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15/01/2020

From the December 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

 

Alien plant eradication

  • There has been an outbreak of Red Water Fern (Azolla filiculoides) on the surface water in the causeway, this will be dealt with and removed by hand, in the event this fails, biological control will be considered.

Veld rehabilitation

  • Nil

Umbabat

  • Nil

From the November 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

 

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil

Veld rehabilitation

  • Nil

Umbabat

  • Nil

From the October 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

General:

  • The injured male lion that had been seen regularly in September was darted and thoroughly examined by Dr Peter Rogers on the 4th of October, The lion was in very poor condition, the assessment revealed that all tendons in the right hind leg were detached, as well as a compound fracture to the right hind kneecap. In all likelihood it was caused by an encounter with a buffalo. The animal was given zero chance of recovery, a decision was taken to euthanase the animal to spare any further suffering.
  • In late September an abandoned elephant calf was observed at Elephant Pan. It seemed to be carrying an injury to its right hind leg/hip. At the time it was unsure whether it would be reunited with its herd or not. Two days later the same calf was sighted again, this time in the Camp area near bungalow #74. Michelle Henley from Elephants Alive was notified and a Vet arranged for an examination to be done. Notifications were left at the Ingwelala Gate requesting Member assistance in locating this animal. All staff were made aware of the situation. The calf was unfortunately never located again.
  • On the 10th October during Chris Mayes routine morning inspection of the fences, he found her skull and remains to the south of Olifant Road in Camp. Indications were that the calf had been killed by lions.
  • A dead kudu bull was reported behind the solar pump at Buffelsbed Hide. On closer inspection it appeared to have suffered a broken neck, the exact cause remains unknown.

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil

Veld rehabilitation

  • Nil

Umbabat

  • The draft Umbabat Management Plan was Workshopped by presenter, Greg Martindale, and the various reserve managers employed in the Umbabat.

From the September 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

Some work done on the eradication of the various prickly pear stands during the early part of the month:

  • Goedehoop – 17 plants – riverbank in the Leopard rocks area
  • Argyle – 4 – Bird Hide road
  • Camp area – 2
  • Buffelsbed - 16 -North of Mermaid crossing, adjacent to Klipspringer Lookout

Veld rehabilitation

  • Nil

Umbabat

  • Nil

From the August 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Mexican Poppy was targeted during the reporting period. It is difficult to quantify the exact total of individual plants removed. Conservative estimates are approximately 1000 plants.

Veld rehabilitation

  • Nil, awaiting the summer growth season before continuing with any veld rehabilitation.

Umbabat

  • A productive Umbabat Warden Committee meeting was held in early August, chaired by the Umbabat Warden.

    Agenda items were diverse and covered some critical topics, including the draft Umbabat Management Plan, the threat of the Shot hole Borer to the Protected Areas, various security related issues, new and existing research projects, and the new Enkhulu Gate control access.
  • The Nkorho Private Nature Reserves Association AGM was held on 31 August.

From the July 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • A small stand of Opuntia spp. treated with MSMA on the Eastern bank of the Nhlaralumi River adjacent to Klipspringer Lookout.

Veld rehabilitation

  • Awaiting the summer growth season before continuing with any veld rehabilitation.

Umbabat

  • The Nkorho Private Nature Reserves Association AGM is scheduled for 31 August 2019 at 08h00 at Ingwelala.
  • The Service Provider responsible for removing the obsolete cable from the discontinued Telkom land lines visited Ingwelala and has removed all the cable and associated fittings.

From the June 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil.

Veld rehabilitation

  • The planned follow up spray on the 56-ha trial site on Buffelsbed commenced in early June. The herbicide application was Scrubber, mixed with an absorption and wetting agent called Actipron.

    The application went well, the trial plot will continue to be monitored closely for results, these will be analysed and determined during the growth season following the upcoming summer rains.

Umbabat

  • A wonderful event took place in the Umbabat when an Umbabat landowner, and Member of Ingwelala, who wishes to remain anonymous, generously sponsored a lump sum of money to enable the Umbabat to provide

    a much needed brand new 4X4 single cab LDV to the security provider, Noctuam. Lydenburg Toyota came to the party hugely, by offering the vehicle to the Umbabat at cost price. This will assist Noctuam enormously to carry out their counter poaching efforts expeditiously with efficient and reliable vehicles. Lydenburg Toyota also replaced the Warden’s Hilux Double Cab with a brand new unit. Congratulations and a massive thank you to all involved for such kindness and generosity.
     
  • Letaba Wireless deserve special mention too, for making available free monthly WIFI to the Warden’s Office.
    Thank you for your invaluable contribution Letaba Wireless.

From the May 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil.

Veld rehabilitation

  • The planned follow up spray on the 56-ha trial site on Buffelsbed will commenced in early June.

    The herbicide application is Scrubber, mixed with an absorption and wetting agent called Actipron. The green dye assists to identify which plants have been treated to avoid duplication.

Umbabat

  • Nil.

From the April 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil.

Veld rehabilitation

  • The planned follow up spray on the 56-ha trial site on Buffelsbed has been further delayed due to availability challenges with the service provider

Umbabat

  • The Nkorho Exco met on 27 April 2019.

From the March 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil.

Veld rehabilitation

  • The follow up spray on the 56-ha trial site on Buffelsbed is postponed until after Easter.

Umbabat

  • An Umbabat security and information meeting was attended by Chris Mayes in early March.
  • The threat of shot hole borer to protected areas in the Lowveld is under urgent discussion. A workshop to formulate strategy in minimising further risk is planned for mid-April. The outcome will be advised in due course.
    “Polyphageous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is an ambrosia beetle that attacks living trees. The beetle creates tunnels, deep within the tree, where it breeds and eats fusarium fungus. The fungus spreads outwards from the tunnels into the tree, blocking the trees’ vascular system. The tree branches begin to dry up, they lose their leaves and with time the tree may die”. Click here for additional information:

From the February 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil.

Veld rehabilitation

  • Feedback from Theresa MacDonald regarding the new product for folio spray has been very positive. A follow up spray on the rehabilitated site on Buffels will commence towards end – March.

Umbabat

  • Nil.

From the January 2019 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • X6 Opuntia spp. plants treated in the vicinity of Bird Hide.

Veld rehabilitation

  • Theresa MacDonald, who assisted us with the first follow-up coppice treatment on the 56-ha Buffelsbed plot, assessed the success rate of herbicide application in mid-January. A final treatment is planned to take place in February which should amount to more than seven days field work for a team of two.

Erosion Control

  • The drainage line in the vicinity of Bungalows # 66 and # 69 was serviced to curb lateral soil erosion.

Umbabat

  • The Nkorho Exco meeting was held at Ingwelala on Saturday the 26th of January.

From the December 2018 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • X 15 Opuntia plants were treated on the eastern bank of the Nhlaralumi River in the vicinity of Mermaid Crossing.
  • X1 Opuntia plant treated near Bungalow #170.

Veld rehabilitation

  • A second follow up treatment is planned for January 2019 on the 56-ha plot on Buffelsbed, targeting any mopane coppice.
  • The scrap metal, including old car bodies, were removed from the veld in the vicinity of Bird Hide. These items were visible from the air (due to the lack of ground cover) during the 2018 annual game census.

Erosion Control

  • Nil.

Umbabat

  • Our sincere condolences to the Warden, Bryan Havemann, and his family over the passing of his father in December.

From the November 2018 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • Nil

Veld rehabilitation

  • The green flush in the new growth season has allowed the Conservation Team to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the clearing of Grewia and Mopane done in the winter months. Overall it was very successful, there are individual plants showing some minor coppice which can be expected.

Erosion Control

  • Nil.

Umbabat

  • Nil

From the October 2018 Reserve Manager's report:

Alien plant eradication

  • The Mexican poppy (Argemone mexicana) which established itself in all the river systems post the 2012 floods will need attending to. This is a suitable project for Members interested in joining the volunteer “work parties” to assist the Conservation Team.

Veld rehabilitation

  • With the arrival of the first decent downpour of rain at the time of writing, we are awaiting the first green flush of plant growth to evaluate fully the effectiveness of the follow up treatment done on the Buffelsbed Eastern River Road in June and July. Initial indications are that there will be some minor follow up work required.

Erosion Control

  • Nil.

Umbabat

  • 2018 Annual Umbabat Game Census
    The annual Umbabat Game Census was carried out in the second week of September. The census is done by means of a helicopter, with a team consisting of the pilot, two counters and a recorder. Transects are flown over the entire reserve, all sightings are recorded, meaning it is a total count.

    With an annual census that is a “once off” count on one particular day in the year, the numbers counted and recorded must be considered in that light. It is an open ecological system where animals have free movement in and out of the various Reserves and KNP. Its rather like a person taking a snap shot of their bank balance on one particular day, the number will be very different on pay day compared to month end!

    Its therefore useful to look at the numbers for the species over a longer term, in this case the numbers provided are over the past decade. There are no long-term trends in any one species that raise any alarms.

    1811 annual games census
  • The removal of the redundant Telkom poles commenced on the Ingwelala portions of Argyle Road. A total of 52 poles were identified for removal. The method involved cutting the cable with a bolt cutter and then removing the pole by pushing it over with a tractor. Interestingly, 60% of the poles removed were rotten in the centre core.
  • After the repairs to the Causeway were completed, the service provider involved was requested to return to implement full a clean-up and site rehabilitation to our satisfaction. The on-site TLB was also used to level the Hammerkop River site where river sand is harvested for the maintenance of building purposes.
  • A security meeting was held at Ndlopfu in the later part of October. The meeting was very productive and informative, various topics and challenges were discussed in detail.

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