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ZD9M Gough Island

ZS1HF will be active from Gough Island starting March 2014 as ZD9M.
He will operate on HF Bands.
QSL via ZS1A.

Gough Island with all it has to offer

Gough Island in brief

Gough which lies 350kms or 220 miles SSE of Tristan da Cunha is the second largest of the Tristan da Cunha Islands Island Group and a complex volcanic island. It uninhabited saves for the meteorological station manned by 6 South Africans. Gough Island is a British possession.

Discovering the Island and its earlier occupants

The Island was discovered by the Portuguese Captain Goncalo Alvares around 1505 and was frequented by the whalers and sealers in the 19th century. Periodically, Dutch sailors paid a visit to the island, which was annexed to Britain in 1816. Sealers exploited Inaccessible islands in addition to Gough in the last part of the 18th century going into the early 19th century. They called the island their home for long stretches of time at ago. They were able to sustain themselves by feeding on eggs, seabirds, fish, wild plants and potatoes which they cultivated, although these are no longer present. Between the years of the 1830 and 1870, whaling took place on this island while between the 1850s and 1890s; the Tristan Islanders paid a visit to the Inaccessible Island in order to introduce pigs and goats in addition to harvesting seals. Other than that, the island has been basically left uninhabited.

Population on the Island

Only the six scientists that work at the meteorological station are present on the island in terms of human population. The station has been in operation since 1956 and is the only man-made structure on the island. That and its associated storerooms, generators, helicopter landing site and communication facilities.

Aside from a 2-year farming settlement between the years of 1936 and 1938, the Inaccessible Island has had no human presence, although, it has received regular visitors from Tristan in search of eggs, birds, apples, birds and guano. In the 1950s, any trace of cattle, sheep and pigs were removed from the island.

The main source of revenue for this island group is Cray fishing in addition to rock lobster fishing.

Little or no human activities have tampered with this Island hence making it a rich source of scientific research and a great conservation resource. It boasts of a rugged rocky coastline and its topography is manly covered in grass, ferns and moss. The climate to the area is such that it received a much higher annual mean rainfall as compared to Marion. The average annual temperature is approximately 11.5 degrees.

Gough Island ZD9M

A detailed look at the Island

Wildlife that can be found on the Island

In 1995, the island became a World Heritage Site. The island is home to animal, bird and plant life that is not found anywhere else. There are no introduced mammals on this temperate oceanic island and two endemic land birds (the Gough finch and the Gough moorhen) call this place home. Essentially, there are eight plants, two birds as well as 10 invertebrates that are yet to be discovered elsewhere. Other bird life that have been spotted on the island include; the Prions, Albatross that is yellow-nosed, the Wandering Albatross, Petrels, Terns, sub-Antarctic Skua and the Gough island Rail that is flightless in nature, Buntings.

Also available are the Rock hopper Penguins, the occasional elephant seal and fur seals that can be spotted on the rare beaches in addition to a number of crayfish beds. This seabird colony is home to approximately 54 recorded bird species, of which 22 breed on the island, 20 are seabirds and the rest(4) are endangered.

The island is also home to 12 endemic plant species. The only two native breeding mammals to the region are the southern elephant seal and the sub Antarctic fur seal. Other marine mammals to the region include the dusky dolphin and the southern right whale. You will not find any freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, or native terrestrial mammals on this island.

Activities that can be undertaken on the Island

Weather monitoring and biological research are the activities that are permitted on this Island.

Facilities on the Island

A diesel generator helps in the generation of electricity; water is filtered from a mountain river while medical facilities, clothing food and recreational facilities are also catered for.

Gough Island ZD9M DX News

The volcanic nature of the Island

With its long and complicated volcanic history, Gough Island is yet to record any activity of the same since humans began going there. Distinctive rock masses were left as a result of five major activity phases. It is believed that the most recent eruption, a minor one at that occurred approximately 2300 years ago.

With much of the coastline enveloped by steep cliffs, this is a mountainous Island with a rolling plateau that rises to 910m above sea level. A series of glens or deep, steep sided valleys grace the eastern side of the island while rounded slops that stretch from the central plateau to western sea cliffs grace the western side of the island. To the south of the island, you with find land below 200m while underneath the cliffs are boulder beaches in addition to a number of stacks, rocks and islets, most of which are within 100m of the main island.

Conclusion

Gough Island, save for the meteorological station manned by 6 South Africans is basically an uninhabited island which is home to the two endemic land birds (the Gough finch and the Gough moorhen) in addition to a number of rare bird and plant lives. There are 54 recorded bird species, of which 22 breed on the island, 20 are seabirds and the rest (4) are endangered.

The rare beaches are home to the Rock hopper Penguins, the occasional elephant seal and fur seals while no freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, or native terrestrial mammals can be found on this island. Activities permitted include Weather monitoring and biological research. And owing to the essentially uninhabited nature of the island, these activities do tend to thrive better.

The only artificial structures on the Island aside from the meteorological station are the station’s associated storerooms, generators, and helicopter landing site and communication facilities.

Video Gough Island

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