Update: Kimberley’s flamingo dam suspensions

Posted by Laura Grant on September 19, 2008
Posted in Conservation

A hearing on the suspension of three officials from the Northern Cape tourism, environment and conservation department is expected today, Sapa reported earlier this week.

The officials, Mark Anderson, Julius Koen and Eric Hermann, were suspended last month for what is believed to be their involvement in a campaign to save the lesser flamingo breeding colony on Kimberley’s Kamfers Dam. It is the largest colony of the flamingos in South Africa and one of only four breeding sites in the whole of Africa.

Ornithologist Mark Anderson, one of the suspended men, received an international award for his contributions to the conservation, research and monitoring of migratory water birds this week at the meeting of the African-Eurasion Waterbird Agreement in Madagascar.

Anderson is reportedly the driving force behind the work to save Kimberley’s lesser flamingo colony, but it appears to be because of these efforts that he has been suspended. The Save the Flamingo campaign brought attention to threats to the Kamfers Dam colony from raw sewage leaking from the Homevale Sewerage Works into the dam and a proposed massive housing and commercial development.

The Save the Flamingo Association says that its campaign has had many success, including the recent moratorium on any further developments in Kimberley until the Homevale Sewerage Works is upgraded. On its Save the Flamingo website it says: “Despite years of discussion and negotiation, there had been no progress until the Save the Flamingo Association commenced with its campaign. The Association is grateful to the many people who have signed the petition and donated funds towards the campaign. The battle is however far from over, and the desired end result is a sewerage works which can adequately cope with Kimberley’s sewage water.”

Meanwhile, a webcam has been installed on the island by Africam (See “Flamingo” link on www.africam.com). The image above is a screen grab from the webcam’s site. Initially, only refresh images are available, but it is anticipated that live streaming images will be available once band width problems have been resolved, the association says.

Now we all have an opportunity to get a close-up view one of Kimberley’s most spectacular tourist attractions.

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