Deploy the Troops

It was a warm Autumn morning when the troops assembled for duty at the Karkloof Conservation Centre, ready to be deployed for a snare patrol and animal tracking activity on Gartmore Farm. We started by looking at Di Martin’s exciting collection of signs and scats, then had a briefing on snares and poaching.

No snares were found while on patrol, however, there were plenty of signs found from Jackal, Porcupine, Genet and Duiker.

We also found the remains of a Duiker at the fence-line and suspect that it may have already fallen victim to poaching.

At least one of the jackal in the area is skilled at catching and eating mice judging by the bones in left in the scat. One section of fence showed us the variety of the Fiscal Shrike’s diet – lizards, grasshoppers and other unidentified remains were found.

The highlight of the day was finding a snakeskin and then the privilege of seeing a night adder shortly after!

The children loved searching for signs of life on Gartmore farm and we certainly see why it is a Biodiversity Stewardship site with all the animal activity. They also enjoyed testing their strength out on the hay bales – it’s a lot heavier than they all expected (it also didn’t help that John was pushing from the other side!).

Milan Naidoo, one of our most enthusiastic nature lovers was leaving no track, scat or sign unidentified and also helped us record GPS data in his notebook. We received the following positive feedback from his mum, Bimall after the outing:

It’s an amazing initiative. As a parent I see the positive influence it has had on Milan. He learns so much from you guys and from the other little kids. I come back from your outings so excited that we will have a future generation that cares albeit a few, better than none. I will try and do more to promote the program it’s amazing.

Our sincere thanks to the KRANES team and invited experts for volunteering their time to enrich the lives of kids and to nurture them into future custodians of the land. Also a huge thanks to the landowners that allow us access onto their beautiful properties!

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