Bushveld. Ecology and Management, by P. T. van der Walt et al.
Peet T. van der Walt and many other prominent South African bush experts share their knowledge in a clear and colourful way. Bushveld: Ecology and Management is a wonderful reading matter for the conservator, farmer, student and every lover of the bush.
Foreword: The soul of the Bushveld
Our southern land is blessed with a handful of different biomes, each with its own special and wonderful features, together forming a thriving whole. It is this bio-treasure that will be figured in the veld series contemplated by Briza Publications and to which this sketch of the Bushveld is a proud addition. Each veld has its own voice. Think of the rustling grassland of the Bushveld, the heaves and groans of a forest, the fynbos shrilly flaunting its flowers, valley bushveld resounding with echoes, the muffled sighs of bossies in the Karoo and the mute silence of the desert. The Bushveld is a fabulous wilderness of yesteryear when bush was still bush, a sight today still a rich source of inspiration for many. It is a lowland that still draws from the best that comes from neighbouring lands, but is unfortunately also affected by the bad from many a river valley. It is a choice place of survival for many people as it has so much to offer. The symbolism of various special trees is dominant here, picturesque, gnarled, charming specimens, their thick bark resistant to fire. This is where the familiar thorn acacia of the African landscape come into its own, especially in dense stands, an all-in-one browsing and grazing area of tree and shrub and grass-herb layer. Overtime, an unsurpassed stock of large animals have also gathered here, the best selection for tourism and hunter. Add to this a multitude of birds, fishes, frogs, reptiles, insects and small mammals, increasing nature lovers' appetite for more. For a long time the fever mosquito and sleep fly were the only ones to counter the onslaught of people wanting to wipe out this pride of nature. Around the 1950s, thousands of antelope were killed to reduce the hold of the tsetse fly preventing human settlement in the bush. It was the direct result of the scarcity of many species today, as the value of game was only actually realised in the 1960s. Today, thousands of visitors are entertained in many conservation areas and on cleverly designed game farms. Even more like to camp in the bush to be closer to the earth and enjoy its beauty. Nature is South Africa's most favourite tourist destination for locals and overseas visitors. Many cannot get enough of the Bushveld, a place where there is always something to see. The Bushveld is a place of hunters'tales in the glow of flames of crackling hardwood campfires. It is synonymous with treading softly on fallen leaves when following a magnificent giant in thick bush, with the itchy burn of mopane midges stinging sweaty, soft flesh. Hunting in the searing heat of a valley becomes an art when you even have to distinguish between the browsing spoor and flight spoor of an elephant. When the deadly quiet suddenly explodes and bedlam breaks loose as the cantankerous bull flattens everything as he crashes through breaking branches, you have to keep your wits about you and shoot or get out of the way. If the old giant drops anchor and turns for a second charge, you realise that the soul of the Bushveld is unique, always deserving another chance. May this book, painting with words the picture of many aspects of the veld in everyday language, meet the growing demand for understanding Bushveld pleasure - an established tourist attraction with a magical tale to be told and enjoyed. The aim of this collection of sketches by seasoned bush experts with decades of experience and knowledge of the bush, is to open your eyes to its wonders. Conservation and the joy you experience when reading this, were the authors' inspiration to commit their keen insight to paper. Many questions around the nature and functioning of this dynamic system are unlocked. May you experience the sense of wonder that the Bushveld opens up in every admirer.
This is an excerpt from the book: Bushveld. Ecology and Management, by Pieter T. van der Walt et al.
Title: Bushveld. Ecology and Management
Author: P. T. van der Walt
Publisher: Briza Publications
Pretoria, South Africa 2010
ISBN 9781875093946 / ISBN 978-1-875093-94-6
Softcover, 21 x 24 cm, 160 pages, throughout colour photographs
van der Walt, P. T. im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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