River Biota follow-up study

During May scientists from the Limpopo Department of Environmental Affairs visited Welgevonden to do follow-up monitoring of the biota in selected streams on Welgevonden, as well as various other streams and rivers in the area.

They first visited the reserve a few years ago when an in-depth survey of the rivers was done for the State of the Rivers Report for Limpopo in 2003.

At that time Welgevonden’s rivers were very healthy. Their recent visit was to a follow-up survey for the new State of the Rivers Report due to be released soon.

The results of the follow-up survey will be compared to that of the initial survey to see if, and how, the health of the rivers has changed over the last few years. Fish and insect larvae were collected, counted and returned back into the river. The presence of certain indicator species serves as a good indication of the health of the riverine system, as well as the condition of the water.

People generally underestimate the importance of the river biota on the terrestrial ecology of the whole area, not only on the ecology of the rivers. Several types of insects, like dragonflies and various others, need the river water for the larvae to develop. It is therefore very important to look after the health of the rivers.

Welgevonden’s rivers play an important role as feeder rivers to the Mogol river, and eventually the Limpopo, and it is important for the whole catchment that Welgevonden’s rivers are healthy.