Posted October 18, 2018 in Africa
Action for the Wild has supported the N/a’an ku sê Foundation since 2012, donating £29,145 to date.
Since the start of the spotted hyena study on Kanaan in July 2016, the research team have identified 17 individual spotted hyenas and their movements. Currently only seven individuals are still seen in the study area, but 24 confirmed kill and 14 confirmed scavenge sites have been recorded and mapped out. In June 2017, our funds helped cover the costs of a GPS collar used to collar a male spotted hyena from the north clan.
In August 2018, a new method was employed constructing a ‘darting blind’ and placing it at a frequent latrine (marking) site of the south clan in the hope to habituate the hyenas to its presence. In September, an attempt was made to dart a second spotted hyena. Two locations were used: the latrine site within the south clan’s territory and a water source within the north clan’s territory. Although spotted hyena activity was monitored at both locations prior to the four day darting attempt, the hyenas avoided both sites until after the team had left. A new strategy plan will have to be drawn up to achieve successful darting, however, during this time, the team will continue to monitor both chosen darting locations, as well as bait them. Spotted hyena scat samples will continue to be randomly collected from across Kanaan to supplement the diet and kill site data on both clans.
Collaring a second individual will be vital to monitor two separate family clans at the same time, their territorial behaviours and movements across a shared boundary, and further spatial distributions and movements. The additional data will help to further calculate an estimated hyena density per average territory size for spotted hyenas in the Namib landscape.
During August, the Mangetti Team continued their monitoring of the African wild dog packs that inhabit the Kavango Cattle Ranch (KCR) and the Mangetti Park (MNP) through the use of motion sensitive trail cameras, with the aim of monitoring pack movement and numbers of individuals. In 2018, our funds were used to purchase a radio collar for one of the wild dogs, 10 camera traps for use across the research sites, and one laptop for the Mangetti research site to download GPS coordinates and analyse camera trap data on African wild dogs.
The team continue to have the aim of collaring an individual from one of the packs. The presence of many smaller tracks amongst those of the adults indicated that puppies were moving with the pack and a tracker employed to potentially track the pack found that the dogs were regularly changing den sites, so they were no longer actively denning and the puppies were big enough to move some distance. Images captured by camera allowed for the team to establish that pack ‘Picasso’ have 6 puppies. During October, the research team is planning to continuously monitor the movement and activity of the two packs (‘Picasso’ and ‘Rembrandt’) on the KCR by utilizing camera traps