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ZS8M Marion Island January 2011


Welcome to the ZS8M January 2011 News Letter.

I sincerely hope you have all recovered from the Christmas season and that your credit cards are also recovering.

Due to many requests for some history of Marion Island, I have included it in this months news letter.

Basic Information:

Location: (46°52'34"S, 37°51'32"E). The Marion Island is situated in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and is built on an active volcano.


Marion Island was first discovered in 1663 by the Dutch ship Maerseveen. The discovery was accidental, and they made no landing on the island. After about five years Captain Cook also saw the islands, but he couldnt make a landing due to bad weather. The first recorded landing on the island was in 1803 by a group of sealers, but they found signs of earlier occupation. In late 1947 and early 1948 South Africa took possession of both Marion and Prince Edward islands. The two islands were annexed under the command of Lieutenant-Commander John Fairburn and the South African flag was raised.


Space and Atmospheric physics, Biological studies on mice, birds (penguins, petrels, albatross, gulls and a few more), penguins and seals. There is also an important meteorological station on the island.

Other Information:

Five domestic cats, including a castrated orange striped male tabby and a black and white female together with three kittens were introduced during 1949 on Marion Island. They were brought to the island to help exterminate a mouse problem in the base. The cat population exploded and their appetite changed from mice to birds. Because of this, in the 1980s cat extermination teams were sent to the island. Today, there are no cats left on the island. Marion Island was formed by volcanic activity. It is actually a mountain built up from the ocean floor. Only the mountain peak can be seen from the ocean surface.


MarionIsland ZS8M Young Female Elephant Seal

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Rating: 5 of 5
  • Callsign: UA3TT
  • 2011-02-08 05:32:51
Rating: 5 of 5
Engela Duvenage
  • Callsign: none
  • 2011-02-06 23:04:43
hi there I've read your insert on Marion's history etc, and thought you might be interested to know that a comprehensive coffee table book about Marion's history, environment and research was published last year. Researchers from Stellenbosch University (where I work) and UCT undertook the project. For more information, go to I hope this is of interest to you. Kind regards Engela Duvenage Media: Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University