Suicide island Kariba





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  1. #1
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    Default Suicide island Kariba

    http://blog.taragana.com/science/201...erge-it-15261/

    This is disturbing.

    Not nice to hear. And this is due to human intervention. If there was no dam, there would be no problem...

    Animals die as Zimbabwe’s Starvation Island lives up to its name, lake waters submerge it

    By Angus Shaw, AP
    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Animals die, drown on Zimbabwe’s Starvation Island

    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Starvation Island in northern Zimbabwe is living up to its name for the first time in 50 years as rising lake waters have submerged grazing land for hundreds of animals, conservationists say.
    Rescuers here are holding exhausted impalas by their horns just to keep their heads above water after the hungry, exhausted animals desperately tried to escape the flooded island.
    Starvation Island was once a staging post for rescued animals, named after many perished from hunger there during the building of the massive Kariba hydroelectric dam.
    Now Starvation Island has shrunk to about one-third of its original size after record seasonal rains from central Africa drained into the Kariba lake.
    The two-square-mile (five-square-kilometer) island has become four dots of land in the lake, stranding hundreds of animals without enough to eat. At least 200 animals are in immediate danger of starvation.
    “There is zero grazing and animals are starting to die,” he said.
    Eight impalas, a common medium-size antelope, were stuck on the smallest dot surrounded by encroaching water, said wildlife guide Richard Vickery. Two impalas managed to swim to larger rocks nearby as their tiny refuge shrank. But on Tuesday, more than 20 animals plunged into the water and seven of them drowned, Vickery said.
    Some of the exhausted survivors swam to safety and others were assisted by a boat of rescuers holding them by the horns to keep their heads above water for the last stretch of their escape.
    Elephants and some other animals have routinely swum to and from the island, but smaller species of antelope, kudu, buck, warthogs and monkeys either won’t dare swim more than a few feet (meters) or are too weak reach the main lake shore about two miles (three kilometers) away.
    Funds are being raised by conservationists, including the SAVE Foundation of Australia, to take hay bales and food blocks to the animals who remain on the island.
    “We would rather try to feed them than dart and capture them and bring them out because they are weak and have not been exposed to predators except for crocodiles,” Vickery said.
    The largest remaining island dot has the highest number of animals but the worst grazing conditions on sandy soil. A breeding herd of waterbuck and a troop of baboons are crammed onto a second island.
    Vickery said high water levels also drove buffalo herds and other species from their usual grazing below the cliff atop Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, one of Zimbabwe top wildlife facilities.
    “The mainland is under pressure for grazing and overpopulation,” Vickery said.
    The Kariba dam was completed in 1960 and stretches about 190 miles (300 kilometers) along Zimbabwe’s northern border with Zambia. During the dam construction on the Zambezi River, tens of thousands of animals were herded inland from the vast valley as it filled. Others were captured and relocated from high ground and outcrops like Starvation Island. That program was known as Operation Noah.
    Last edited by JennyB; 2013/06/09 at 03:33 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Propaganda?

    Kariba......!!!

    Hambo's Playground.....he ex-Zimbabwean...

    Perhaps Propaganda...I have not been there.....

  3. #3
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    Henri, I read a similar article on news24 last night. It's pretty sad. Apparently some animals are to exhausted to swim to the land, specially the impalas. They did say that there are people with boats trying to assist the bucks by holding onto their horns to help them accross. They also plan to take bales of hay over to the island. I understand that these islands had shrunk in size and that most of the grazing is underwater. Hats of for everybody that at least try to do something.
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  4. #4
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    Yes, for sure, hats off.

    I still say that they must get all the animals off. Then they say that they are not used to predators? Well so be it. At least they won't rot on the island.
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  5. #5
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    I do agree 100% with you on the removal of the animals. They will learn pretty fast how to deal with predators. That's part of nature and in their genes. The shrinking of the islands are currently blamed on the unusual(spelling?) high waterlevels. Do you think it will drop again? Not that it matters. Removal still is the better option.
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  6. #6
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    Yes it will drop and pretty soon as well. The problem is that the gene pool on those islands are pretty screwed by now.
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  7. #7
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    Hhmmm... I don't see the shrinking of the island related to higher than usual water levels as these are controlled by the Kariba Dam, otherwise it could be regulated from there.

    What happened during the floods which leveled Mozambique swamplands some years back, the waters also came down the Zambezi and had to be released because the dams (Kariba and Cahora Bassa) were full to capacity, meaning highest possible water level.

    Now for the animals, there was a rescue action done before under "Operations Noah" as the dam was filing, need to be redone it appears.

    Any ideas who could launch and coordinate such again or how to assist?
    I guess it could only work with boats and trained wildlife handlers.
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