Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Tuesday, 17th February 2015
At our Kariega Game Reserve project, January turned out to be a fantastic start to the year. Rhino Thandi, survivor of a brutal poaching attack in 2012, gave birth to a healthy young calf on the 13th January. The tiny calf is the reserves very own miracle and represents hope for the species. The happy family stayed safely hidden away at first but can now be seen out on the open plains, where they will be carefully monitored by anti-poaching teams.
Our volunteers were treated to the awesome sight of lions stalking and hunting right in front of the house, although the lions were not quite so lucky with their attempts. The lion prey study revealed warthogs and black and blue wildebeest were the most consumed prey during January.
Recent elephant sightings have kept everyone on the edge of their seats. As part of the elephant monitoring programme the team has continued to monitor their browsing, with grass and small shrubs still at the top of menu.
As if that wasn’t enough excitement, camera traps revealed a honey badger near one of the reserves dams, a rare sighting for everyone at the reserve. The cameras even captured a glimpse of a lovely brown hyena. Two new camera traps are now on their way to Kariega, increasing the chances of spotting an elusive leopard and other endangered species.
Maintaining the roads on the reserve is a continuous job and volunteers worked hard this month, cutting bushes back, to clear four roads on the reserve.
During January our volunteers also worked hard to remove 107 Pine trees and 111 Black wattles. Invasive species control is extremely important, especially the removal of black wattle seedlings which can quickly turn into dense forest. Volunteers also assisted with some equally important habitat management. As well as removing invasive species volunteers were also hard at work planting pork bush seedlings, a carbon fixating plant. In 2014 volunteers started a plant nursery and the coral trees are now thriving.
If you want to get involved and find out more about joining this project as a volunteer check out the Kariega Big Five Game Reserve page.
By Megan Smith, WorkingAbroad team
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