Photographer represented by @wearekiosk @francescamaffeogallery- 'handle like eggs'-monograph 'hunters'-contributor @natgeo
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No other region on earth houses a greater diversity of tortoises than the subcontinent of Africa. This area includes the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and the Republic of South Africa. Found here are five genera and 14 species. Three of the genera and 12 species are endemic. The term "padloper" in connection with a tortoise is an Afrikaans term. It literally translates to pathwalker, road walker or even trail walker. In other words, the forward progression of a small tortoise using one of several narrow avenues.
In southern Africa, tortoises are found from the Indian Ocean in the east, to the turbulent Atlantic in the west; from lowland jungle regions of Mozambique, to the sand-blown stretches of barren land that comprise much of the Namib and Kalahari deserts. They occur near sea level where blankets of fog often enshroud the entire countryside and in cold and montane regions, where winter freezing and snow isn't out of the question. Considering all the elevational factors and habitat variants that such a landmass represents, it isn't surprising to find one or more tortoise species in any of the aforementioned locales. They do show a preference for certain ecological niches, hence the diversity of isolated populations, demonstrated by pattern and color dimorphism. This is Tortoise country, and I love them !!
sitting on the back of the truck with a very relaxed Livingstone Eland.
always amazes me how the largest of creatures disappear with such ease-passing by the genius of the giraffe.
time space light air scents of the bush, rain coming. Road trips are life.
constantly reminded of the fragility of life on the road up to Johannesburg
elephant relocation # II, ol pejeta conservancy, northern kenya-from the series 'with butterflies and warriors’ by David Chancellor @chancellordavid
Rangers relocate a problem elephant from Ol Pejeta Conservancy, northern Kenya, to Meru National Park.
Elephant become classed as ‘problem animals’ when they continually break fences and risk coming in to contact with local people surrounding conservancies. The elephants learn very quickly that ivory does not conduct electricity, electric fences therefore become no defence against elephant who are set on raiding crops. It’s hoped that relocating them to areas of less human settlement will mitigate any future potential incidents of human wildlife conflict.
As Peter Beard wrote in ‘The End of the Game’ (1965) 'The elephant, with it’s great stride, was designed to break paths for other game: with its trunk to uproot trees, aiding fertilisation and irrigation: and with its huge feet in swamps or its trunk in sand, to leave water holes for small fish and fowl'. He also observed 'as boundaries are declared with walls and ditches, and cement suffocates the land, the great herds of the past become concentrated in new and strange habitats. Densities rise, the habitats are diminished, and the land itself begins to die. Imbalance is compounded. To build a city where once there stretched open plain is not to solve a problem, but to create a more complex one'. As recent events in the region have shown, the future of wildlife in northern Kenya now more than ever will require the support and engagement of local communities, allowing it's safe migration along centuries old routes, and across tribal lands, if it is to survive as nature designed and not as man demands.
a field of white rhino, bred and farmed for their horn, at the world’s largest captive breeding operation in South Africa. The farm houses approx 1,261 rhinos, four per cent of the global population, with a breeding rate of just under 200 a year, photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid
Rhino dehorning is a simple 20 minute procedure that is performed by a veterinarian while the rhino is anaesthetised. The horn is removed just above the growth point, this is painless as the horn is composed mainly of keratin (the same as our fingernails) and is similar to a vet trimming a horses hoof. The horn will grow back at a rate in excess of I kg/year for males and 0.6kg/year females. As rhino live on average for 35-40 years they could effectively produce 8-10 horns in their lifetime, or about 60kg of horn.
The counter argument against the farming of rhino for horn, is that a legal trade would simply allow poached rhino horn to be passed off as legal horn, circumventing trade controls and encouraging poaching, and therefore a coexisting legal and illegal trade would wipe out rhinos even faster.
A white rhino is dehorned at the world’s largest captive breeding operation in South Africa. The farm houses approx 1,261 rhinos, four per cent of the global population, with a breeding rate of just under 200 a year, photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid
Today South Africa's constitutional court has rejected an attempt by the government to keep a ban on the domestic trade in rhino horns. The ruling that the application be dismissed means that rhino horns can effectively be traded in the country. Rhino breeders argue that legalising the trade could cut the number of rhinos slaughtered as horns can be sawn off anaesthetised live animals. However many conservationists disagree with the proposed policy. The department of environmental affairs said authorities were still considering the implications of Wednesday's judgment "It is important to note that permits are required to sell or buy rhino horn," the department's spokesman, Albie Modise, said in a statement. The ruling only applies to the industry in South Africa as a ban on international trade remains in force. Rhino breeders who have argued that open trade is the only way to prevent widespread slaughter of the animal welcomed the ruling, breeders also argue that the process is not permanent as the horns grow back. South Africa is thought to be home to around 20,000 rhinos, around 80% of the worldwide population. More than 1,000 rhino were killed by poachers in South Africa in 2016.