenced park is much smaller than the minimal natural range
of elephants then there can be problems. If it is as big or
bigger, then the natural biological balance should obviously
still work. Since few land animals migrate as far as elephants,
they can serve as a benchmark for the size of nature reserves.

One possible compromise could be fenced parks with connecting
corridors that are also fenced and have bridges or tunnels. I
don't know whether that has been tried anywhere.

In most realistic scenarios and situations we don't have total
fencing yet, so the animals can still migrate.

One place some of us know well, this problem is currently
becoming acute, and that is Nairobi National Park. This park is
now almost cut off from the surrounding wilderness ranges by
settlements. You can actually see zebras and other animals
walking between houses at night to get in and out of the park.

This situation near one of the big cities in Africa is probably
hopeless. The park will ultimately be cut off and may be fenced
entirely. (It is now fenced only on the three sides facing city
and outskirts.) But this was not really necessary. The
politicians could have preserved a corridor for animal migration
and prevented building in that corridor. However, we all know
politicians, so the outcome was predictable.

But if it worked near a big city at least until now, why should
it not work in less inhabited areas?

It is also possible that somebody invents some effective
technology to protect fields from wandering elephants, who
knows.

In any case, I still have hope.

Hans-Georg

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