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South Africa’s SKA site to double as national park

Top image: Shutterstock. Bottom image: SKA Project Development Office and Swinburne Astronomy Productions [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Astronomy megasite primed as drylands environmental research platform

The site on which the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope is being built in South Africa’s Karoo region will become a national park to allow scientists to study drylands ecosystems, says an article in the South African Journal of Science this week.

The removal of livestock and clearing of invasive alien plants from the approximately 135,000 hectares of former farmland bought by the National Research Foundation to house the SKA “presents an unprecedented opportunity to study ecosystem dynamics”, write the authors from the South African Environmental Observation Network and the universities of Cape Town, Free State and the Witwatersrand.

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