Conservation and Environment in South Africa: Monthly Updates
Legodimo Nature Reserve - December 2009
The silly season is upon us and another year at an end.
We had lots of sad goodbyes and even all the remaining staff went off for a well deserved break and time with their loved ones.
December was a hot and pretty dry month. The river kept dropping in level but luckily rose as South Africa had plenty of rain in the Limpopo River's catchment areas towards the end of the year.
Our local hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) pod stayed on the reserve for yet another full year which does show that the drought we had had broke. We had plenty of good sightings of them during bird observations as well as interpretive trails.
Our dominant bull sadly lost his status as a new younger and stronger bull had come onto the scene and dethroned him. This must have been an intense battle as he had some very deep cuts and lost one of his ears.
The new bull is far larger and seems to be very protective over his pod. They are also more adventurous as we now see them more often on the island in front of camp and hear them grazing further away from their daily resting spot.
The intense heat with very little rain has taken its toll in our tree re-introduction project as we had lost quite a few saplings. We hope to compensate for the loss in getting plenty of seed as well as saplings when the rains do eventually arrive.
Most of our endangered species have flowered and we should have our new and now finished greenhouse full of new saplings waiting to get the bio-diversity back to its original state.
We are still battling forward with vehicle problems and trust that 2010 will be better by miles. At least our vehicles will also get a well deserved break to get their services and check-ups.
The mighty Limpopo River is yet to come down in full force which as always makes crossing very interesting. It is the lifeline of the area however and thus we have to soldier on even if it means going the 330km detour.
2009 was a year of many changes and reaching of goals. We removed 9km of old fences that injure animals and in some areas, hinder their free movement. We had also finished two new observation blinds as well as a river view observation deck, three new waterholes, the greenhouse and got plenty of good data for our elephant (Loxodonta africana), larger carnivores and bird projects.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of our past Legodimo volunteers for their hard work and contribution to this project in its endeavour to make sure this pristine wilderness remains for future generations to experience.
Kind regards, friendly African greetings and blessings for the festive season as well as 2010,