The last month of the year treated us with a bunch of last gifts for 2015. We can congratulate the Black Mambas once more with another great bust of bush meat, shutting down bush meat camps and arresting the poachers and recovering 60 snares! A great ending for December!
Our Mambas in the north had a great December present with an upgrade of their picket with new solar panels and a TV! Also in the bush we want to keep up to date with the latest TV shows!
This month we rounded off some of our projects, like Melissa from Western Kentucky University, who did a vegetation study to assist us with Anti-Poaching Strategies. She was able to identify over 80 different tree species during her survey! Great job Melissa, we can't wait to use the data to develop new ways for protecting our wildlife.
More in rhino conservation this month, we also started our trials with a new developed smartphone app for rhino monitoring. We have send this app out to our landowners and shareholders to assist us to collect as many rhino sightings as possible. With this new piece of technology we hope to get a bigger dataflow, the more eyes out there watching our rhinos the better we can protect them!
With temperatures oddly high all over the world this month, we here in the bush definitely weren't left out. This month was a month of immense drought and temperatures getting up to 50 degrees Celsius (!!). Not really how most people imagine their Christmas to be, sweating away in your bikini! But that doesn't stop our Transfrontier Africa staff members to also enjoy a bit of a party with a couple of days nice food (unless Lisa the destroyer of pies drops the whole Christmas pie...and then Craig decides to smoke out the whole research house by trying to put the venison pie in an oven occupied by mice...) But of course also enjoying a drink whilst we still monitor the radios and being on constant stand by as this Christmas had to be the full moon period, which is the biggest threat for poacher incursions. Luckily it was a nice and quiet and Christmas was a great time for people and wildlife alike!
But the heat is definitely influencing the wildlife a lot. Impala's are known to expand their pregnancy until the good rains come, so that their little offspring gets born in a world with luscious food resources. But with very little rain the impala calves were born late this year, as well as other grazers and browsers. We hope all the little calves will a great start with the year and their lives and may the rains come soon! We were happy to see that other endangered species are doing well in our reserve with 2 sightings of the endangered Ground Hornbill this month! These beautiful big birds are more often seen in our reserve and we are very glad that they are thriving well!
With our camp closing down halfway through this month we've spend a couple of days with our last volunteers and interns of the year in Kruger National Park. With a couple of days filled with amazing wildlife sightings it couldn't have been more of a treat to volunteers and staff alike. Most of our staff got the rare opportunity to go home and spend the holidays with friends and family.
As this year comes to an end we want to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, funders, colleagues, friends and everyone out there working nonstop to protect our planet's beautiful flora and fauna! We wouldn't be able to do our work with the great support we get from everyone involved. To all our funders out there thanks for making all this happen! Without your funding and donations we wouldn't be able to do all the work we do. To all volunteers and interns this year, thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm around the campfire and supporting the project. To our partner booking agencies who work hard for us all the time that take care of our volunteers and interns. To all our colleagues in the bush that work around the clock to protect our reserve and make it one of the most beautiful places in South Africa!
Thanks from the entire Transfrontier Africa staff and of course Shaya and Lilly and we hope to see you all again in 2016!!