Photo credits: Zebra – Magdelene, Rainbow – Pierre
Gondwana has enjoyed some lovely rain in January with over 94 mm falling at Lehele and an additional 15mm in February. This is up to three times the figure of neighbouring farmers in the area. The rainfall has provided a fantastic green flush of grass for the grazers.
There has been a lot happening with the lion pride. It was observed by the rangers and wildlife team that the big male lion had begun to chase the three sub adult males off the kills. This behavior is completely normal and in the wild the sub adult males would take this as a sign to move off and start their own territory. Unfortunately this is not possible at Gondwana as the sub adult males could begin to break through fences in order to source new territories, which would jeopardize relationships with neighbouring farmers. The three sub adult males have therefore been caught and are currently being held in the predator holding boma. The wildlife team is working closely with the Game Rangers Association who are in the process of setting up a new Game Reserve in Angola. The Association will be sourcing animals for this reserve and the plan is to release the 3 sub adult Gondwana males into this reserve along with some females from other areas so that they can set up their own pride. It is interesting to note that up to now lion populations in reserves like Gondwana were never recognized. Many Lion foundations however are now sitting up and taking notice of lion populations in smaller reserves as these populations are growing, whereas lion population numbers on the whole are declining. It is reserves like Gondwana that are contributing to the survival of the lion species.
The male has subsequently mated with the two adult females and the sub adult females broke away from them during this time.
The sable have not been doing very well in the protected area so a process was set up to move the Sable into the Mountain Ridge and Sunset Ridge areas where they can be closely monitored. Homeowners are enjoying getting up close to these magnificent antelope in these homeowner areas.
Photo Credit: Brenda Li
There have been many young ones born on the reserve over the last three months, including impala, waterbuck, eland, red hartebeest and wildebeest. The populations are healthy and enjoying the supplementary licks to help with lactation and fertility. The wildebeest population is the hardest hit however as they are the favorite prey species of the lion. It is always a balancing act to manage the predator prey numbers on the reserve so with this in mind one of the short term wildlife plans is to introduce more antelope species towards winter.
Photo Credit: Brenda Li
With the recent bushfire at Red Rocks 20, it bares mentioning that the fast response of the fire team assisted in containing the fire to under 2 hectares, even though they were called out on a Sunday afternoon.
Last and certainly not least PG is hard at work currently setting up the wattle eradication program for 2018.Read More