מאי 21, 2021

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11038840

Cape Warthog - an overlooked pig

The Cape Warthog used to occur in the EC and adj. KZN. It is unsure how far west it extended, perhaps over much of the old Cape s of the Orange River.
It probably went extinct in the 1870s in the EC.
.
Rediscovery of the Cape warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus: a review.
P Grubb & J-P d’Huart 2010
Journal of East African Natural History: 99:

Abstract

Warthogs without incisors were described from the Cape of Good Hope as Phacochoerus aethiopicus and warthogs possessing incisors were first found in Senegal and later named Phacochoerus africanus. During the second half of the 18th century and the whole of the 19th century, the majority of workers recognised these two taxa as distinct. Twentieth century palaeontologists working in Africa also recognised the two species of warthogs in the Pleistocene and Holocene fossil records and were aware of the differences between the two Recent species. But in the same period, most zoologists considered all warthogs to belong to a single polytypic species. Re-examination of the literature and inspection of recent material confirm distinctive differences corresponding with geographic distribution of two species of warthogs: the widespread Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus and the Cape Warthog P. aethiopicus. Whereas the Cape Warthog, P. aethiopicus aethiopicus, became extinct in South Africa in the 1870s, a geographically isolated subspecies, P. aethiopicus delamerei, survives in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This discontinuous distribution has been noted in the literature, as are the criteria which distinguish P. aethiopicus from P. africanus.
.
Keywords: Phacochoerus aethiopicus, warthog systematics, geographical isolation, morphology.

(http://www.ajol.info/index.php/jeanh/article/view/66018)
.

.
More reading:
https://sites.google.com/site/wildpigspecialistgroup/home/Phacochoerus-aethiopicus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_warthog
http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/naturalhistories/Order.html
http://www.africahunting.com/threads/the-common-warthog-and-the-desert-warthog.15224/

פורסם ב מאי 21, 2021 12:19 אחה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

מאי 06, 2021

Erica setulosa identification

Erica setulosa

Found by Dave Underwood on the SW Face of Kammanassie Mt Peak and given to me to try and ID.
"I found just a couple of specimens on rocks under an overhang high up near the peaks on the ridge to the west of Kamanassieberg - about 1600m I guess. An area probably very few people have ever been too [not MCSA and probably not CREW either]. Very specific microclimate."
4 nate long,semi openbacked ,squarrose leaves with long ,bristly hairs.Bracts sub approximate,long, with long bristly hairs.
Flowers cup/bell shaped .Over so no colour noted,4mm long
Anthers 8,muticous,included.
Listed as Rare.
Stigma capitate, style excluded,Ovary sparsely hairy.Corolla sparsely hairy.
No photos taken in the field.
Activity
outrampsjenny suggested an ID Improving
4y
Erica setulosa
Erica setulosa a member of Typical Heathers, Azaleas, and Allies Subfamily Ericoideae

Confidence: it might be this; Reputation Score = 2.65016 EE; Is_Likely = True;
Notes: This is the nearest I can come to an ID. I am not sure as the description of E setulosa says the leaves are 3 nate.
Please help someone.
tonyrebelo commented
4y
setulosa??

The electronic Erica Key says leaves 4-nate and confined to the grid squares Koo and Nuy.

So this is 300km too far east for setulosa.
outrampsjenny commented
4y
OK

Any ideas??
tonyrebelo commented
4y
first cut (E Cape, calyx ~

first cut (E Cape, calyx ~ corolla, leaves in 4, style exserted) turned up 22 species without any good matches.

Will play more after supper ...
tonyrebelo suggested an ID* ID Withdrawn
4y
Erica valida
Erica valida a member of Typical Heathers, Azaleas, and Allies Subfamily Ericoideae
True Heath

Confidence: it might be this; Reputation Score = 1 EE; Is_Likely = False;
Notes: only arachnoid species that I can find near Kammanassie. Not enough glandular hairs to be more than a wild stab.

  • tonyrebelo disagrees this is Erica setulosa
    tonyrebelo commented
    4y
    Erica valida

The True Heath is the only species that even comes close. It has the long cobwebby leaves in the picture in the electronic key, but the flowers are too far gone to check. The line drawings dont show hairs like that, but shorter glandular hairs.

But there is nothing in the region in the electronic key that even comes close (assuming style exserted and leaves hairy). Perhaps I should leave out the style and do one more last check?
tonyrebelo commented
4y
adds

leaving out style exserted adds Erica carduifolia (but leaves 3-nate).
tonyrebelo commented
4y
please add:

sepals: hairs? , size relative to corolla.

peduncle: length (relative to flower) - should be quite long

what is wrong:

  • flowers are not terminal.
  • bracts should be remote
    outrampsjenny commented
    4y
    I appreciate your efforts Tony

I am sure this is something interesting so am really keen to get an ID. I have added 2 more close ups of the flowers so you can see the long subapprox bracts. They have these long bristly hairs but the calyx doesnt,its just sparsely hairy with short hairs.(sorry I dont have a good enough camera for good close ups)
The leaves arr 1mm wide and flat,quite unusual for an Erica.
The hairs are not glandular.
The pedicel is 2mmlong
The sepals are 1.5 mm with short non glandular hairs
The corolla is 4mm with the same short hairs,sparse
The bracts are approx /subapprox with one of them much longer=2.5mm .they have the same long bristly hairs as the leaves.
I forgot to mention the Altitude was approx 1600m.
I know E valida and E carduifolia and its neither of these.
I have sent a photo to Ted Oliver but he must be away as I havent heard anything yet.
Many thanks for you help.. I have 2 small pieces by the way.
tonyrebelo commented
4y
great

Those pictures help considerably and exclude valida.

It might be another high altitude species though: perhaps even one not recorded on the Kammannassie before. Will play around a little more tonite ...
outrampsjenny commented
4y
Thanks Tony

I wait with bated breath.
tonyrebelo commented
4y
Dont you have the electronic key???

You should get it!
tonyrebelo commented
4y
Please crop pictures like the last:

they take forever to download, when it should be only a few microsecs.
tonyrebelo suggested an ID
4y
Erica setulosa
Erica setulosa a member of Typical Heathers, Azaleas, and Allies Subfamily Ericoideae

iSpot Agreement
tonyrebelo commented
4y
OK. Agreeing with you.

From the flowers this is by far the best match.

Although Ted says in the key that this species is confined to Montagu area, Schumann has a picture from Seweweekspoort and mentions Rooiberg.
And Cape Plants II includes Kammannassieberg.

So that is it!!
The exserted style is different from elsewhere, or else happens during fruiting ...

Will ask Nigel to update the key ...
outrampsjenny commented
4y
Wonderful

Thats great Tony. Many thanks.
Yes I am using the i Spot key but there are too many choices that arent from our area even though I ticked South Eastern Fynbos area.
So thats a good find of Dave's. I will ask him to do a site sheet.
My only query is the leaves .Why does the info say 3 nate and this is 4 nate.? Otherwise eveything else fit.
Most grateful to you Tony.
tonyrebelo commented
4y
the Erica key says 4-nate

see above ...
outramps-tanniedi commented
4y
Congratulations Dave

and thanks to Jen and Tony for all this research. How on earth did we manage before we had iSpot?
knysna_wildflowers commented
4y
Thanks so much Jenny and Tony .......

....... great job. Next time I will take a field photo even if I am clinging on to the ledge for dear life.......
knysna_wildflowers commented
4y
CREW SPECIES

Population size Estimate: R
Distribution of plants: Scattered
Area of extent: 50x100m
Plant features:
Specimen HerbSpecNumber:
Altitude: 1650m
Description of locality: On shaded rocky ledges just below Kammanassie Peak
Soil Type: Sand
Slope:Steep
Geology: Sandstone
Aspect: SW
Landuse: Conservation
Ownership: State
Aliens: No aliens seen
Alien density:
Notes:
T&D 1:
T&D 2:
T&D 3:
T&D 4:
T&D 5:
Species:
Grass
Berkheya cruciata
Leucadendron salignum
Leucadendron spissifolium ssp fragrans
Restio
Agathosma ovata
Agathosma pungens
Cliffortia dispar
STOP:

Dave
knysna_wildflowers commented
4y
I see we are in good company .........

......... a specimen was recorded previously [1983] in Kammanassie - found by Viviers and Vlok - identified by I. Oliver.
knysna_wildflowers suggested an ID
4y
Erica setulosa
Erica setulosa a member of Typical Heathers, Azaleas, and Allies Subfamily Ericoideae

iSpot Agreement
outrampsjenny commented
4y
Great stuff

They were all young and fit then !!
tonyrebelo commented
4y
Erratum

Ted Oliver (EGH Oliver)

Ian Oliver was curator of Worcester Bot Garden.
kenneth_oberlander commented
4y
Or by Inge?

?
tonyrebelo commented
4y
True!!

Very interesting. First time I have seen a reference to Inge without Ted.

Well that settles it then. No doubt about the ID then.
kenneth_oberlander suggested an ID
4y
Erica setulosa
Erica setulosa a member of Typical Heathers, Azaleas, and Allies Subfamily Ericoideae

iSpot Agreement
outramps-tanniedi commented
4y
I don^t

I;m afraid. At that stage my focus was entirely on Proteas. Bill and I are thinking of going up Kammanassie Peak again in Spring, with any of the Outramps that want to do it. Then we may see something interesting
kenneth_oberlander commented
4y
Is that single Protea grandiceps still hanging on there?

Granted, was more than 20 years ago but still - would be nice to know if this population has survived...
outramps-tanniedi commented
4y
If the vrot legs make it

we will have a look. I've climbed Mannetjies, but never Kammanassie Peak
outrampsjenny commented
4y
Blank memory

I really dont remember that one Yvette.What a pity. Must have been something special!!
knysna_wildflowers commented
4y
I am keen to do a return visit in late spring ....

........... can hopefully collect E. setulosa in full flower plus any other interesting specimens. It is clear that the western side on Kamanassieberg has been poorly sampled and may hold some surprises...... Di - we need to co-ordinate.
outramps-tanniedi commented
4y
Will do

Chat to you today
outrampsjenny commented
3y

Summary note: mavakes commented on 2017/04/25 13:49:24.24: Fantastic - A great find indeed, well done Dave, and big thanks to Tony and Jenny for the research, and ID confirmation!;
Summary note: yvettevanwijk commented on 2017/04/30 15:29:58.58: Kamanassie Erica - Fabulous find! And reminds me of another Erica we found from the top of Kamanassie Peak once years ago, will have to go back to my notebooks to find out exactly when. I think it was Thys or Bill who came down with it Jenny and Di! I don't think it was this one as the flowers I remember as being similar in shape to E glomiflora, but smaller, and it was a very strange pale mauve colour we had never seen before! I don't remember the leaves at all and only that I was so frustrated that it was the tiniest little scrap of a squashed piece which Ted either did, or would have, thrown out as a total waste of time!! We never get back to find it again! Do any Outramps remember this at all? We were after Proteas and not Ericas in those days!

פורסם ב מאי 06, 2021 08:56 לפנה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 19, 2021

Accipiter identification

colin25 suggested an ID ID Withdrawn
6d
Micronisus gabar
Gabar Goshawk
Micronisus gabar
krista_oswald suggested an ID ID Withdrawn
6d
Micronisus gabar
Gabar Goshawk
Micronisus gabar
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

Just for interest sake, why are you saying that it is not a Black Sparrowhawk?
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

The bird looks quite bulky, but it's very different for me to judge the size. The photographer will have to tell us if it was the size of a Rock Kestrel or the size of a Forest Buzzard...
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

I suppose it could also be a melanistic African Goshawk. But that would be a very rare sighting indeed.
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

I am just mentioning other options because the habitat is completely wrong for Gabar Goshawk...
colin25 commented
1d

Size hard to judge as it was soaring. Probably more kestrel size though. Other birders have seen this bird more or less at the same time and also think Gabar, despite habitat issue.
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

Someone needs to call it to see it if will respond and even better, call back, their calls are very distinctive.

It's very highly unlikely to be a Gabar Goshawk, but if so, it will be an awesome observation for George.
christiaan_viljoen commented
1d

@julianparsons, @justinponder2505, @markheystek, @ludwig_muller
markheystek commented
1d

Thanks for tagging me. This Accipiter has got a yellow cere and legs but Gabar Goshawks have red ceres and legs don't they? Going according to that I'm sure this is one of the many Black Spars that hang around the Witfontein forest. Size would be the best key indeed!
krista_oswald commented
1d

I had gone with melanistic Gabar (which I've seen) because of the full black throat (which I had never seen on Black Sparr). I did now do some googling of images and it seems there is a lot of variation in the underside, so I withdrew my ID. The ceres is definitely a good pointer away from Gabar.
markheystek commented
1d

Ja, I thought about the white throat-patch too... Almost all the melanistic Black Spars I've seen here have had white on the throat, and in fact I only know of one individual in the area that is not melanistic, so there's definitely a higher chance of seeing a melanistic B Spar in this area! Would be super cool to have a Gabar though...
christiaan_viljoen commented
19h

So what about the possibility of a Melanistic African Goshawk???
krista_oswald commented
16h

... @christiaan_viljoen I have no good excuse or reasoning. Again, I can just say that because I've seen melanistic Gabar that's where my mind went. A really bad assumption and I should have refrained from an ID. Although, the ceres/feet would also point away from AfGos.
christiaan_viljoen commented
6h

I am just worried about the size of the bird. A Black Sparrowhawk is a really large bird. I saw one this morning, same size as the Pied Crow that chasing it, if not larger. In fact the tables soon turned and then it was chasing the crow. If the observer says this bird was much smaller then we might have to consider African Goshawk.

The eye and cere colour also matches African Goshawk. The only problem I have is the darkish eye. But the melanin might also affect the eye colour?
christiaan_viljoen commented
6h

@trevor102, @johnnybirder, @rion_c, @ianrijsdijk
christiaan_viljoen commented
6h

Have a look a the following observation of what I think is quite clearly a melanistic African Goshawk. Note the yellow eye...

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/47861387

Based on that observation I would say that this is certainly a fully melanistic Black Sparrowhawk.
christiaan_viljoen suggested an ID* Leading
6h
Accipiter melanoleucus
Black Sparrowhawk
Accipiter melanoleucus

  • christiaan_viljoen disagrees this is Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
    colin25 commented
    6h

I do have a "problem" with colours, fail those dreaded pale dots tests where you are supposed to see numbers, but to my dubious eye the legs are more red than yellow. Just my eye leading me astray?
christiaan_viljoen commented
6h

Cere is yellow and feet are orange-yellow. Not orange-red and certainly not red. In fact, I recently saw Gabar Goshawk in Mokala NP and their legs are almost pinkish-red.

Also consider that a melanistic bird might have slightly darker legs. I noticed that the legs of a melanistic Gabar Goshawk was a deeper red-orange, compared to its normal looking mate which had pinkish-red legs and feed. I will send provide a link to my observations of the Gabars at Mokala below.
christiaan_viljoen commented
6h

Melanistic Gabar Goshawk:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/74493587

and is mate:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/74493638

Note the colour of the legs and feet.
ianrijsdijk commented
3h

My first thought was Black Spar, especially with the wing profile in the second shot, and keeping mind that the males are somewhat smaller than the females. The lack of a white throat patch did worry me, though I have seen a very dark bird in the Tokai area that, as I remember it, has no white patch. Ulrich Oberprieler's book has an all black bird. I'm not as familiar with Gabar, especially in its melanistic form.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/73832307#activity_comment_9f1af140-ba60-496d-86c2-d0b932ff4f0d

פורסם ב אפריל 19, 2021 12:52 אחה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 15, 2021

Indigenous fish taxonomy

david_taylor suggested an ID
1y
Pseudobarbus
Redfins
Genus Pseudobarbus
david_taylor commented
1y

@darragh132 Not P. burchelli? Looks like the breede system and I don't think its P. skeltoni
darragh132 commented
1y

@david_taylor According to the taxonomists at SAIAB, P. burchelli (the Barrydale Redfin) is a unique lineage restricted to the Tradouw River catchment north of Swellendam. All Pseudobarbus burchelli in the rest of the system belong to a separate lineage, which is currently being referred to as P. sp nov "burchelli breede" but has no taxonomic authority until a description is published. The same situation is true for the "Cape zebra" Galaxias zebratus, which apparently should only be used to refer to one of two cryptic species restricted to the south-western Cape (there are 9 others across the Cape Fold Ecoregion). @tonyrebelo has already flagged this issue with the iNaturalist taxonomy team, so we will see if these "unique lineages" of redfins can get temporary species status for the purposes of observation reporting on this platform at least, while we wait for the taxonomists to clear their substantial backlog of undescribed lineages
david_taylor commented
1y

@darragh132 thanks for the clarification. I will follow this with interest. Is it Albert who is sorting this out?
darragh132 commented
1y

@david_taylor Yes Albert is slowly working through the Pseudobarbus, Galaxias and some Enteromius groups. I believe he is close to publishing a revision of Enteromius anoplus in the Western Cape, to give the ones found in the Cederberg new species status (he presented his student's work on this at a freshwater conference last year). The Breede Catchment galaxiids and redfins are somewhere further down the queue. There is a recent review paper in Aquatic Conservation that gives an overview of the taxonomic backlog (DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2730)
tonyrebelo commented
1y

Austroglanis barnardi (Skelton, 1981) EN Endemic to Olifants River system, specifically three tributary streams
Austroglanis gilli (Barnard, 1943) VU Endemic to Olifants River system

Enteromius anoplus (Weber, 1897) LC Widely distributed throughout South Africa
Enteromius sp. “pallidus south” LC Widespread across the eastern CFR from the Krom River in the west to the Great Fish River system in the east

Galaxias zebratus Castelnau, 1861 DD Type locality uncertain and requires revision

Galaxias sp. “zebratus Breede” NA Hex, Bothaspruit and mainstem Breede River system
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Goukou” NA Goukou River system
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Heuningnes” NA Heuningnes and Ratel River systems
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Klein” NA Klein, Uilkraals and Ratel River systems
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Mollis” NA Onrus River system and Leeu River, Berg River system
Galaxias sp. “zebratus nebula” NA Widespread across the CFR from the Olifants River system in the west to the Bitou River system in the east
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Rectognathus” NA Amandel and Du Toit Rivers, Riviersonderend sub‐catchment, Breede River system
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Riviersonderend” NA Tributaries of the Riviersonderend River and in the Keurbooms River, Breede River system. Also occurs in the Palmiet River system
Galaxias sp. “zebratus Slender” NA Uilkraals River system

Labeo seeberi Gilchrist & Thompson, 1911 EN Endemic to Olifants River system, specifically (currently) the Doring River main stream
Labeo umbratus (A. Smith, 1841) LC East coast rivers from Gouritz to Bushmans rivers and the Orange/Vaal River system

Labeobarbus seeberi (Gilchrist and Thompson, 1913) CVU Endemic to Olifants River system

Pseudobarbus afer (Peters, 1864) EN Headwater tributaries of the Baakens, Swartkops and Sundays River systems

  1. Pseudobarbus sp. “afer Forest” NT East coast from Klein Brak to Tsitsikamma rivers
  2. Pseudobarbus sp. “afer Gamtoos” EN Headwater tributaries of the Gamtoos River system
  3. Pseudobarbus sp. “afer Krom” CR Headwater tributaries of the Krom River system
    Pseudobarbus asper (Boulenger, 1911) EN Mainstream reaches of the Gamtoos and Gourits River systems
    Pseudobarbus burchelli Smith, 1841 CR Tradouw River, Breede River system

  4. Pseudobarbus sp. “burchelli Breede” NT Headwater tributaries of the Breede, Duiwenhoks and Goukou River systems
  5. Pseudobarbus sp. “burchelli Heuningnes” CR Heuningnes River system
    Pseudobarbus burgi (Boulenger, 1911) EN Endemic to the Berg River system
    Pseudobarbus phlegethon (Barnard, 1938) EN Occurs in the Oudste, Thee, Noordhoeks, Boskloof and Rondegat tributaries of the Olifants River system

  6. Pseudobarbus sp. “phlegethon Doring” CR Breekrans and Driehoeks tributaries of the Doring River, Olifants River system
    Pseudobarbus skeltoni Chakona & Swartz, 2013 NA Limited to two localities within the Breede River system (upper Riviersonderend and Krom rivers)
    Pseudobarbus tenuis (Barnard, 1938) NT Headwater tributaries of the Gouritz River system

  7. Pseudobarbus sp. “tenuis Keurbooms” EN Headwater tributaries of the Keurbooms and Bitou River systems
    Pseudobarbus verloreni Chakona, Swartz & Skelton, 20143 EN Verlorenvlei River system
    ‘Pseudobarbus’ capensis (Smith, 1841) EN Endemic to the Berg and Breede River systems
    ‘Pseudobarbus’ calidus (Barnard, 1938) V Endemic to the Olifants River system
    ‘Pseudobarbus’ erubescens (Skelton, 1974) CR Endemic to the Olifants River system, specifically the Twee River and its tributaries
    ‘Pseudobarbus’ serra (Peters, 1864) EN Endemic to the Olifants River system

Sandelia capensis (Cuvier, 1831) DD Type locality uncertain and requires revision

  1. Sandelia sp. “capensis Breede” NA Tributaries of the Breede, Duiwenhoks and Goukou River systems
  2. Sandelia sp. “capensis Agulhas” NA Heuningnes, Haelkraal and Klein River systems
  3. Sandelia sp. “capensis Klein” NA Klein River system
  4. Sandelia sp. “capensis Koekedou” NA Titus and Koekedou, tributaries of the Breede River system
  5. Sandelia sp. “capensis Riviersonderend” NA Tributaries of the Riviersonderend River, Breede River system
    ludwig_muller commented
    1y

Hi @darragh132 Your info on Enteromius anoplus is most interesting as l have recently discovered what may be a new Enteromius in the Free state. Is the species being split up?
ludwig_muller suggested an ID
1y
Pseudobarbus
Redfins
Genus Pseudobarbus
darragh132 commented
1y

@ludwig_muller Yes the western populations of Enteromius anoplus (including those occurring in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Free State) are currently undergoing taxonomic revision at SAIAB, led by a PhD student that is close to submitting. I expect to see the new species descriptions published later this year or in early 2021.

פורסם ב מרץ 15, 2021 12:38 אחה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

פברואר 24, 2021

Locations

While we are on the point of obscuring locations for animals, and as Tony have mentioned Rhinos, I want to point out something that worries me. I have for this reason removed all my Rhino observations from iNaturalist.

Black Rhino are critically endangered, to the point that National Parks that have these animals do not even put them on their Mammal checklists. However, if you enter Black Rhino on the Explore option and search for them and look at the wider picture of things, I do think it is fairly easy to determine, using iNaturalist, which National Parks have Black Rhino and which don't. If I add all my Black Rhino sightings then I believe it would be even more obvious, by looking at the general area where they have been obscured, to work out from which Park they are and that might lead to poachers then targeting a Park which few people even know have Rhino... Please correct me if I am wrong. But go and see for yourself. All the Black Rhino strongholds are clearly visible on iNaturalist and I don't want them to become more so if I add my observations. I was even contemplating adding them with locations showing them to be anywhere within South Africa but that would defeat the purpose of the data. However, I do think that if iNaturalist do increase the level of obscurity given to an obscured observation, especially critically endangered species, maybe from 22km to 222km then that would help to confuse poachers completely as to where the Rhino could be. Then I would have comfort in adding all my Rhino observations.
christiaan_viljoen commented
3d

@kueda
tonyrebelo commented
3d

Although SANParks have removed rhinos from some parks for some sites, they are still available in all the literature and in archived versions of the sites.
Hiding data that is already out there, or that is obvious, achieves nothing other than a false sense of security for those overly worried, while leaving the animals (and plants!!) just as vulnerable as before.
Meanwhile social media continue to leak locations, available to anyone with even rudimentory data mining skills.
We have to balance risk with safety. We dont want to discover that Rhinos are extinct at Mountain Zebra National Park, because everyone was too scared to record them.
None of this is helped when park rangers and officials are in the pay of the criminal syndicates!
Furthermore, what is the point of hiding your data, when any visitor wanting to earn a few extra dollars, can report sighting directly to the poachers, and indeed poacher informants can visit the parks and map dung and sightings, when some visitors are too scared to report their sightings. It means that conservation authorities and scientists have less access to data, but criminals have more (and esp. so when there are a few corrupt officials).
Sometimes I wonder if the criminal syndicates are not behind the move to obscure and remove data, so that their activities are not noticed by the public. Especially with regard to succulent and bulb trade, where the fewer people are aware of localities, the longer the time to detection when these are poached.
christiaan_viljoen commented
3d

Plants are another matter altogether, because they cannot even run away, and there GPS location will be dead accurate. But the obscure location option works will for plants such. Especially plants that are highly sort after on the collector's (black) market and yet not classified as endangered (so thus not automatically obscured). This, for example, incudes many species Haworthiads. I usually remember to obscure any plant species that I reckon might be appealing to careless collectors.

But Rhino are another matter. You will never get a pin location on a rhino as you would for a plant, but a bunch of pins in the same area would indicate a healthy breeding population which could then be targeted. I don't think that it is necessary to monitor rhino populations using platforms such as iNaturalist. Whereas iNaturalist is ideal for getting good information on populations insects and other small creatures; populations of large mammal species, especially those that are endangered are rigorously monitored by conservationists wherever these animals occur. That is way I suggest that we enlarge, by ten fold, the level of obscurity given to endangered mammal species. It should not be possible to determine where (in which Parks and private game reserves) these animals occur using iNaturalist.
michael2838 commented
3d

@christiaan_viljoen , do poachers often use inaturalist? I normally obscure my locations to a degree since @ludwig_muller told me about this. Since it is not always big game that is poached but often other things to.
tonyrebelo commented
3d

"It should not be possible to determine where (in which Parks and private game reserves) these animals occur"
It is a legal requirement that large mammals need to be fenced with electric and strong fencing. There are only so many places that rhinos are allowed. You can count them on your hands and feet. How will obscuring help? For instance current obscuring shows Mokala as two squares and rhinos are in both. And Addo main shows similarly as two squares. If obscuration where 100 times larger, it would still be 100% apparent that these are from Mokala and Addo!
tonyrebelo commented
3d

" do poachers often use inaturalist? "
poachers are sophisticated: not the grunts who pull the triggers, but the organizers. They use drones, facebook, online literature, auction adverts and everything they can get their hands on. And iNaturalist and other sites. And I will wager a crate of Whiskey, that they have access to SANParks internal files, and monitor ranger radios.

Obscuring Haworthias is probably a bit meaningless, because their are countless popular magazines, websites and blogs for this genus, often with localities in excruiting detail. Many of the species are in common trade, and available worldwide from growers.

Fudging data ("normally obscure my locations to a degree") may result in your "known" population being declared extinct, at least until scientists, conservationists and managers discover that your data are unreliable and thus useless for conservation. Given the issues that might arise from fudging localities, posting incorrect localities (even if only to a degree) is simply unethical. Rather dont bother posting them.

פורסם ב פברואר 24, 2021 09:12 לפנה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

פברואר 07, 2020

Twee kuilen

On the 20/11/19 l visited Twee kuilen with the Lakes bird club. We saw a number of interesting species, such as the Whiskered tern and Purple heron, not to mention a battle between a Grey heron and a Red-knobbed coot. The heron was trying to steal the coot's eggs. After that, we visited Klein Brak, where we sighted the Sanderling and Eurasian curlew.

פורסם ב פברואר 07, 2020 12:11 אחה"צ על־ידי ludwig_muller ludwig_muller | 2 תצפיות | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

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