02 Oct Annual aerial census and contraception
Welgevonden’s annual aerial census was completed towards the end of September.
Apart from the general game species, some interesting sightings during the census included blue cranes, leopard, a cheetah, porcupine and a lioness with young cubs.
Although the overall figures were similar to what was expected, there was an increase in especially the smaller antelope species which is encouraging.
The results of the census are given in the table below:
|Common reedbuck||120||Roan antelope||2|
Note that the numbers for the smaller antelope species are not given as they are often difficult to see and their numbers would be an under representation of what occurs on the reserve. This includes duiker, steenbok, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and nyala. Therefore only the numbers for the larger animals are given. The white rhino numbers are also not given for security reasons.
The elephant contraception for this year was also done during the census. The drug (pZp) is an immuno-contraceptive that needs to be applied annually by means of a single dart fired from a dart gun out of the helicopter. As far as possible all adult cows that are within the breeding age are currently contracepted. Since August 2007 no new calves were born on the reserve.