Hyena Camera Traps
As we’re progressively making our way through the crazy year that is 2020 so far, it’s important that we remember to reflect on the things that we can control – like still being able to make a positive impact in our small corner of the world.
We are so excited to update our donors and readers on the great work we’ve been able to do in the field with the help of the GVI Trust, as well as our ongoing efforts to try and safely monitor the latest and greatest additions to the reserve!
Camera Trap Protection
An amazing effort was made by a previous participant of ours, Kendra Carano, who helped us raise over US$1000 over a short period of time in order to purchase seven missing camera trap cases so that all 52 of our camera traps in the field could be properly set up and protected! As you may recall, back in March 2019 our biggest sponsorship to date by René Koopman – owner of Imvubu Lodge on Karongwe, saw the purchase of over 40 camera traps to add to our surveying arsenal.
Karongwe Hyena Report
Thanks to our primary camera trap study, which included 26 traps located in both the northern and southern areas of the reserve, our fantastic Science Officer Kayla was able to put together a progress report on what we’d discovered so far about our spotted elusive friends. So far, we have been able to identify five individuals by their spot patterns, including one new cub and some new additions to the Karongwe clan, as well as their favourite hang-out spots and some interesting behaviour at the dens. What’s more exciting is we managed to even capture images of a brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) on the reserve!After sharing our report with partners and stakeholders in February, and the purchase of the missing camera trap cases, Kayla began the exciting first step into starting the pilot study of our spotted hyena camera trapping project by placing camera traps within a pre-set grid in the field, as well as at known hyena hot spots and old den sites. The results we obtained before we sadly had to push the pause button on our project already showed some very promising data, and we look forward to getting straight back into it once our program can open its doors once more.
Satellite Collar Fundraiser
The newest edition to GVI’s track-able animals consists of a small pack of Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) soon to be released on the reserve from the safety of a boma. GVI are responsible for tracking our focus species on the reserve, twice a day every day - namely the male lion, the cheetah brother coalition, as well as the female cheetah. The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), who GVI already work quite closely with in conjunction with the cheetah metapopulation project, have recommended the use of satellite collars, rather than VHF radio collars. This is especially important when you are tracking elusive species such as the Wild Dog, who can be fast-moving and cover large distances quickly! With the help of the GVI Trust, we are fundraising to purchase the much-needed satellite collar, something you can imagine does not come cheap - but is a crucial piece of equipment which will ensure the safety and protection of this endangered species. Our target includes the collar itself, as well as the servicing fee for 12 months with 3 hourly readings a day!
Every contribution, no matter the size, will help us reach our target and contribute back towards the conservation and monitoring of species that desperately need our help.
Once again, from the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank all our sponsors and readers following our conservation journey in the heart of the South African savanna. Without your help we would not be able to conduct effective research and monitoring of our endangered and vulnerable species on the reserve.
The GVI Karongwe Team
Pilot Study - Camera Trap Points
Southern Camera Traps
Wild Dog Male
Wild Dogs in Boma