S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Fleck, Dr Eduard (vertebrate collection, plant collection)

Born: Date not known, Innsbruck, Austria.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Dr Eduard Fleck was an Austrian natural scientist who studied in Graz and Vienna. In 1888 he was sent out to German South West Africa (now Namibia) as geologist and representative of the L. von Lilienthalsches Syndikat. In 1889 he obtained a concession for the syndicate to mine in the Rehoboth-Gebiet, from the chief of the Basters living there. A dispute arose between the syndicate and the Deutsche Kolonial-Gesellschaft, which had concluded a similar agreement some years earlier. As a result a new company was formed in 1893, the Hanseatische Land-, Minen- und Handelsgesellschaft für Südwest-afrika, which represented the interests of both groups. Meanwhile Fleck had left the territory in 1892.

During his stay Fleck undertook some travels in the territory and collected natural history specimens. In 1888 he collected plants in the vicinity of Rehoboth. He collected birds in Damaraland and, with Dr Anton Lübbert*, was one of the first to do so since the pioneering work of C.J. Andersson*. His birds were described by Professor Anton Reichenow*. He also collected reptiles and batrachians. In 1890 he undertook a journey in the company of Curt C.B. von Francois* to Lake Ngami. He described the journey in "Bericht des Dr. Fleck über seine Reise durch die Kalahari bis zum Ngami-See" (Mitteilungen aus den deutschen Schutzgebieten, 1893). A map compiled by A. Kiepert, which showed their route and the routes of other explorers, appeared in the same issue of the journal. Other papers soon followed: "Das Vogelleben Deutsch-Südwestafrikas und dessen Schauplatz" (Journal für Ornithologie, 1894) and "Vorkommen und Lebensweise der Reptilien und Batrachier [in Südwestafrika]" (Bericht über die Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main, 1894). A description of his visit to the Tsauchab gorge on the edge of the Namib sand sea was published as "Meine Reise in die Tschauchab-schlucht (Deutsch-Südwestafrika)" (Petermanns Mitteilungen, 1899). He is commemorated in the names of the plant species Acacia fleckii, Asparagus fleckii, Tylophora fleckii, Crotalaria fleckii, Leucas fleckii, and Indigofera fleckii.

In 1894 Fleck moved to Romania where he collected insects and published several papers and monographs on the Lepidoptera and Coleoptera of the country during the period 1899-1904. His insect collection went to the Museum Antipa in Bukarest. He returned to Innsbruck, Austria, in 1914.

List of sources:
Clancey, P.A. Scientific ornithology in South West Africa. Southern African Museums Association Bulletin (SAMAB), 1959, Vol. 7(3), pp. 47-51.

Dr Eduard Fleck. Zobodat, at http://www.zobodat.at/personen.php?id=7612 Retrieved 16 November 2016.

FitzSimons, V. The reptiles of South West Africa. Southern African Museums Association Bulletin (SAMAB, 1959, Vol. 7(3), pp. 55-57.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema: 1981.

Hugo, P.J., Schalk, K.E.L. & Barnes, S.J. Bibliography of South West African/Namibian earth science. Windhoek: Geological Survey, 1983.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa (Vol. 10, pp. 168-169). Cape Town: Nasou, 1970-1976.

Venter, R.J. Bibliography of regional meteorological literature. Vol. 1. Southern Africa, 1486-1949. Pretoria: Weather Bureau, 1949.

Compiled by: C. Plug