Namibia, formerly South West Africa, is at the centre of a major diplomatic confrontation between South Africa and the Western powers.
GV Gobabeb Research Centre in Namibia (two shots)
SV and CU Game ranger of S.W.A. Department of Nature Conservation looking at shells (two shots)
LV PAN Dunes in Namib Desert
GV Jeep along road in mountain park in Naukluft Range
GV PAN Mountain stream down mountain side and CU of natural pond. (2 SHOTS)
GV Sunset over dunes at Gobabeb
GV PAN Dawn at Gobabeb Research Station
CU Doctor Mary Seely Research Director speaking
CU'S Beetles with distinctive markings
CU Beetles numbered for research (two shots)
CU Beetle being numbered for research
SV and CU numbered beetle (No. 5)
CU Dead beetles in case PULL OUT TO filing system of insects and beatles put in drawer.
SEELY: "The Namib desert is the only desert in the world to support a fauna in the vegetationless parts of the dune. These animals, mainly beetles and several species of reptiles, are consuming the wind-blown (indistinct) and drinking the fog moisture. It was to establish the reasons for this unusual occurrence that the station was established and we are still today searching for explanations for this very unusual fauna."
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Background: Namibia, formerly South West Africa, is at the centre of a major diplomatic confrontation between South Africa and the Western powers. But despite this the country attracts specialist from both sides to a unique research unit that is delving into the ecological system of the only desert in the world which supports a wild life population in a sand dune area without vegetation. The Gobabeb Desert Research Station is located on the Kuiseb River.
SYNOPSIS: The Gobabeb Research centre 65 Kilometres (40 miles) from the coast was established by Doctor Charles Koch, an entomologist from the Transvaal Museum, in 1963. He was the first scientist to recognise the distinctive nature of the Namib Desert fauna.
In the last fifteen years the facilities have expanded and members of the South West African Department of Nature Conservation now work with the Transvaal Museum to examine and establish reference collections of the flora and fauna. Here a game ranger looks at shells in Midden, which is located between Walvis Bay and Sandwich Harbour on the gravel plains.
The dunes themselves lie undisturbed, but are surrounded by widely differing land formations; the river basin and the gravel plains. The recurring theme of the various studies is the role of the climate, past and present, in creating the desert and it's life. The Naukluft Range of Mountains lies nearby.
The mountain range in lush and green, with unique geological formations and mountain water-falls. It too has a tremendous scope for the study of animals and vegetation. The streams eventually run under the sand surface of the dunes, sometimes existing at depths of eight feet. But in the mountains they flow into deep ponds.
Visitors are welcomed at the remote Gobabeb Research Unit located in the middle of the sand dune area. They work in fields as diverse as biology, geomorphology and archaeology. The work of the visiting scientists is co-ordinated by the unit's director Dr. Mary Seely.
The unit is at present concentrating on beetles. They are collected and numbered and then monitored for their moisture uptake. Then they are returned to the dunes, so that further research can be carried out. And a filing system of the various species is a permanent source of information for the continued work.