Sunday, January 15, 2012

I didn't know this. Maybe you didn't either.

Between 18,000 and 25,000 land mines remain scattered about in the Falklands from the 1982 war. Further clearance work to remove some of those was to be done in 2011, but not sure if it was.

Virtually all of the surface area of the islands is used for sheep pasture. There is a penguin population, and many beautiful rare birds.

The article I was reading states that no long-term studies have been done as to the adverse affect humans living there have had on the rather pristine land.

Native grasses and other vegetation is heavily impacted adversely by the overgrazing of sheep.

Reindeer have been introduced.

Cats and rats and grey foxes have been introduced, having a detrimental affect on the breeding of the birds, which now mostly just live on the outer islands as a result.

Grey foxes. Rats. Feral cats. Overgrazing. I guess that about covers my opinion as to whether humans have had an adverse affect on the Falklands, despite the lack of long-term research. (I vote "yes".)

2008 population estimate is 3,140. That works out to about 7.96 land mines per human.


  1. It's a silly question though. Humans have an adverse effect on other species wherever they go.
    As for the landmines...
    Well, maybe Argentina would like to pay for the removal of the minefields they planted? No? no.
    So the work is being done by international teams funded by the british government.
    The one useful contribution that Argentina has made is the release of their minelaying maps, which, though not one hundred percent accurate, make the marking of danger areas a bit easier. Also in the Falklands soil are large quantities of unexploded ammunition from both sides, from artillery and air-bombing.
    Clearance? well, many Falklands islanders have said that the resources should be put into clearing the higher risk areas of the world, where adults and children are maimed daily. The Falklands, they say, can live with its no-go areas, and those areas out of bounds to humans and sheep, due to minefields, have become de-facto penguin and wild bird sanctuaries.
    (penguins aren't heavy enough to trigger anti-personnel mines)

  2. Humans have had some very good effects on nature also. But it is fashion to carp innit.
    Anyway a few landmines never hu....well anyway....

  3. @Soubriquet - I'm informed humans also have some very good effects on nature also. And that one should not carp about landmines and BAD effects on nature.

    I read that the barbaric Argies planted 18,000 land mines. That means the other 7,000 were planted by someone else. Penguins, perhaps. At any rate, the UK won the war and therefore now owns (all) the land mines. Not so easy to get rid of them what with the boggy and sandy terrain. Frankly it would seem much easier just to blame it on the U.S. like everything else wrong with the world.

    Well. Believe it or not, this post is the end of a series which begins with the Suez in 1956. Hold your breath.

    @Adullamite - I'm sure you are right about the very good effects. And I'm sure a few examples will occur to me shortly.

  4. PS - It's not like Argentina is furnishing land mine maps out of the goodness of their heart. If planters of land mines don't map them at the beginning and keep those maps safely tucked away, it is a war crime.

    God forbid that the fearsome rabid U.N. gets turned loose on them for a war crime. Probably in terror at that prospect, Argentina coughed up their navy's mine maps. But the UK owns the mines now.

  5. Well, if the u.k. owns them now, what's all the fuss about. Anybody'd think the Argies wanted 'em back!

    Relevant story of the day:

  6. This is not the only place rife with land mines, right? I thought there were still places in the Far East and the Middle East (and Africa, too?) where children were still being killed and maimed by minefields laid then abandoned.

    Wasn't the late Princess Diana (was she still styled Princess at her death) one of the spokespeople for doing away with landmines altogether?

    There are a number of egregious war practices that many countries eschew, like cluster bombing and firebombing and the like, several treaties where countries agree not to use such methods. I know the Brits are signatories to most (if not all) of those treaties and the US is on a few, too, but not all.

  7. Like the Ottowa Treaty. We (the US) are a notable exception.

  8. Stephanie, there are places with MILLIONS of land mines in place and hundreds of maimed children. The Falklands is nothing. There are so many places that need attention first.



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