Herbivore age & sex monitoring – Read more here

Unfortunately huge areas of land, originally used by indigenous wild animals, have been and still are being lost. This human interference causes natural processes to be hampered but through management we can “assist” to get these processes back on track. We can manage and manipulate animal populations to ensure there is always a place for them to survive. To do this however we need knowledge on the basic functioning of these populations. At Pidwa we aim to mimic the natural system as mush as possible. We therefore need to understand how aspects such as growth, age and sex composition, social organisation and behaviour function within our populations. This is only possible with research and monitoring so we can aim to maintain the balance that would be present in a perfect situation.

Project aims:

 To achieve the optimal ratio of herbivore species to increase productivity.

What’s being done?

Every 2 years, or sometimes annually, an aerial game census is completed. In conjunction with this, herbivore research routes are carried out on a weekly basis to obtain a more accurate idea of species composition and sex/age ratios.

 The role of volunteers:

 • Herbivore identification – Volunteers are firstly introduced to the many different herbivores and shown how to identify, sex and age the varied species.

 • Research routes – Volunteers then take part in research routes to locate, count and record herbivore populations. There are 4 main research routes, each one of which is driven twice a month. Between them, the routes cover all areas and vegetation types in both the open system and buffalo camp. Each route is conducted once in the morning and once in the afternoon and in an opposite direction each time. This eliminates bias of certain species using areas at particular times of day.

 ©  Askari Wilderness Conservation Programme

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