Wildlife Projects blog


Leon’s Wildlife Updates

MAY UPDATE

 

Poaching & Gold Panning

This was a bad month for us with poachers.  Seven fish poachers were arrested plus one snare poacher, who was also in possession of fishing nets, right in the central area of Chizinga Mountain.  We had no report on tree cutting this month.

On the 23rd of May, our patrol scouts arrested one snare poacher in Chizinga, deep in the Umfurudzi Park. They recovered five large and thirty small traps and 229 meters of fishing nets, plus an axe.

On the 29th of May, Sedze, the National Parks Ranger, was on patrol alone when he had contact with female fish poachers in the Umfurudzi River.  All adults escaped, but they left a small child behind who let us know the names of the seven adults, when he brought her to the HP camp. I went with the Ranger to the village that night, around 11pm, to arrest the seven female fish poachers of which we were very successful.  The poachers were fined US$20 each. 

Gold panning by people from nearby villages in the area was not as bad, possibly because it is very cold.

 

Hippo Pools Bushcamp and Umfurudzi Park 

Our scouts Happymore and Millicent came across a Leopard along Hippo Pools Bushcamp's  Red walking path and just a few metres along the same path, they sighted two side-striped Jackals.  The next morning we found the bait that we had placed there was gone, which means that the Leopards and Jackals spotted by scouts around sunset were the ones that ate the bait by the top dam.

 

Around Hippo Pools Bushcamp, particularly at the top dam, big herds of Eland, Kudu, Impala, Bushbuck and Zebra are being sighted on every patrol, with their calves, lambs and foals. Only five Waterbuck were counted this time showing that the other calf was taken by predators such as Leopards, Jackals or Hyena.

 

Our herd of six Hippos is still living together, with a seventh one coming and going.  They are always found in the main pool in right in front of the camp.

 

Wilderness Africa Trust's Garura Game Park

All the game is doing very well.  We have received a new lamb from one of the Bushbuck, which gives us a total of ten Bushbuck.  The Giraffe cow is still in her gestation period and we expect a calf this year.

 

We have planted ninety trees this month.  We also planted some portions of buffalo grass around the Garura campsite area. We have started sowing the Kikuyu grass seed that will be planted in areas accessible to watering as well.

 

We have the Ram pumps working very well which is giving us a total of about 4200 litres of water in twenty-four hours.  This water is used to irrigate lawns and trees as well.  This is saving us the expense of using diesel.

 

Causeway across the Mazowe River

Heavy work is still going on on the causeway and we have completed 33 metres at this point by depositing rock along the weir.  This work is progressing very well and we are hoping to complete this crossing by the end of July.