Boulders penguins’ promised land

first_imgCape Town’s Boulders Beach, part of the Table Mountain National Park, is home to a much-photographed, much-loved and much-maligned colony of African penguins. Previously called Jackass penguins because their raucous cry resembles the sound of a tortured donkey, these flightless birds have not always had a good relationship with people – and they’ve almost invariably come off second best.Ever since the first European ship sailed its tentative course around the Cape to the fabled spice islands of the East, penguins and penguin eggs have been sought-after additions to the decidedly unimaginative menu of inadequately fed seamen – and they didn’t have to work hard for their supper.MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. Like their less fortunate cousins, the flightless dodos that were hunted to extinction on Mauritius in probably the mid-17th Century, penguins were easy prey. But unlike the dodos that really were sitting ducks wondering aimlessly around the beaches nibbling on fruit, lazing in the sun, and waddling trustingly up to predatory humans, penguins can swim. And it is probably this – and the fact that they have a healthy natural distrust of all other life forms – that saved them from the fate of the dodo.While the penguin colonies were initially plundered solely for their eggs and meat by hungry sailors, it wasn’t long before European industrialists realised the immense value of guano – bird droppings. Before the age of synthetic chemical production, guano was the principle ingredient of the fertilisers essential to the expanding agricultural economies of Europe and the Americas.And don’t let the word “droppings” fool you. Penguins had been roosting on offshore islands for years and years and years, so we’re not talking about a few little blobs here and there. The accumulation of guano was enormous. On Ichaboe Island, off the coast of Namibia, it was estimated to be about 27 metres thick.The guano rushThat was before the guano rush – a surge of maritime fortune hunters more ruthless, tougher, and infinitely more smelly than any badlands diamond or gold prospector in 19th-century Kimberley, Johannesburg, California or the Klondike.At the peak of the rush between 1843 and 1845 there were up to 460 boats anchored off the tiny island, heaving around and dragging their anchors in the wild and exposed Atlantic Ocean. Every day about 6 000 rough, bearded men fought each other for the best digging sites, swinging shovels and picks at anything that got in their way.It would seem that penguins could quite happily do without their waste, but all that guano has a purpose – it’s where the birds make their nests. They dig deep into the soft, yielding guano to form cosy burrows sheltered from the boiling sun, and incubate their two eggs, of which only one usually survives.Penguins mate for life, so these are not temporary digs: monogamous pairs usually return to the same burrows year after year. So the destruction of the guano was the destruction of the penguins’ homes. Not to mention the simultaneous robbing of nests and wholesale slaughter of adult and juvenile birds to feed the rapacious mob of miners.The guano rush didn’t last long, but it was enough to destroy the once-perfect habitats of Ichaboe, the nearby Neglectus Islet, and almost every other island breeding site of any significance.New threatsThat was the 19th century, but for most of the 20th century African penguins faced entirely different threats. Declining fish stocks due to overfishing made it increasingly difficult for the birds to find food.Penguins are spectacularly good swimmers. Using their flippers – which in other birds would be called wings – they glide through the water easily maintaining an average speed of about 7km an hour for up to 100km in a single fishing trip. They regularly dive to depths of about 30m in search of prey, but can go to over 100m if they need to. And with a little shot of adrenaline courtesy of a hungry shark or seal, or a rapidly escaping anchovy, they can reach speeds of anything between 20km to 25km an hour.With competition from commercial fishing vessels, penguins have to work much harder for every fish. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the 20th century had something far more deadly to throw at the beleaguered little birds – oil.Passing tankers and other ships that succumb to the notoriously stormy oceans off southern Africa leak thousands of tons of oil into the oceans, onto beaches and on offshore islands. Once a penguin has swum through that oil its feathers lose their natural insulation and waterproof coating, and the bird can’t swim. And if it can’t swim it can’t fish, so it stands around on the shore, shivering with cold, and starves.Luckily, most people find penguins utterly engaging so, when they are threatened, as happened in 2000 with the sinking of the MV Treasure off Melkbosstrand, there is help at hand. On that occasion, thousands of Capetonians of all walks of life volunteered anything from a couple to a couple of hours to a couple of days a week for 10 weeks to care for injured, oiled and sick penguins. In all, over the 10-week period volunteers worked 45&nbps;000 shifts, most of which were cold, strenuous, wet and uncomfortable.The Boulders settlersEven more heartening that the penguins themselves are taking steps to ensure their survival – holding their future firmly in their own two flippers. In 1983, an adventurous breeding pair found a really nice little beach, called Boulders, near the coastal suburb of Simons Town in Cape Town, and set up home. The word seemed to have spread, and over the next few years more and more penguin couples came to nest on or near Boulders Beach.There was no thick layer of guano in which to burrow, but there were convenient bushes under which to scrape out shelters they eventually turned into cosy nests. Some penguins found fantastic nesting sites in suburban gardens – with varying degrees of welcome. Some residents were delighted to have these lovely birds on their properties, while others found their incessant braying and, of course, laying down of a good guano base not conducive to a happy home and immaculate garden.That may seem picky, but those first few pairs of penguins have now grown into the thousands, and can do a lot of damage to a nice garden – and set up quite a noise and quite a smell. As the conflict between homeowners and avian residents hotted up, the local human community broke into two distinctly opposite camps – pro-penguin and anti-penguin.The impasse was settled when South African National Parks stepped in and incorporated Boulders into the Table Mountain National Park. The penguins now have their own breeding beach, the residents have fences to protect their gardens, and tourists have a visitor’s centre, comfortable viewing platforms and boardwalks.The penguins are not restricted to the breeding beach. They often hang out on the main swimming beach where they can waddle down to the sea and bob about in the calm, protected water, checking out the tourists. They wander through the car park, they’ve colonised nearby rocky coves, and they delight passing kayakers and other boaters as they swim out to sea in small groups, their tidy black and white bodies undulating through the water with graceful ease.A visit to the Boulders Beach penguins is an obligatory stop on any tour of Cape Town, and fits in well with a visit to Cape Point.First published by – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more


Breaking News in the Industry: July 18, 2018

first_imgSuspect drags LP associate through mall parking lotA Florida man was arrested on multiple charges after dragging a Dillard’s loss prevention associate from his car in the Melbourne Square Mall parking lot. Melbourne police said that 42-year-old Cleon Demitris Leeks, of Palm Bay, was charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Driving on a Suspended License, Leaving a Scene of a Crash with Injury, Petit Theft, and Resisting an Officer.On Saturday, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a loss prevention associate observed Leeks conceal a pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt in his shorts. Leeks then left Dillard’s and entered the driver’s side door of a 2016 Kia as the LP associate ran after him. As Leeks backed up, the door struck the associate, knocking him down to the pavement. “He was then dragged approximately 10 to 15 feet,” police said. Leeks also ran over the associates’s ankle, failing to stop despite pleas to do so. The LP associate was transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center. A few miles away, Melbourne police found Leeks and initiated a traffic stop where he was arrested. Bond set at $31,500.   [Source: Palm Bay Daily]Pair suspected of using children in retail robberiesDarrell Campbell, 32, and Jeammie Preston, 31, both of Moreno Valley, are facing charges of conspiracy, second-degree robbery, child endangerment and grand theft, and they’re being held at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $245,000 and $210,000 bail, respectively, according to online jail records. They were arrested Thursday.- Sponsor – Campbell and Preston are scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday at the Riverside Hall of Justice, jail records state. In June, sheriff’s deputies in Moreno Valley began investigating multiple commercial robberies in the city, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release. Deputies learned a man and woman, later identified as Campbell and Preston, conspired to commit robberies and used children to carry stolen merchandise out of major retail businesses, the release stated.In some cases, the man directed the children to grab specific merchandise and then walk out of the business to a waiting vehicle where the woman waited as the getaway driver. While exiting the business, loss prevention officers were threatened with a knife, according to the news release. Investigators found evidence that the couple conducted similar thefts as far back as October in Menifee, Eastvale, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, Glendora and San Bernardino, the release said. During the investigation, deputies gathered significant evidence against the suspects and identified the two adults and juveniles.On Thursday, Campbell and Preston were arrested in the 25000 block of Alessandro Boulevard in Moreno Valley, according to the news release. Child Protective Services took custody of three children, the release stated. Anyone with information about the investigation can call Officer June, of the Robbery and Burglary Suppression Team, at the Moreno Valley station by calling 951.486.6700. Citizens can also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.   [Source: The Press-Enterprise]Gas pump hackers chargedWayne County Illinois Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged two men for allegedly hacking a Detroit gas station and stealing over 600 gallons of gas. The incident occurred on June 23 at a Marathon gas station in the 17800 block of W. Seven Mile on the city’s west side. Reginald Hollien, 34, and Damon Blocker, 29, both of Detroit, are charged with use of a computer to commit a crime, organized retail crime and larceny of $1,000 to $20,000. “The alleged actions of these defendants show a critical need for the protection of businesses in Wayne County,” Worthy said in a release. “We must ensure that businesses in this County are fully supported and protected.”While at the gas station, the defendants allegedly sold and accepted cash for the gas, a press release states. Once gas attendants discovered what was happening, they attempted to disable the pump by computer. The attempt was unsuccessful and eventually, the attendants had to activate an emergency shut off, that’s when the suspects fled. They were then arrested by Detroit police on July 9. Hollien and Blocker were arraigned on Wednesday, July 11. Blocker received a $75,000/10 percent bond, while Hollien received a $50,000/10 percent bond.   [Source: WXYZ Detroit News]Police arrest three for stolen lingerieThree women from outside of Wichita Falls, Texas, reportedly from Georgia, Florida and New York, have been arrested and charged with organized retail theft, accused of taking nearly $700 in merchandise from Victoria’s Secret in Sikes Senter Mall. Located in their purses, according to Wichita Falls police, were anti-theft deactivation instruments.Wichita Falls Police Information Officer Harold McClure said officers responded to a theft from Victoria’s Secret shortly before 4 p.m. Friday. According to McClure, when the officer arrived, law enforcement was told that three Hispanic females suspects had left in a red vehicle. The officers located the vehicle in a nearby shopping center parking lot where three Hispanic females exited the vehicle.When the three were asked where they were coming from, they said they were driving from Atlanta on their way to Houston. Once the officers informed them they had received a call that a theft had been committed from the Victoria’s Secret and that they matched the suspects’ descriptions, they became very nervous, McClure said. When the suspects were asked if there was anything illegal or stolen in the vehicle, all three shook their heads yes, McClure told the Times Record News.The officer, McClure said, located a large duffel bag with 10 pairs of Victoria’s Secret pants with the tags and anti-theft devices inside valued at $695. The officers also located two purses that were lined with anti-theft deactivation instruments. The officers also located a magnet instrument used to remove anti-theft devices from merchandise. A loss prevention associate arrived on the scene and stated that they observed two of the suspects enter the store while the third stood outside as a lookout. All three were arrested and charged with Organized Retail Theft and Possession/Manufacture/Distribution of items used to commit theft.   [Source: Times Record News]Employee facing several counts of fraud after stealingA Louisiana woman is facing several counts of fraud after authorities say she stole money from a pizza restaurant. On Monday, police were notified of a theft by fraud that occurred at the Baker Domino’s on Main Street. According to the arrest report, an employee had stolen over $3,000 in funds from the business over the course of two weeks. The thief was identified as Jacobi Duncan.A district manager contacted authorities about the theft. Authorities say the district manager discovered the theft after receiving e-mail statements from the owner of the store. While completing the monthly audit, the manager discovered excessive mileage payouts for employees of the Baker store that were three times above the average for store employees. When the employees were asked about the payouts, they said none of them had received any additional funds above their normal salary pay.Reports say that Duncan was an assistant manager at the store and had access to the records, and the power to change them. During an investigation, it was discovered that there was an excessive amount of cancellations for orders that had been made in the store, which averaged between five and eight cancellations per night. It was also discovered that all of the cancellations had been paid for in cash. Records show that Duncan handled the cancellations. Duncan is charged with 68 counts of computer fraud, 33 counts of access device fraud, and 35 counts of public payroll fraud.    [Source: WBRZ2 News]UPS launches pilot to deliver packages in apartment buildingsUPS has launched a pilot program to deliver packages inside apartment buildings in New York City using Latch, a smart lock system, according to a press release. Through the program, a UPS driver receives credentials to enter apartment buildings that have Latch devices enabled, allowing the driver to deliver packages when residents are not home. UPS will only enter apartment buildings, not individual residents’ units. UPS started the pilot in Manhattan in March and recently expanded to Brooklyn, with expansion into other markets expected in the future. Latch said 20 million multi-family residential units exist across the U.S.    [Source: SupplyChainDIVE] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more


Data Management: Burn the Tapes!

first_imgContinuous Data Protection (CDP) or continuous backup refers to the automatic real-time versioning and tracking of every change made to data, and the ability to rollback to a snapshot of the data at any point in time.With CDP, every time data is written to disk, it is also being written asynchronously to a second location. Every transaction and data update in the enterprise is tracked and time-stamped, creating the ability to later zoom into a data storage snapshot of the enterprise data at any point in time. CDP obsoletes the need for scheduled backups and creates an approach to backup that doesn’t have discrete widely spaced snapshots.Because hard disks are used as the backup medium, recovery is quick. If data is accidently lost or the system becomes infected with a virus, rolling back to any previous point in time is easy, and it may take as little as seconds after a failure to get a system back into its pre-fault state. Compared to tape backup and the labor involved to ensure backups are done correctly, CDP is significantly easier and has much greater reliability.This kind of technology is coming just in time to help as enterprises are pumping out ever more data and 24-hour global work days are making it ever more difficult to find a ‘good’ time to schedule backups. CDP is clearly a technology that is attractive to system administrators.Enterprises are beginning to put CDP to the test. Forrester says that currently 20 percent of businesses are using CDP and they expect that the number will increase to 35 percent by 2011.Currently 70 percent of backups are still done with tape and 29 percent are done on disk. In two years the numbers will be 43 percent disk and 57 percent tape. And by 2011, 60 percent of backup will be on disk.The Forrester report predicts that the greatest growth in enterprise data will come from messaging and collaboration, particularly space needed for email and IM.Storage and the technologies around it are finally getting hot after many years of slow growth and very slow technology change. CDP is just one category in storage that is set to explode.last_img read more


Duleep Trophy: Ashok Dinda soars into national contention

first_imgAshok Dinda’s performance in the ongoing domestic season has made him a strong contender to be selected for the national team.The Bengal fast bowler has bagged 52 wickets this season in eight matches, including two 10-wicket hauls. Whenever Bengal needed a wicket, they have thrown the ball to him and the gritty bowler has not disappointed often.The 27-year-old has grown from strength to strength with every outing and played a stellar role in East Zone making it to the final of the Duleep Trophy.He took seven wickets against West Zone and then single-handedly ran through the North Zone batting on the flat Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, with careerbest figures of eight for 123.Dinda is one of those rare pacemen who do not fear bowling on flat wickets. Instead it brings the best out of him, like it did at the Kotla.”If I have to get wickets on these pitches, I have to put in more hard work and sustain the intensity. It is easy to get wickets when conditions are favourable, but it is a challenge to take wickets on flat pitches,” Dinda told Mail Today.”For that, you have to be strong. I have worked on building my strength and fitness. This is the best that I have bowled in my career. The coach of the Bengal team (WV Raman) and my own coach (Atal Dev Burman) have fine-tuned my bowling. As the wickets kept coming my way this season, I bowled with more and more confidence.”advertisementDinda made headlines after playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in 2008. He got selected for the ODIs on the tour of Zimbabwe in 2010, but has played only five matches in his international career so far.”If I get a chance, I will have to maintain my performance. It really motivates me to hear that people are talking about me. It helps me perform better.”Sourav Ganguly has been one of Dinda’s biggest supporters and the paceman duly acknowledges the role played by the former India captain.”I have played lot of my firstclass cricket under him and he has been a guiding force. He always tells me which line to bowl and his suggestions have helped me improve as a bowler.”East and Central in finalEast Zone completed the formalities to enter the final of the Duleep Trophy on the basis of their first innings lead against North Zone here Tuesday.It was East Zone’s first Duleep Trophy final after 2005-06. They will meet Central Zone in the title clash at Indore from Sunday.The contest was all but over when East Zone took a 28- run lead Monday after Ashok Dinda’s burst. Manish Vardhan (125) and Anustup Majumdar (144) helped themselves to centuries as East Zone declared their second innings at 319/ 5 and set North an improbable target of 348. North lost two wickets and finished the day at 126/ 3. Majumdar and Vardhan shared a 251 run stand.Brief Scores : East Zone 315 and 319/ 5 (M Vardhan 125, A Majumdar 144; P Sangwan 3/ 78) North Zone 287 and 126/ 3 ( R Dewan 45, S Dhawan 38; S Nadeem 2/ 51).last_img read more