Wildlife Utilisation of Artificial Waterholes and the Effects on Habitat Integrity

We are still investigating the consequences of the plethora of waterholes on our landscape in OWNR. The University of South Africa is a partner to the Balule Research Facility and has appointed Eilidh Smith (MSc student) to continue our investigations that were initiated last year and presented at the Kruger Science Network Meeting. This is a short summary of the early results. No conclusions can be generated yet as we still have many months of work ahead!

We are hoping to demonstrate the effects of the different types of waterholes on OWNR as well as if there have been negative impacts associated with the numerous waterholes available to animals.

Olifants West Vegetation Survey 2011-2013

Transfrontier Africa

Patrick O’Connor; Research Technician: OWNR

1.1 Objectives

The objective of the survey was to establish the grazing capacity of the Olifants West region, Balule Nature Reserve.  The information gathered is critical for management of the reserve, as trends in vegetation quality and, consequently, the impact on animals, can be monitored to determine what adaptive measures need to be taken. However, the Olifants West region is an open system, where animals can move freely during difficult times. This means that management can overlook measures, such as culling or translocation of animals.