Rhino Press Tour 28th of August - 2nd of September
Review of the Rhino Press Tour
4th Day of the Rhino Press Tour
Visiting Hluhluwe and Umfolozi
Third day of the Rhino Press Tour
Visiting Big Game Parks Swaziland
Second Day of the Rhino Press Tour
Visiting the John Humes Farm
Spoor Survey October 2015
Comanis, in collaboration with Zutshwa community, Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), and local and overseas volunteers, completed a landmark wildlife survey of KD2 Wildlife Management Area during the final week of October this year.
It was the first time in history that DWNP’s wildlife aerial survey using fixed wing airplanes has been simultaneously compared with ground-based methods of wildlife census. Comanis-Tanate members along with volunteers from Botswana, South Africa, and Canada drove the very flight paths flown by the airplanes, which follow north-south lines of longitude bisecting the KD2 landscape. It was 650 km of challenging off-trail driving and navigating combined with meticulous data collection under an oppressive late dry season Kalahari sun.
The trackers of Zutshwa were of course the indispensible keystone to the survey. They directed each 4x4 vehicle and volunteer team through the spectacular savannas of KD2 on their allotted share of transects, tip-toeing the tires around burned stumps and shrubs to avoid punctures while simultaneously scanning the bush for wildlife or reading the sand for fresh tracks. Indeed each team drove their routes twice: once while spotting wildlife directly (line transect distance sampling technique) and then a second pass in the opposite direction to record fresh animal tracks.
To everyone’s fortune, the DWNP flew the lines within the same week, marking the first time such 3-way comparison of wildlife counting techniques has been achieved anywhere in the world. Furthermore, it is milestone for citizen-science in Botswana - the first time that wildlife has been surveyed rigorously by local community members themselves within a Wildlife Management Area.
We worked hard but had fun too. Despite breakdowns and other mishaps, every team seemed to have unusual luck with wildlife sightings: close encounters with large antelopes, cheetahs, honey badgers, African wild cats, brown hyaena, aardwolf, Verreaux’s (giant) eagle-owls, prides of lions and a pack of wild dogs in camp, plus a spotted hyaena chasing after one team in their vehicle to boot.
We shall be working closely with DWNP over coming months to analyze the survey data. An unexpected preliminary finding was the numerous eland utilizing KD2 – there were more eland counted than even gemsbok or hartebeest. Herds churned up extensive swaths of sandy savanna like overstocked cattle, and one team counted a group over 1000 strong! Considering eland’s known sensitivity to human disturbance and suspected long-term declines throughout the Kalahari, this was indeed a positive finding.
The trackers received their new and long-awaited 2-piece uniforms, caps, and South African Army leather boots. Additionally, the laser rangefinders that were acquired for the survey are being donated to DWNP Headquarters to assist each of 6 regions of the country with their ongoing distance sampling field surveys.
Our Partnerorganisation Tanate Wilderness Botswana
If you are interested in some more information about Tanate Wilderness, please click the following link:
BIG GAME PARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY
in July 2014 Big Game Parks Swaziland celebrated their 50th anniversary in the presence of King Mswati II.
Corinne Itten who presented Comanis Foundation was personally invited.
Wild dog translocation
Comanis has sponsored in the last years several collars for this CKGR wild dog translocation project.
Special Comanis Gazette Nr. 2
Please have a look at the exciting work Comanis is recently involved with in a very special corner of the Kalahari.....
If you don't have a flashplayer you can use the following link: issuu.com/comanisfoundation/docs/comanisgazettenr2
Rhino Poaching has become a big issue in the last three years. Please read the letter Michael Knight (well known conservationist) wrote to the Avaaz organisation, describing the complexity of this subject. It is good to read to have a broader understanding.
Zutshwa & Ngwatle Craft Project
Brochure ostrich egg jewelry (movie to be seen) Quicktime Player necessary
Comanis supported community project
Wild Dog Release Video
This Video was taken last August when 4 adult Wild Dogs and 3 pups where released into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
"The Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks believes in non-lethal methods of managing their predator populations and as such attempt to resolve predator human wildlife conflict by translocation carnivores that live outside of protected areas and predate livestock into protected areas"
filmed and edited by Sarah Kerr