Latest Sightings

April sightings, wildlife monitoring and interesting research projects.`

 

Sightings of the month

Thank you to all who recorded their sightings in the book this month! We had 82 recorded sightings, with an average of 3 per day. The number of sightings of some species is below:

Highlights

The overall number of sightings was more than in the previous 2 months, and the accuracy of the reporting was really impressive:

  • Thirteen lion sightings, totalling 97 lions (the same pride with cubs seen multiple times, too).
  • Sixteen leopard sightings, totalling 21 leopards, including a sighting of 2 subadults playing, and a pair of mating leopards.
  • Four cheetah sightings between camp, Sibon, N’tsiri airstrip and Buffelsbed.
  • Seven Southern Ground-hornbill sightings, one of which was a pair (male and female) feeding on the remains of a lion kill - quite unusual to see!
  • A large pack of wild dogs was seen around the airstrip for a few days, being followed by multiple hyenas.
  • General species recorded: Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Vervet Monkey, Chacma Baboon, Nyala, Kudu, Bushbuck, Impala, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Spotted Hyena, Tree Squirrel, Dwarf Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Zebra, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Honey Badger, Slender Mongoose, Side-striped Jackal, Springhare, White-tailed Mongoose, Scrub Hare, Cane Rat.
  • Reptilian species: Black Mamba, Flap-necked Chameleon, Puffadder, Mozambique Spitting Cobra, Leopard Tortoise, Crocodile, Serrated Hinged Terrapin, Marsh Terrapin, Rainbow Skink, Rock Monitor Lizard, Rock Python, Spotted Bush Snake. Snouted Cobra.
  • Bird species recorded: Yellow-billed Stork, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Greater Honeyguide, African Scops Owl, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Tawny Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Grey Go-away Bird, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Helmeted Guineafowl, Southern Ground-hornbill, Retz’s Helmet-shrike.

Sightings in Camp

This month we had many animals visiting us in camp, but there were three highlights we enjoyed most and wanted to share with you. Two were recorded on mounted cameras, one was recorded in the sightings book. They were:

  • The cheetah recorded in the sightings book at #76 on 7 April.
  • A leopard visitor on the porch at #149, captured on mounted cameras at the bungalow.
  • A cane rat captured on the camera trap at the back of Reception.

Although all were wonderful sightings, the cane rat was quite a surprise for us, as the last recorded evidence of them was 9 months ago at #149 - also captured on their mounted cameras!

Leopard at #149, his tracks at Reception & Cane Rat

 

Sightings Book: A Different Approach

With the implementation of EarthRanger, we have found massive success in tracking animals’ movements across Ingwelala. We have also had an impressive spike in the sightings recorded in the book, and an increase in the accuracy of the information written in. Thank you all so much for that - it is so helpful to us for conservation efforts and allows us all the opportunity to enjoy the productivity of Ingwelala’s sightings every day.

In the spirit of trying something new, we added a new format to the sightings book to see whether the information becomes even more accurate for a broader Conservation approach, and it has worked beautifully! We have added in columns for the Species, Location, Sex and Number of animals seen, and it has helped immensely with the accuracy of reporting these sightings.

This information is used to assist the Conservation Team with monitoring species’ movements, populations, sex ratios and so much more - even where a particular animal is that we might be looking for. Thank you all for responding so well, and for taking it in your stride! We are going to be testing this format into May and will monitor it over that period to see whether this will be useful moving forward.

 

 

Words by Tess Woollgar, images courtesy of Alex Jordan, Tess Woollgar, Josh Hibbett, & Brian Cilliers.

 


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