How the drought is affecting the Kruger National Park

2016-09-08 20:04
Drought in Kruger Park. (News24)

Drought in Kruger Park. (News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The current drought has a stranglehold on the Kruger National Park, but not all the effects are negative, a SANParks official has said.  

Drought was a natural and important phenomenon with long and short-term effects, SANParks programme manager in fire ecology and biogeochemistry, Navashni Govender, said.

The current drought had drastically reduced dam levels and forced water restrictions around the country. It was being compared to the worst on record in the country (1991/92).

“Some areas of the Kruger National Park have been hit worse than in 1991/92,” Govender said.

There had been more days where the temperature had exceeded 40°C than in 1991/92 and rivers had seen less water flow.

Biggest concern

One of the biggest concerns for park officials was forage - the food available to animals.

“Different species experience drought differently. Some predators love the drought, so it should be noted that our animal range is not affected equally.”

Grazers were the worst affected, and mixed feeders like impala or kudu, less so.

Buffalo were usually heavily affected. Since 1970 their numbers had increased. Following the droughts in 1981 and 1991/92, their numbers fell dramatically. Since then their population had recovered to the highest levels yet seen.

The park had over 7 500 hippo, the highest number in the park’s history. This meant there were too many hippos in small pools.

While the park had artificial water points, SANParks had closed many of them. The lack of water and increasing hippo population was contributing to the formation of blue-green algae, which could poison some animals.

It was predicted that the central part of the park would be the worst affected because it had received the least rain and had the greatest numbers of animals.

The southern area of the park had received more rainfall, which could see more animals moving there.

The options available to SANParks included:

• Managing artificial water points;
• Implementing water-saving measures and;
• Herbivore removal programs.

Removal programmes were used for reasons including preventing the spread of diseases.

WATCH the video:

Read more on:    sanparks  |  environment  |  drought

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Jordaan missing in action

2016-09-25 00:00

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.