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Regular Features

Reserve Affairs
Compiled from the latest Reserve Report - monthly
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From the Board
Communications from the Board - quarterly
- Updated 14/12/2016

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Conservation
Compiled from the latest Reserve Report - monthly
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Building Projects
Building at Ingwelala that might affect your visit - monthly
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Sightings
Recorded sightings and members' stories - monthly
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Gate Letter
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Weather

Rainfall: February 2017:
1983 - 2017 49.2mm
   
Temps:
1992 - 2017
Max: 38°C
Min: 19°C
   
7/14 Day forecast - Ingwelala

Conservation

20/03/2017

From the February 2017 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff treated 45 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide along the Nhlaralumi River on Argyle and Buffelsbed. A new method of mist spraying the herbicide onto the established Opuntia stands is being applied.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • Four hectares of selective bush thinning (Grewia spp) cleared between River Road and Route 1 on Argyle.
  • One hectare of Mopani cleared on an identified trial site on Goedehoop. This selective clearing is a trial site in Mopani Woodland to monitor the effects of woody/grass competition. It is hoped that natural grass swards can be re-established in these woodland areas as part of the long-term veld rehabilitation. Currently the method is labour intensive, with the future objective of contracting a specialist service provider, using specially adapted machinery to clear areas of meaningful volumes.

Erosion Control  

  • The sodic site near Leopard Rock on Goedehoop suffered erosion damage in the main gully after heavy rainfall. Damage to existing rock packings were repaired and two new rock gabions (baskets) fitted in this main channel. It is very interesting to monitor and understand the dynamics of this rehabilitation site.
Umbabat
  • No incursion (suspected poachers) into the Umbabat during the reporting period.

From the January 2017 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff treated 30 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide along the Nhlaralumi River on Buffelsbed. Thank you to Members who assist Mark Shaw by recording in the sightings register where prickly pear is found on the Reserve.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • Two hectares of selective bush thinning (Grewia spp) cleared along Eastern River Road on Buffelsbed.
  • Two hectares of follow up treatment on Grewia coppice carried out at the junction of Route 1 and River Road on Argyle.

Erosion Control  

  • Nil.
Umbabat
  • No incursion (suspected poachers) into the Umbabat during the reported period.
  • One old male lion was euthenased, his body condition was very poor. The post mortem revealed chronic Bovine TB infection with lesions

From the December 2016 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff have treated 20 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide along the Nhlaralumi River on Buffelsbed.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • Two hectares of selective bush thinning (Grewia spp) cleared along Eastern River Road on Buffelsbed.

Erosion Control  

  • Soil contours were cut in the clearings in front of Sibon Camp and shaped along the drainage line that runs east to the Serengeti Plains area. The objective is to lead as much water as possible over the plains for plant absorption.
Umbabat
  • No incursion (suspected poachers) into the Umbabat during the reported period.

From the November 2016 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff have treated 50 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide along the Nhlaralumi River.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • Three hectares of selective bush thinning (Grewia spp) cleared along Eastern River Road on Buffelsbed.
  • 500 bundles of old thatch grass were packed out at Old Farmhouse on Argyle.

Erosion Control  

  • Several rock packings in drainage lines serviced and repaired after the rains, and several the rock packings were raised to be more efficient.
Umbabat
  • No incursion (suspected poachers) into the Umbabat during the reported period.
  • Neighbouring Houtboschrandt Section in KNP had excellent success with poacher arrests and no known rhino losses from poaching.

From the October 2016 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff have treated 60 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide along the Nhlaralumi River.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • 1000 bundles of old thatch grass were packed out at Old Farmhouse.

Erosion Control  

  • One new stone gabion constructed in a drainage line along Dassie Road in Camp.
  • Exposed building rubble, historically used for erosion control in dongas, replaced with natural rock in the drainage line visible from Wildebeest Road on Buffelsbed. This project is ongoing and is 50 % complete.
    1610 gabion 01
    Natural rock used to replace old building rubble in drainage line on Wildebeest Road
Umbabat
  • One incursion (suspected poachers) into the Umbabat, with no loss.
  • One APNR Management Meeting attended by Mark Shaw.

From the September 2016 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Conservation staff have treated 10 Opuntia (prickly pear) with herbicide in Ingwelala Camp.

Veld Rehabilitation

  • 1000 bundles of thatch were packed between bungalows #37, #38 and #39. 50,000 bundles’ were packed on the plains around Farm House Crossing, and 10,000 bundles packed on the bare areas between Whalberg’s crossing and Paul’s Gate. This is in preparation for the rains to slow down and catch water run off.
  • The sodic site on Op Goedhoop was revisited. The rocks in the erosion gullies were re-packed and repaired. Extra rocks were added to increase the height of the stone walls.
  • The rock packing on Kingfisher drive, before the river crossing was also repaired. Extra rocks were placed there as this seems to have a very good effect on stabilizing the road where it crosses the sodic site. The gullies are starting to stabilize.
  • Shallow contours shaped on Serengeti (Buffelsbed) for water and seed retention, 100% complete. Shallow contours have also been 100% completed by the Conservation team on Whalberg’s clearings and in front of Sibon Camp.

Erosion Control  

  • Nil
Umbabat
  • One lioness was reported by the Jubula Camp attendant, to be in very bad condition. The lioness was treated and monitored. She is now back with the pride and has been seen eating again.
  • Our neighbours to the east in Houtbosrand have been very successful with their counter poaching efforts and having lost only 2 rhinos this month to poaching and 1 natural death. A total of 3 rhinos, this with having recorded 4 incursions. They had 1 contact with poachers and managed to arrest 3 poachers during the month. They also recovered 1 x .458 rifle.

Umbabat Census:

The yearly Umbabat census took place in the beginning of September. The weather was favourable for a successful count.
Elephant, Buffalo and Impala numbers have been consistent in the past 3 years, despite this dry season.
Below are the figures for the 2016 count, with the yearly figures for comparison.

2016 game census


From the August 2016 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil

Veld Rehabilitation

  • Shallow contours shaped on Serengeti (Buffelsbed) for water and seed retention, 65% complete. These contours are prepared in order to slow down and catch water run-off. It will trap sedimentation and seeds suspended in water run-off.

    Example of shallow contour 

    Multiple contours

Erosion Control  

  • One gabion constructed in a natural drainage line on Serengeti (Buffelsbed).
  • One gabion constructed on the service road to the offices.

Umbabat
  • One adult white rhino bull was treated for suspected gunshot wounds, and moved to a local rehabilitation centre, but was subsequently euthanased due to semi paralysis. The post mortem results showed the injuries were natural (from territorial fighting) and not from suspected poaching.