Cycad poaching

08 Sep 2015 13:41 - 08 Sep 2015 16:40 #65024 by Balthazar1
Cycad poaching was created by Balthazar1
We recently spent the long weekend in the Monks Cowl area in a house, pretty much above Sterkspruit Falls, along the hiking path coming up from MC Campsite, towards Steilberg. A path veers off this stretch, just before the fence- heading a forested gully to the top of the Little Berg from where one can head left to Hlatikulu Neck, or right towards Stable Cave. The ascent is assisted by a couple of wooden ladders and in this vicinity and nearby, several Encepherlartos Ghellinkiii, or Drakensberg Cycads can be found. Sadly it seems as if some poachers have been removing some plants as we noticed fresh signs of disturbance, broken fonts, drag marks and the obvious gaping holes. I reported these observations to Mark Robertson at Monks Cowl, who mentioned that a similar yet unsolved incident occurred in September last year. As I assume these incidents occur under the cover of darkness, I would guess that most of us hikers would not come across these individuals. So should you notice anything or anyone suspicious, perhaps carting tools or implements around please contact the local authorities ASAP. Suspicious are that the culprits are locals acting on orders for specimens that can fetch around R175 per cm…. pricier for a female plant- perhaps pricier as specimens are rare. We all enjoy the Berg and the pleasures its fauna and flora give so please report anything you deem to be suspicious. These plants are easily identifiable- several specimens can also be found near KBC or the old mountain hut near Tsekesteke.

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Last edit: 08 Sep 2015 16:40 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, Ranger

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16 Sep 2015 03:50 #65100 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Cycad poaching
Very sad :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
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16 Sep 2015 07:47 #65102 by saros
Replied by saros on topic Cycad poaching
This is absolutely terrible. Last year I did the Cycad trail in Modjadji's Kloof, covered all over in Cycads. Stunning, beautiful and also very prehistoric atmosphere. Learnt that these Cycads take one year to grow one leaf stem. Sp every diamond shape you see on the bark is a year's worth of growth. The Cycads in the above pics are easily 100 years and older.

The Cycads also only grow in the Eco Systems they are found in, move them any where else and they are guaranteed to die.

Such a shame!!!

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