Towlersonsafari

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Everything posted by Towlersonsafari

  1. Dear @Bugs I respectfully make the claim because it is true.The figure has no basis in fact nor is it supported by any research.Yet it has been quoted extensively. When i am home from work I will quote the source of my statement. i also maintain, but this is a personal view, that plans are often too short term, and do not take into account climatic cycles.that we do not properly understand the consequences of our actions, in trying to do good-kill elephants in the Kruger, kill lions to try to help roan and Sable, have unintended harmful consequences.The knee jerk reaction to kill things, to retain the illusion of control , is a common one, but it aint often a correct one.
  2. I once again take my hat off to you @Ritsgaai a great trip, great report and great photo's-I love the sun drenched dust filled buffalo shots
  3. Hello @Tdgraves its funny how certain birds decide to be elusive.Good luck with your search-we rarely see coal tits in our garden although i can never work out why. One answer on Hawfinches is that they are wherever I am not, as I have gone several places to see them recently and missed out each time-although did see a stoat which is a fair compensation! if you are on Twitter there is actually a twitter feed @Hawfinches that gives details of where they have been sighted.depending on how keen you are the northamptonshire birds website gives updates on sightings -i notice you are in Cambridgeshire-you could do a swoop for Red Kites -lots near Oundle -and Hawfinches like Hornbeam trees in winter-wish I knew what one looked like-and at the moment seem to be hoovering up Yew berries-my bird ap says they like churchyards in Winter-which seems very specific but i assume refers to the Yews. anyway-Good Luck! Do you think @xelas is disturbing the Hawfinches in his mad dash for birds to add to his collection, thus causing the Great Hawfinch invasion?
  4. Are you going to chase a hawfinch @Tdgraves there is an invasion at he moment from central Europe!
  5. @wilddog, amongst some very good points said and of course we are very lucky to have the fun of seeing large wild animals from the relative safety of being a tourist, and those in the UK for example, who panic when a lynx escapes from a Zoo, should comment about countries that have managed to keep elephants, lions etc with a big dose of humility and respect. In spite of what seem to me to be a strong moral argument against killing such intelligent creatures as elephants, or indeed any sentient creature not for food, there do seem to be some places in the world, and Africa, where hunting has a part to play, and others where culling has to take place. (Red deer in Scotland is sadly an example where culling is necessary in my view.) it cannot be right however that elephants per se have a bad effect on their environment. elephants and the environment have evolved together over millennia. It is where elephants because of human land use are in too small an area that there is a problem.But I say again allowing rich folk to hunt for fun, whilst stopping poor local folk from hunting for food or to make money, cannot because of its sheer illogicality be a sustainable answer. Unless local folk, backed up by a science led well researched plan, have control of the whole process. i would argue that the West, r through government support and charitable donations, have a part to play in that, even if it is to fund the necessary research to come up with the plan. As an example, one often reads that the Kruger has too many elephants.For years the mantra was that the Kruger could support about 8000 elephants.plans. the provision of artificial water, culling all took place with this in mind.In fact no research went into arriving at that 8000 figure, none at all. Research backed up by the wishes of people who live with these wonderful animals has to be the only way forward
  6. what wonderful leopard shots in particular @Geoff what a special sighting!
  7. lovely photo's @Geoff and as @Kitsafari says Mwamba is one of the most splendid camps. I rememebr seeing lions from our bed on one occasion, and an afternoon drive starting with a female leopard just outside, takin in a sundowner lion/hippo standoff and ending, via some more leopards with 2 Pels fishing owls-the best game drive ever
  8. Hoist by my own petard! on the basis that, as a general rule, if trump is for something, reasonable folk should be against it! As @LarsS says it does seem illogical that to preserve something one must kill it, but more than that, it is saying rich folk can kill thinks for fun, but poor folk cannot kill for food ( or poacing for bushmeat done on a subsisdence level) Still as always, the only answer to any conservation argument is to make evidence based decisions
  9. What more evidence does one need, if Mr Trump supports something, how can it be right? ( Oh no i hope he does not like cricket)
  10. Again, things one can only dream about-I can get nearly stuck getting out of our drive at home! great fun @Ritsgaai
  11. What a splendid trip @Ritsgaai I love reading about trips that I would not have the skill or courage-or wife who would let me as she knows I lack the above- to do myself! and what lovely elephant encounters!
  12. My apologies @Bugs , a hurried and poor choice of words-i meant to say that there was no evidence to support the articles opinions, and just unsupported opinions, so thanks very much for that. so, my response to the article, which basically advocates which seems a tad extreme, especially where elephants are declining in numbers-including Botswana if the Great Elephant Census is to be believed-published august 2016, which gave a 15% deduction in numbers since 2010. The article, to be fair to it, is arguing against another article which I have not read . It refers to the increasing numbers of elephants in northern Botswana. Another research article says that more and more elephant herds that would normally migrate seasonally to Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe are choosing to stay as they know they are at risk of poaching in those areas-the poaching menace becoming so bad.that means that there needs to be research on how and if elephants can return to ancient migration routes once poaching is stopped, and that would be a better way to proceed than killing half of them. The original article also says Over 50 years? that seems a tad excessive.What research is there to say what the carrying capacity is of Botswana?
  13. Well my dear @Bugs, there were not many facts to argue against, just opinions , but i will read it again and try to make some helpful points. I cannot promise they will not be predictable though
  14. Well @Bugs in an idle moment I did read the article-but it quotes no research or statistics independently verified-it is an opinion piece, from a website one of whose aims is to, and I quote so that nice then.
  15. lovely photo's, especially the baby puku and the croc stepping into the river @Geoff, and that last leopard shot!
  16. @douglaswise I think we can agree on the fact that more monitoring needs to take place to see what an effect banning hunting has on different areas and that all conservation decisions should be made only after good research.What the article/paper does seem to highlight -although again it would be interesting to read the questions and replies) i s that from a practical point of view you cannot just ban something that gave some benefits to at least some people and put nothing in its place.Ii do not however agree that the decision was arbitrary as I understand consultation did take place beforehand, and there was some research used to justify it. I suspect that the reason for some animals declining (Zebra and wildebeest) is more long term and multi-factorial than we realize..Just for starters, Botswana has a roughly 30 year drought cycle,so conditions naturally change, add human encroachment, changing social values,more water apparently coming into the Okavanko delta which, I have read, results in (counter-intuitively) a growth in rough sedge like grasses which are unpalatable to wildebeest and Zebras-.to name a few factors-then life gets very complicated indeed!
  17. yes @optig and @Sangeeta please do take a leaf out of the splendid @douglaswise 's book and when confronted by research that goes against your emotional response hold your hands up with good grace and admit you were very naughty and wrong!!! You only have to read @douglaswise 's considered views on grouse shooting in th uk, his gracious acceptance of the harm it does, and the gentlemanly understanding that, on a seperate topic, that birds of prey do not negatively effect songbird populations to appreciate the correct approach to adopt.i am sure @douglaswise no longer kills magpies on his property because he now appreciates this has no effect on songbirds. (actually i am just jealous he did not mention me as well) i read the research article with interest. Information like this can only help understand what is happening, and whether a ban on hunting is working, or if it needs to be modified or abandoned in some areas in Botswana. and adopting an approach centering on local communities is also sensible as it is only with local support can wildlife flourish or be preserved. however i have some questions, designed to help the debate, and to improve my ignorance. the report states I cannot see if there are any figures, either in the report or otherwise, commenting on whether the numbers of wildlife have increased. which leads me to ask-is it not too early to comment on whether the ban is having any effect on wildlife good or bad? what research or monitoring is in place to consider this? the research asks local folk about how the ban is impacting on them-i would love to see the questions-what do local folk think of not being allowed to take animals for bushmeat when outsiders can come in and kill and then graciously hand over the meat? i know what i would think? What efforts, if any, have been made to help those wanting to turn previous hunting areas into photo tourism? After all most of what are now tourism areas were presumably hunting areas? Are tourism numbers still increasing/? which suggests there is capacity,could Botswana market a lower cost option in poorer areas and continue its high cost option in the richer areas? how was hunting regulated in the past, and how could it be improved in the future? the revenue figures-does that include wages to local staff? i have assumed that photo tourism employs more people. the 2 ideals of wildlife conservation and local empowerment and improvement of living conditions are all things that we can get behind,nad have to go hand in hand.i am not convinced this article proves that the hunting ban in Botswana has had a negative impact, but it is certainly food for thought
  18. wonderful report @Alexander33 and love the birds you saw at nyungwe-the place is crying out for some reasonably priced accommodation!
  19. lovely report @gatoratlarge the 2 kafue camps sounds like a great combination-only just under 3 years till the mortgage is paid off and we can start planning trips to Zambia again!!!
  20. Also the white tail just looks more thuggish!!! hope you had a splendid time in Scotland-judging from the pictures it looks like you did! @xelas
  21. splendid photo's @gatoratlarge but even looking at the "plunge pool from the safety of the office gives me the heeby jeebys!
  22. woo hoo an Aardvark!
  23. I love the bendy owl @gatoratlarge and what a contrasting trip!
  24. The government body that looks after English and Welsh wildlife, Natural England, have been satellite tagging Hen Harriers for about 15 years.they are the body charged with improving hen Harrier numbers but strangely, until forced to by a Freedom of Information request they have never published the results of the satellite tagging. they have now been forced to, and of 158 Harriers tagged since 2002 (99 with radio tags which have limitations and then 59 with satellite tags) Of the radio tagged birds 86 were noted to be "missing fate unknown" but as radio tagging was unreliable, it would not be fair to read to much into that. Of the satellite tagged birds 43 are listed as "missing fate unknown" that is over 70% Natural England still will not list a map of where the birds went missing. However they have come up with an ingenious set of explanations-apparently they may have died on their backs thus blocking the solar panel and stopping it transmitting!!!! By way of contrast a Hen Harrier fledged on the Isle of Man died whilst making its way to the mainland.We know this because it was fitted with a satellite tag. If you see a Hen Harrier dead with its legs in the air, to let me or better still Natural England, know

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