02 Feb Young ‘ns on Welgevonden
The lambing and calving of a number of animal species appears to be far better than in the past few years with impala, wildebeest and zebra doing especially well. As reported previously one of the cheetah females introduced a few years ago from Phinda has given birth to 3 cubs and are proving very accommodating game drive stars.
The lion pride in the south has also produced 5 cubs and reports have been received of a new elephant calf. All in all, young abound on Welgevonden at the moment.
It appears as if the investments in the management interventions such as the plains projects, with the fertilization and slashing, the lick blocks and the game introductions over the last couple of years are paying dividends.
The late summer burns and unplanned fires with the green flushes could also have played a significant role in supplying nutrients at critical times during the mating season as well as for the females during pregnancy and while lactating. The contribution of each of these factors is difficult to measure directly, but the combination thereof is leading in the desired direction.
An inkling of the true result will only however be seen after the 2011 Annual Aerial Census towards the end of this year. The number of young animals that survive to be a year old is the best measure of reproductive success.