As we enter the summer season, we have been welcomed by a flurry of offspring from a wide range of our wildlife. These progeny are a great indicator that the introduced animals have established themselves on the reserve. We are also encouraged by the increase in population and behavioural development of the species that were always present on the reserve such as the bushbuck, Grey Rheebok, and Caracal to name a few.
Our pride of lion have developed themselves into a successful hunting unit. The initial separation of the male from the females was temporary as sightings are rare without the complete pride. We continue to monitor the predator prey dynamic and are excited to report indisputable evidence of leopard throughout the property.
Our expansion program has now come to fruition with the completion of the external fences and the current dissembling of the fence dividing the two properties. The timing of this was perfect with the late rains stimulating growth in this sweet veld region creating natural movement of wildlife into this new area. We have successfully relocated one of our black rhino into this area according to plan as it is a more suitable habitat for this highly selective browser species. The inclusion of this area has added numerous species to both our mammal and bird list with the guides excitedly reporting a first sighting of the Knysna Lourie and breeding pairs of Klipspringer.
We have established a wonderful team of field guides whose enthusiasm and contributions towards conservation on Gondwana have benefited us all. They are applying their individual passions to better the reserve, such as implementing our first bird hide, Children’s Junior Ranger program and wildlife monitoring. Together with our guides, guests and owners have been enjoying rare sightings of honey badger, aardvark, aardwolf and bushpig. Take a moment to read a few of their ranger diaries now found on the website.
Our reserve manager, Joe Erasmus continues to develop Gondwana and is establishing the implementation of our environmental management policies. This summer will complete the second phase of our annual burning program which forms a critical component of our veld management. We are very excited to initiate a large scale alien removal effort on the reserve starting this November. This will be implemented in conjunction with a rehabilitation program for erosion control and habitat development.
I enjoy seeing you all on the reserve and hope you can visit us again soon to experience what has become a world class establishment.Mark Rutherfoord, Director