02 Sep Welgevonden Game Introductions
One of the aims of Welgevonden management is to re-establish a balance between the predator and prey populations.
Due to the historically high lion numbers on Welgevonden the prey population had dropped into what is known as a “predator pit”.
This is when the annual recruitment into the prey population is less than the amount of prey animals being eaten.This not only relates to lion but all the other predators who do have an impact e.g. leopard, caracal, jackal, cheetah and possibly brown hyeana.
However these other populations are difficult to monitor and the assumption is and can be made that these animals would very likely be self regulating depending initially on social parameters and later on prey density parameters.
In order for management to achieve this aim an active lion reduction program was initiated with the aim of reducing the lion population to between 10 and 12 adult animals.
At the same time a prey re-introduction program was launched 3 years ago with the aim of raising the game population to around 4000 (counted) head of game. As part of this program 300 impala, 250 wildebeest, 80 zebra, 50 eland, 50 red hartebeest and 4 giraffe were planned for introduction during 2009.
As of the end of August all 300 impala have been introduced, 235 wildebeest, 39 zebra, 16 eland, 26 red hartebeest and 2 giraffe. The introductions have been split between the area around Tshimondi and on the southern plains. The remainder of the game should be introduced by mid October.
The young male hippo that was introduced into the dam at site 58 has settled well and the challenge is to now find him a mate as soon as possible (every self-respecting hippopotamister needs a hippopotamiss).
The sightings of general game has and will continue to improve and hopefully remain constant for years to come.